Intersections – Curve the line

Posted by January 7, 2015
Nicki Salcedo

Nicki Salcedo

By Nicki Salcedo

I’m not giving up cake. I won’t. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions ever. If I do them, I do them late in the year and all wrong. This year I feel like I should do things I wouldn’t normally do, but do it my way. Instead of making resolutions to diet and organize my closet, I plan to do more of the things I’m already good at. I’m going to be the old me this year. I’m going to do the things I do best.

Curve the line. For a non-coffee drinker I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. It’s not for the free Wi-Fi or the insane and overly loud conversations that surround me. I don’t go to write the next great American novel, though I should. I go into coffee shops to do one thing. I make sure the line of customers waiting to order beverages curves in the correct direction.

The line at Dancing Goats Coffee Shop in Decatur should curve toward the front doors facing Ponce De Leon Avenue. It should not curve toward the back of the coffee shop. It should not obstruct the pickup zone or the cream and sugar area. I have not had to correct the line in Java Monkey. Maybe it is the stairs or the single entry point. But I have walked into Dancing Goats, corrected the line, and then exited without ordering anything. It’s my civic duty. Maybe it should be yours, too. If you join with me on this small resolution in your local coffee shops the world will become a better place.


Eat the apple skin. Eat the apple core. Before I curved lines, I wondered if my existence was to eat only the skin of the apple while passing the fruit along to my offspring. When they were little kids, the apple skin was tough to swallow. I didn’t want to peel apple and throw away the skin. I would eat the skin right off the fruit, then hand the apple back to my kid. Now that they are older, they eat the skin and the fruit, but hand the core back to me. I can have my own apple, but sometimes life hands you the tough parts. This year I’m going to perfect eating the core when it is given to me.

Let no one be a stranger. My favorite part about living in the South is the freedom to say hello to anyone, anytime. I resolve to say “hello” to more passing strangers than I have any year before. I like to make up quick stories when someone walks by me. It helps me think that people aren’t really strangers.

His dad called him Chipper.

Her dog sleeps next to her left foot.

That’s it. Maybe those aren’t even stories, but a quick thought. I’ll give a passing “hello” and a quick thought. That’s what I’ll do more of this year.

Remember the difference between trivia and trivial. Trivia is a detail. Trivial is something that’s insignificant. If I can spend more time on one and less on the other I’ll have a good year. So much of my time is wasted on one disguised as the other.

I’m good at spotting the trivial, but not always avoiding it. I don’t need to watch every two minute video that crosses my path. It is important to know certain details, but this year I’ll try to stick to the important ones.

Acknowledge the things I’m good at. I am great at precisely five things. Thinking. I think all the time. Mostly about zombies and aliens, time travel, cake, and cats. I’m great at lethargy. I’m great at worrying. I’m excellent at picking the third cutest guy in any ensemble cast and in boy bands. I’m really great at encouraging people to write. I think everyone should write.

For the New Year, I’m leading a series of writing workshops. I’ve never done anything like this before, but then again here I am making pseudo New Year’s resolutions. I’ll do some things that I’m good at and some things that are new to me.

We are so busy fixing ourselves in January. By December we are disappointed. We often forget how great we already are.

Don’t read the comments. Or the book excerpt. Or movie review. I tend to like things better if I don’t know what other people think about them. I recently watched the movie Snowpiercer. I had no idea who was in the movie or what it was about. I spent the whole movie wondering, “Is that Captain America and Octavia Spencer?”

Tilda Swinton can do no wrong in my book and the same goes for Ed Harris. Well, now I’ve ruined the movie for you. You might hate it, but I love seeing expected things. I don’t really care if anyone else likes it as long as I did.

See you in December. I plan to look forward to December. It is still part of the New Year. Don’t treat it like an over ripe banana. The new me is the permission to be the old me. I will keep the line curved and take a bite out of the core. It’s my year to eat cake and be really great at ridiculous things. It can’t be hard to resolve to be the ridiculous person you already are.

Nicki Salcedo is a Decatur resident and Atlanta native. She is a novelist, blogger, and a working mom. Her column, Intersections, runs every Wednesday morning.


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  • Maggie Worth

    Fantastic un-resolutions. And a lovely read as always. I’m all about embracing the ridiculous inside and I adore your particulat brand of nuts.

    • Nicki Salcedo

      What’s-His-Name says, “Maggie adores your nuts.” Excellent.

  • Eric

    You had me at “Snowpiercer.” What a completely unexpected, twisted and uncomfortably enjoyable movie. Sure it had its flaws, but it won me over with its originality, acting, direction and cinematography.

    • Nicki Salcedo

      Have you seen the Korean movie “The Host” (Snowpiercer borrowed a couple of actors) or “Pandorum” with Dennis Quaid? I am also an expert in quasi-good bad movies.

      • Eric

        Nope, but I will put them on my list.

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