Ah, the first of the year. Such a time of hope, promise, anticipation, goal-setting, and determination.
Oh, and let's not forget intolerance, insolence, discourtesy and overall hot-headedness. What? Unfamiliar with these reso-RUDE-tions? Then, clearly, you weren't out and about during the final week of 2011.
Whoa, people - angry birds isn't just a wicked popular video game anymore, now is it? Because we had scarcely put the wraps on Christmas when the whole "good will toward men" concept got tossed out with the leftover fruitcake.
I mean, what in the world was wrong with people last week, anyway?
First, there was the department store dis. As in, I nearly got mowed over at the Macy's store in the Eastwood Mall while trying to find a deal on K-cups for my much put-upon Keurig coffee machine. That poor little device must be exhausted after another year of my colossal consumption, but I digress.
I was literally knocked over by a woman bound to beat me to the cashier line.
"Good one, you got me," I said as I pulled myself out of clearance rack of sweater dresses. None of them were even my color, sheesh!
Next, there was the running for my life - literally. I mean, I was out for my daily dash when suddenly it was a scene straight out of "Survivor."
"Hey, whoa, pal, what the?" was my reaction after nearly being clipped by a hateful Hummer. Guess I was taking up his favorite spot in the crosswalk (at which the stoplight was clearly indicating my right-of-way, BTW) as he careened onto two wheels to speed past me. Look, man, I know peace on earth is a tall order, but not picking off a pedestrian your way to the fast-food drive-up window is probably a reasonable request in that general mindset.
And, as I caught my breath, I couldn't help but think of my dear sweet little Gram.
I was appreciating the grandeur and majesty of the century homes on Youngstown's north side when I realized it was the anniversary of the birth of my maternal grandmother, Monica Scott. In a real twist of irony, it dawned on me that, on that very day, Gram would have been 100.
How I miss her.
I miss her sweet smile and reassuring voice. I miss the way she'd always pat my shoulder or squeeze my hand. I miss hearing her delicate little laugh or the way she, at about 105 pounds soaking wet, would always save room for dessert. I miss her perfect example of faith and her wisdom in knowing just the right thing to say in any situation - even when that right thing was supportive silence. I miss her to-die-for chocolate chip cookies and her icebox cheesecake.
But do you know what I miss most about my Gram? The way she never spoke a cross word about another human being.
And so, as I reflect on post-holiday crankiness, I realize that it's not my place to chastise or criticize but simply to recommit to a kinder, gentler me in 2012.
That's what Gram would do.
On the other hand, she is in a perfect position to call out bad behavior to the Big Guy now, so don't make me tell her how you nearly took out my bumper trying to swipe my parking space last Thursday.
Happy New Year, all!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her, preferably without shoving her to the floor at firstname.lastname@example.org.