Moxie’s Resolutions for Everyone Else: The 2018 Edition

It just seems like yesterday that I was writing the 2017 resolutions for everyone else. Where does the time go? Let’s get right to it for 2018.

1. Use blind cc (bcc: field) on group emails (everyone).

I feel like I shouldn’t have to bring this up, considering it’s been over 40 years since email was invented and around 20 years since we all had Outlook inboxes at work. But I’m still seeing people send group emails with every last email address in the To: field, which means people in that original mailing can Reply All, thereby making life a living hell until someone has the cojones to say “perhaps you should take this conversation offline.” Not sure where to find the bcc: field in your email provider? Look it up!

2. Place UPCs on top of cat litter boxes for easier shopping (cat litter manufacturers).

3. Create short-term incentive program for residents & businesses to recycle (City of Baltimore).

You’d think for a city that is notorious for its trash and littering problems they would be all about recycling and pushing hard to encourage people to use its recycling program. But I see TONS of garbage on the streets that’s recyclable. My building doesn’t even have a recycle bin – I have to collect my own and take it over to the recycling center about once every 6 weeks. I’ve talked to my community liaison from the Dept of Public Works about the possibility of an incentive program to get people recycling more – perhaps a tax credit or rebate. Money is a powerful motivator for some folks and it may be they’d be more willing to recycle if they knew there would be a pay-off later.

4. Stop trolling for women on Instagram (men).

5. Stop posting/sharing content with high ick factor (social media users).

You’ve seen these kind of posts: someone has shared content from another source prefaced by “EWWW” or “NOPE” and the shared content features something extremely disgusting or nightmare-inducing. For the love of Steve, why are you sharing what grossed you out? Do you want everyone else to suffer? Keep your sadomasochism off Facebook.

6. Create mobile device free zones/events AND/OR mobile device-friendly zones/events (theatres, concert halls, other performance venues).

I’ve seen many stories about performers stopping a show because someone decided their need to take a photo of the show or film the entire thing on their iPhone 20 trumped everyone else’s enjoyment of the show or film. I’ve also been the person asking adults to turn off their phones during a movie. (Three freakin’ times during Wonder Woman! I’m still annoyed when I think about it.) Since we all seem to be struggling to define proper cell phone etiquette, how about these venues take it upon themselves to designate special performances where mobile devices are not allowed? Conversely, how about events where mobile device use is encouraged?

7. Stop saying “I don’t see color/race/gender/disability” (everyone).

I know that many folks say this as a way to express their alliance and acceptance of diversity, but it comes off as disingenuous. Why? Because it’s okay to see these things; it’s quite another to take what you see and turn it into a reason to treat someone differently, whether it’s better or worse than you would want to be treated.

8. Design small apartments/condos with bathroom access from hallway or common area, not bedroom (developers).

I’ve been looking at apartments lately (hoping to move this summer, though we’ll see if it actually happens) and it seems many one-bedroom, one-bathroom units, regardless of the age of the property, are designed so that you have to walk through the bedroom to reach the bathroom. If I was a complete recluse who never had people over, I wouldn’t mind this. But on those occasions when people are visiting I would prefer NOT to have them traipsing through my bedroom to get to the bathroom. Even a Jack-and-Jill style bathroom like the Brady kids had – THREE doors! – would be better.

jack-and-jill bathroom, jack and jill bathroom, brady bunch

Sure, that Jack-and-Jill bathroom was too small for 6 kids, and Mike Brady could have designed something better, but it made for good television.

9. Add routes from Baltimore and Washington DC to Ocean City, MD (MegaBus).

I’m surprised MegaBus hasn’t added this route already, as Ocean City is a huge destination for folks in the DC and Baltimore area in the summer months. I’d like it for those times I want to go see Deena but don’t want to deal with driving out there. Of course, it would likely turn into a party bus, but that can happen anywhere.

10. Include expiration dates on lotions containing essential oils (cottage-industry/small-batch natural beauty product manufacturers).

Don Couch Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Don Couch was here
Don Couch’s former digs

Nearly nine years ago, after apartment searching for a little over a month, I found a one-bedroom about 3 miles north of the beach. The place had lots of light, would take pets without requiring a deposit and was very reasonably priced. I was in a chaotic situation, staying with a friend who had a husband, two sons, two dogs, three cats and two birds. My cats and I were very eager to get out on our own and have our own space.

The apartment turned out to be in a slightly shady part of town, a fact I was completely oblivious to when I moved in. The building was on a busy street where many car accidents took place. I got very used to calling 911 without hyperventilating, a skill I never expected to learn. The worst incident I had to report was when a woman was hit by a car, but even that was trumped when just last year a drunk driver dragged a small child under his SUV for 5 blocks and finally stopped a few buildings down from mine.

Even with all the drama in the neighborhood, it was hard to get motivated to leave. I felt comfortable in my space and always felt safe. I got to know my neighbors fairly quickly and spent time hanging out with them. In my early years at the building we’d have barbecues around the pool, getting drunk and having fun. We’d look out for each other, share food, watch each other’s pets. I saw one woman’s granddaughter grow from a toddler to a beautiful young girl, while another neighbor’s kids graduated from high school, then college. One neighbor got married and divorced all during her tenure at the building. And even when people moved out and moved on, there were new people to take their place, some of whom have become very good friends of mine.

Truth is, I’d known for several years I needed to leave. Although the landlord was a pleasant man and very compassionate when I struggled to pay my rent, the building was a dump and he was too cheap to do the necessary upgrades.  In the last few months of living there I was finding termites, as were several of my neighbors. The neighborhood was going ghetto and as a result the energy in the building had shifted. I’d shifted as well, into a place where I was no longer willing to tolerate the shabby environment I was living in.

But leaving behind the home I’d lived in the longest since I’d left my parents’ house was harder than I anticipated. I had experienced so much there: I watched the World Trade Center fall while I stood in my living room, staring at the TV in complete shock; I celebrated and mourned the news of my divorce; I fell in and out of love; I let go of one cat only to make a home for a new one a few years later. I would pack and unpack boxes every few years, thinking, “if I pack it, the new place will come,” but I was not ready to let go. It took a layoff in early 2009 and more than 14 months’ unemployment for me to accept that it was my time to leave. As much as I liked having a place of my own, I was now going to be the one to move out and move on.

When I moved in, I noticed that the name of a former tenant, Don Couch, was on the door. I can picture him using a Dymo label maker to punch out his name and affix it to the gold-tone plaque surrounding the doorbell. When he removed the label, though, the adhesive left an outline of his name, forever associating him with the apartment. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until a now-ex-boyfriend came to live with me that I actually looked for Don Couch on Google. I found listings in Maui and San Francisco, so I don’t know for certain which one is the same Don Couch who lived in my old apartment. I like the idea that “my” Don moved to Maui, because it gives me some hope for my own future, one where I am living in beautiful surroundings, with a career I love.

Nope, Don Couch doesn’t live here anymore. And now, neither do I.