Dear Phantom Reader,
So a new year is upon us. What are your plans and New Year’s resolutions? As for me, I thought up five goals for this year last night through a fog of congestion from the nasty cold I’ve been fighting since the end of December. Here goes:
Rebeccah M. Dean’s 5 Goals For 2019
Goal 1: Complain more
Tis true. There’s not enough complaining in the world and I plan to do my part to remedy this dire lack in the year to come. I will complain when lines are too long. When lines are short, I will complain that the sales clerk was not friendly or helpful enough. In Berlin, I will do the usual and complain about the weather. Ice rain and dark days in January, jerks! Rain and wind in the summer, gimme a break! A week of humid, over 40 degrees Celsius weather in the summer will have me rolling my eyes. Berlin wasn’t built for this kind of heat, not without air conditioning, and don’t get me started on air conditioning. Gawd. If we have one of those fluke late March t-shirt weather days I will slowly shake my head and say, I’d be enjoying this if it didn’t remind me of the coming devastation of global warming. If I visit my family in the Bay Area this year, I will complain about the traffic; I will complain about the prices. 15 dollars for a sandwich? 15 dollars for a sandwich?!? I will shake my fist in the air and swear things were different when I lived there. I will complain when I’m ignored, because this will be proof that nobody loves me. I will complain when I get too much attention because goddamn it, can’t a woman get a moment’s peace around here? I will complain when my stories continue to be rejected. ‘Not for us’, blah, blah, blah. ‘…but good luck placing it elsewhere’ my ass! Complain, complain, complain. Bitch and moan. Poor, poor me.
Goal 2: Continue to compare myself to others
When I say compare myself to others I mean compare myself to other women, and when I say women I mean those who have achieved the type of literary success I hope to someday achieve. Here’s how it will happen: I’ll enter a contest with a guest judge and I will read up on the guest judge if I don’t know them already and I will read some of their work and I will think, Wow, I like this. I will then follow them on Instagram and smile when their pictures turn up in my feed. Isn’t their dog adorable? I love their house. But slowly my smile will start to fade. It will start to fade because I’ll see the third quip from a major newspaper calling their new novel the b in brilliance. I’ll stop smiling because I’ll see them hobnobbing with other literary darlings in NYC. They will be wearing a great dress and have a Moscow Mule in their hand and be smiling, no, grinning. I have lots of great dresses and have recently discovered I like a good Moscow Mule, but it’s not likely I’ll ever toss one back with a bunch of literary darlings in a converted brewery in Williamsburg because, so far, no one cares much about my work. I will stop smiling because I will have the sinking feeling I’m looking in on the life of someone who has the life I wish I had. But then I will say to myself, Really? Since when do I care about week long residencies in a cabin made entirely from repurposed drift wood or a posh five-star hotel in South Beach or an Italian fortress, etc. etc.? Do I really need such shiny baubles? Does it really matter if I win awards? What I really want is to be admired for my work. Right? The Instagram feed I’m following will make me feel unsure, and this will be even more frustrating than my general obscurity. Then the guest judge I am following–who, by the way, never had the chance to read my work because it never made it to the final cut–will post something sad, like they have a very bad case of the flu or their mother is in the hospital or their adorable dog got hit by a car and I will think, Oh, whatever, biotch. You spent three weeks at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation last summer. This will make me feel bad because it’s petty and mean and I consider myself a nice person. A nice person with bite, yes, but still a nice person. For my own sanity, I will stop following the former guest judge. But I’ll probably forget and follow another one down the road. Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment. Poor, poor me.
Goal 3: Start a cooking blog
A cooking blog, yes! The world yearns for a new one, that’s for sure. I’m still toying around with a name, which is arguably the most important part of any cooking blog. The contenders right now are: Eat. Now. Bitch, beatnbake, and BeckyBakes. I think I will settle for BeckyBakes because I would like to tell goofy, affable, longwinded anecdotes about my adventures with my husband and two adorable children which I will make my fans read (i.e. scroll through impatiently) before I give them the recipe. I will acquire a goofy, affable Golden Retriever as this is the breed that best fits my personal brand. Since I don’t actually want to take care of a dog, I will make the dog–or Buttons, as he’ll be called on my blog–sleep in the cellar most of the time. When I need him for a photo shoot, I will brush the cobwebs off his fur and he will smile and shake his head and wag his tail because that’s how Golden Retrievers do. Since my two daughters are tweens and therefore too gangly and unattractive for my cooking blog, I will borrow the neighbors adorable toddler and 2nd grader–like cherubs, those two, and so grateful for my cookies! Eventually, I will branch out and offer more than baking recipes. These will be recipes I ripped off from other cooking blogs, but to make them unique, I will always add in a few ingredients no one can ever find like catfish seagrass from the smallest island in Indonesia or pre-toasted wasabi infused mung beans. Yes, indeed. BeckyBakes will make me big.
Goal 4: Continue to lust after things I can’t afford
In 2019, I will lust after a designer coat marked down 80% on bestsecret.com. The coat will cost €299, and it will be knee length and gold brocade. Gold brocade! Marked down 80 freaking percent! But then I will remember that it still costs €299 and I’m still so broke €29 would be a stretch, not to mention nearly €300. Once again, I will be thankful that credit card debt is virtually impossible to get in Germany because if it were that click would be oh-so-tempting and I would regret it (albeit look fabulous while I do). I will fantasize about traveling more and will check airfares and train ticket prices for random places I would like to go. I will forget to erase my cookies like usual and the Internet will show me deals for these places all the time, like the Internet it trying to rub things in, Ha ha, you can’t really afford this! Sucks to be you! Occasionally the Internet will show me a deal that is truly great, €20 round trip to Dublin or something. I will become very excited and think, Yes, I can do that! A fuck-it-all weekend trip! Maybe I’ll even take the kids! But then I remember if I go I will still have to pay for accommodation and food and it will definitely cost more than the €9 left over in my €29 budget. So I wait until I have some extra cash for such fun things–travel, so much better than a coat, designer or otherwise! Will that day ever come? Sigh. Just a little trip, that’s all I ask for, although I am also dying to go back to Japan. I will occasionally lust over lovely small designer label dresses from boutiques in Brooklyn I follow on Instagram, dresses which always cost between 400 to 500. I will have a sinking suspicion that Brooklyn is a place where a dress priced between 400 to 500 seems kind of normal and this will make me feel both a little sad and a little angry. I will continue to fantasize about owning this ring.
Goal 5: Complain more
Have you forgotten, oh dear Phantom Reader, that goal 5 is the same as goal 1? No? I knew it! You never listen. 😉