KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox Reader sends a recipe for a happy new year
Dear Readers: Happy New Year! We hope you are safe and sound, with no regrets about your behavior last night. If you are in the mood to make some holiday resolutions, set goals that are within reach. Here's a little recipe that a reader sent us via e-mail. It is attributed to "H.M.S.":
Recipe for a Happy New Year
Take 12, fine, full-grown months, and see that these are thoroughly free from all old memories of bitterness, rancor, hate and jealousy; cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness. In short, see that these months are freed from all the past; have them as fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.
Cut these months into 30 or 31 equal parts. This batch will keep for just one year. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot in this way), but prepare one day at a time, as follows:
Into each day put 12 parts of faith, 11 of patience, 10 of courage, nine of work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), eight of hope, seven of fidelity, six of liberality, five of kindness, four of rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad -- don't do it), three of prayer, two of meditation and one well-selected resolution. Put in a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play and a heaping cupful of good humor.
Pour in lots of love, and mix with vigor. Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat; garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy. If served with quietness, unselfishness and cheerfulness, a Happy New Year is certain.
Dear Annie: I am a 21-year-old female in my last year of college. I live with my parents, and that is the problem. I am grateful to have a home, but they are incredibly controlling people and major penny pinchers. To give you an idea, here are some of the rules of the house:
UMy sister and I are only permitted to shower three times a week: Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
UIn order to cut back on laundry and save water, we are not allowed to change clothes every day. Fortunately, I can afford to take my clothes to the Laundromat and do them myself. My younger sister isn't so lucky.
UI make $350 a week, and pay my own college loans and car insurance, buy my own clothes, and so on. My parents have asked me to purchase groceries for the house, help pay the water and electric bills, and contribute to remodeling the kitchen.
UMy mom goes through my e-mails, saying it is her house and her computer. We do not have much privacy.
UMy father wants to retire but claims he cannot because we cost too much. My mom has never held a job outside the home. She sits on the computer all day, playing games and talking to her "friends."
I want to move out, but I don't make enough money to pay all my expenses along with my student loans. If I get a second job, I'm afraid my parents will take that income for themselves. I need your advice. No City in New Jersey
Dear No City: Your parents are not being fair, but as long as you live with them, you are stuck. Is there an adult relative who will intercede on your behalf? Can you put up with it until graduation? Can you find some roommates to share the cost of an apartment? Keep trying, and good luck.
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