Tutus, tongue disorders and other new year’s resolutions worth keeping

Petula Dvorak
Columnist December 30, 2013

My new year’s resolution list is so consistent, I can just tattoo it on my arm.

There’s the diet, the gym. Floss, moisturize. Organize the house, organize my time. Stop being late, do everything early. Spend more time with the kids, spend less time worrying about the kids.

Petula is a columnist for The Washington Post's local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things. View Archive

Given my perpetual failure at living up to my own resolutions, I’ve decided to make lists for other people.

Let’s start with the guy everyone was talking about Monday: Mike Shanahan . The newly fired coach of Washington’s dreadful football team is probably as ready as anyone else for a fresh start in 2014. He should resolve to join the Oneida Nation in its campaign to change his former team’s name, the perfect way to further enrage Dan Snyder.

For D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who is running for reelection despite a federal investigation into his last campaign for office that has produced four guilty pleas: Stick to shadowboxing, discourage shadow campaigning.

For Laurene Powell Jobs , the billionaire widow of Steve Jobs, who is dating former D.C. mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D): Start drafting an ironclad prenup.

Miley Cyrus: Make an appointment with a doctor for a possible tongue disorder.

Sunny , the Obama family’s overly friendly new dog: Target Salahis, not small children. Obedience school?

The Running Presidents , who made a delightful annual appearance in the Washington Ballet’s “Nutcracker”: More tutus! It could only boost attendance at Nationals games.

Yeah, basically all our sports teams ought to have one resolution, because we seem to keep expending so much of our time, energy and money on them: Win.

Winning — anything — probably won’t be in the cards in 2014 for Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who leaves the office under the cloud of a federal investigation into a gift scandal. I have a couple of timely suggestions for his wife, first lady Maureen McDonnell, who accepted a lavish shopping spree at Bergdorf Goodman from a dietary supplements peddler: Keep your own lawyer, and make sure he’s solid on divorce. And make peace with what 59 looks like.

That brings us to Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D), whose past and future lives were perfectly encapsulated by Laura Vozzella and Ben Pershing on the night of his narrow gubernatorial win: “The man who titled his autobiography ‘What a Party!’ and hawked Bill Clinton inaugural merchandise on the QVC shopping channel just landed the job held by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and, in recent years, a string of subdued middle-of-the-roaders.”

McAuliffe’s list of resolutions is also as long as mine (though I suspect he flosses and moisturizes regularly):

●Drop the nickname “Macker.” Seriously. There cannot be a Gov. Macker.

●Limit use of the word “Clinton” to 10 times a day or fewer.

●Avoid the temptation to rent out any part of the governor’s mansion.

●Avoid anything to do with dietary supplements.

While we’re in Virginia, how about asking the state’s lawmakers to make one collective promise? Keep your legislating out of women’s wombs. Easy, right guys?

For Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (D), who opened his campaign for governor by explaining why he was photographed at his son’s alcohol-soaked Beach Week party: Redefine helicopter parenting.

For Congress, let’s go with one vow for the whole bunch of them: Do your job.

And for one lawmaker in particular, Rep. Trey Radel, a freshman Republican from Florida who holds the distinction of being the only sitting member ever arrested on a cocaine charge, there’s a more personal resolution: Give your nose a break. And spend more time in Dupont Circle — at the Dupont Circle Club. Its noon 12-step meeting is a good one, trust me.

As for crack-smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: Just stop, stop right now. And see the above reference to the Dupont Circle Club.

I know some of these famous folks can do better with their resolutions than I do with mine. At least, I’m pretty certain Sunny’s going to get some serious obedience training.

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