Advice for the New Year

Advice for the New Year
In my lifetime I have never seen a year that universally was thought of as the worst year of all time like 2020 was. Radio and TV specials. Magazine and newspaper articles. General “in the street” conversations. And you know what? It wasn’t just hype. It really was that bad. I was waiting to see one of our local TV broadcasters start off their show by saying, “Welcome to the broadcast everybody. In today’s news? Wednesday sucked.”
 
And it sure did. I had two acquaintances who got COVID, but quickly recovered. I certainly can comprehend the seriousness of it all, even though it appears there are successful vaccines here and more on the way. And if you have been digesting my columns over the years you understand I am not in the “serious” business. I’m just a big doofus in a bowling shirt trying to get a smile and laugh out of you when you read me.
 
I am, however, tired of reading and listening to COVID stories that offer no solutions. Well, not this writer, loyal readers, I’m going to help you. So, here are a few nuggets of advice that just might get you through a dreary day.
 
Going In and Out of Heritages and Wawas
When I was still yapping it up at 94 WIP, I used to stop at the Richwood Wawa at 6:10 a.m. like clockwork. It was directly on my way home and I could not get enough of their pork roll, egg and cheese sandwiches. Even at that insane, early morning hour, the front doors were already bustling with construction workers on the way to their job sites.
 
And you know what? The whole scene could not have been more polite. Instead of dudes screaming “%^&*” at each other trying to enter, we held the doors for each other. And what a difference that makes when your day begins with a small act of kindness.
 
When Pat Croce bought the Sixers he went around and asked various friends what would be the first thing you would do if you had just bought the team. And you know what I told him? To make sure the workers manning the parking booths were both professional and friendly. People hate paying to park to begin with and if they feel they are being treated rudely on top of it, well, then they are already in a bad mood before they even get out of their car.
 
So, open the door for the guy or gal entering the doors behind you. It really makes a difference. Now if we could just teach ourselves not to drive like lunatics when we’re pulling out of the gas pumps it would calm our hearts even more.
 
Returning Presents
Most department stores give you 14 or 30 days to return an item. So, whatever you do, never attempt to exchange or return an item during that week between Christmas and New Years. You are just asking for trouble. You’ll be in line and find yourself saying stupid stuff like, “Can you believe this line? It gets longer every year.” Uh, duh.
 
You’ve got time. Relax.
 
And when giving a present, don’t be one of those people who says, “And don’t forget if you don’t like it or if you already have it, I have the receipt. You can take it back.”
 
Read Every Text or Email Before You Send It
And when I say, “read it,” I mean two or three times. So much can screw up. First up, make sure you are sending your message to the correct person. There’s nothing worse or embarrassing than trying to explain to your mother-in-law a text that was not intended for her. Then there’s the humiliating email that was automatically spell checked that completely alters your message.
 
“Only the message didn’t say ‘fudge.’”
 
They say that the No. 1 way a husband gets caught cheating is through his cell phone. The following is a true story. I didn’t know the guy personally, but I know for a fact this is all true.
 
This guy had been cheating on his wife. The other woman involved in the story texted the guy a, shall we say, lewd photo. Only she didn’t realize the cheating spouse was sleeping with the phone in his hand when she sent the photo. Busted was he.
 
On further review, it was discovered that the guy had set up the other woman with a job in his office. The entire salacious story led to the man losing his wife and his job.
 
Ouch.
 
Proper Planning
You’re leaving the restaurant when you bump into Stan and Barbara. The four of you exchange pleasantries. As you turn to leave, your wife says to Barbara, “I guess we’ll see each other next week at the Richards’ party.” Only they were not invited. Busted again. Never bring up a party to someone that you’re not 100% positive is invited to that same party.
 
Look, there is not much we can do about COVID or any of the other earth-shattering problems that face our society. But we can take care of little day-to-day exchanges like these. So remember, take the time to be polite and see what happens. In doing so, we’ll make our lives just a little bit more tolerable.

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And who knows where that may lead? Happy January everybody!

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Published and copyrighted in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 17, Issue 10 (January 2021).


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Author: Big Daddy Graham

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