It’s the time of year when many columnists take sort of a breather from deep thought and write about their New Year’s resolutions. I don’t do that. A couple of decades ago, in another publication, I resolved not to make New Year’s resolutions. My reasoning was: “If you don’t make ‘em, you won’t break ‘em.” I remember the exercise in elementary school, when resolutions were vacuous things like “be nice to others.” And later, with adolescent angst, when resolutions couldn’t have been accomplished without a support group. No, I prefer just to reflect on the past year, and what it brought.
I have spent a year in a new apartment on Broad Street that is far superior to my previous abode. The kitchen alone is a serious upgrade, and I have started cooking again, and eating out less. As a result, I have lost a little weight.
I marked two years with the most special woman I have ever known.
The biggest and most recent thing in my life, though, is that my son got married. Two days before Christmas, and out of state! (That’s the part I’m going to hold over his head one day.) But I have a beautiful new daughter-in-law.
At one point after the ceremony I needed to rest, so I found an overstuffed chair and col- lapsed into it. My kids –my son and brand-new daughter-in-law, my daughter and son-in-law – dragged up folding chairs and sat in a semi-circle around me. We told stories and laughed.
I felt patriarchal and realized that’s different from feeling parental. I’ve felt the latter since Aug. 5, 1992, when my son was born. I’m not sure he even knows this, but he was an emergency C-section. I remember one nurse yelling, “His vitals are dropping!” Another yelled, “We’ve got to take him.”
I was scared, even though the nurses reassured me all would be okay. A couple of hours later, I was holding him, tears on my cheeks. I have a touching photograph the anesthesiologist took.
So now both my children are married. I resolve to take a deep breath.
There are too many college football bowl games I don’t know how they all make money. Massive egos, mainly, in the form of corporate sponsorships, TV rights, and advertisers. But I think it’s ridiculous when even mediocre teams are playing in bowls.
The Georgia General Assembly is in session, and it’s the time of year when many pundits trot out well-worn wisecracks about our esteemed assemblage. I like to think I’m above that. There are serious things to consider this session.
For example, Gov. Nathan Deal’s thinly disguised attempt to off load failing schools via constitutional amendment failed spectacularly at the ballot box in November, so will he try again, in another guise, during this legislative session? Will the bill to encourage guns on school campuses berevived? Will the “religious liberty” crowd try again to pass laws that in no way resemble liberty?
And then there’s the important issue of under skirting (I always thought that word meant petticoats and such, or had something to do with laminated flooring. It turns out there’s a new menace in society: guys using smart phone cameras to take pictures under women’s skirts.
I will acknowledge this upfront: I like what is under women’s skirts. But I always buy dinner and whisper sweet nothings first. Smart phone cameras have changed that. Men are actually using them to surreptitiously take pictures under women’s skirts. The Peeping Tom laws that are already on the books don’t address it. I don’t want to trivialize an act that is seriously demeaning to our society, especially to women. But I can’t help but think that passing any law just might give the idea to more perverts. Groundbreaking on The Lofts on Broad Street by developer Ira Levy is set for this year after years of planning. It will be the biggest boost to downtown Rome since Ann Arnold became director of the Downtown Development Authority 16 years ago. Arnold retired at the end of 2016. On a personal note, I just want to add that when I first started covering business in Rome, back in 2007, “Downtown Annie,” as she’s known, was extremely helpful, both knowledgeable and accessible. She will be missed.
J. Bryant Steele has won awards for business reporting, feature writing and opinion columns, and is based in Rome.
*The views expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not represent the opinions of V3 Magazine.