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Today is April 8, 2020

Grin 'n' Bare It

New year’s resolutions

By Kay Grafe

Kay Grafe
Kay Grafe

The following column holds great significance because it was the first column I wrote for Today in Mississippi. I’m curious to see if any of my faithful readers remember it from 25 years ago? (Reprinted from the January 1995 issue of Today in Mississippi.) 

I’m sitting here writing my second list of New Year’s resolutions. This set is realistic.

The first list reflected on one nightmarish moment when I saw myself in a football stadium bathroom mirror. It was the Peach Bowl game in Atlanta with Mississippi State playing North Carolina State.

Never mind the game, but what I saw in the mirror was a middle-aged woman with a frenzied expression, untamed hair and 10 extra pounds. For a second, I thought it was my mother. I jumped! Standing next to me at the mirror was a young mother who looked like who I thought I should look like.

I went back to my seat, rather depressed, pulled out my travel notebook and wrote 12 New Year’s resolutions while Eric Moulds caught a kick-off ball and hightailed it way, way up the field. I don’t keep up with yardage.

My partner says, “Why can’t you just watch one game without writing? This is a Bowl game, for heaven's sake… Look! There goes Davis running through the middle… it may be a first down! Go Dawgs!”

“If I don’t jot down my thoughts, I’ll lose this moment forever,” I say. “This very moment may turn my life around.”

“Yes, yes… you’re right, it’s a first down!” he yells.

“No,” I say, “around! My life could turn around.”

He takes his earphones off. “In the middle of a football game? Did you have a spiritual experience?”

“You might call it that,” I say, “but it’s more like an Awakening. ‘One moment in time’ when I realize I’m not ‘all’ that young anymore. And on top of that, my face looks tired, my hair has no style and I’m fat!”

My partner gives me a I-don’t-believe-my-ears expression. “You gotta be kidding! We’re at the biggest game of the entire year, the team is playing great and you’re turning your life around? Please, turn it around after the game.”

So that was the day I made my first list of resolutions. I wrote things like: I will never eat another pizza as long as I live; I will eat one cookie a month; I will not eat McDonald’s French fries except on my birthday; I will go to a hairstylist every month; I will get 8 hours sleep every night, drink lots of water and use my Ponds faithfully.

Needless to say, my list reflected the mirror-moment experience, but it was very unrealistic. Today, I’m toning down the resolutions. My partner walks by my recliner as I’m writing and munching the last fruitcake cookie that Jane, my sister-in-law, gave us for Christmas.

“I see you’ve ‘turned’ back to your old habits. Sitting, eating and writing,” he says. “I’ll never figure why you decided to make yourself over in the middle of the Peach Bowl game.”

“That’s not an unusual place,” I say. “Over the past years, I’ve made lots of important decisions at football games.”

“You’re not trying to start an argument, are you?” he says.

“Never! There’s not another game for eight months. I couldn’t wait that long to make up.”

Resolution number 13: Never start something you can’t finish in four quarters.


Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” She lives in Lucedale and is a Singing River Electric member. Contact her at

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