I did not get a tattoo. But not because I am not cool enough. Because I am. No matter what Mr. Kamikaze says. He doesn't even have a twitter account, so he's not exactly an authority.
I did not get a tattoo because while flirting with the idea over more than a decade, I could not commit to a single design. I guess I am kind of like Madonna - or possibly some more current style icon whose name escapes me because I only pretend to keep up with pop culture - in that I tend to reinvent myself quite a bit.
For example, ten years ago, I was a freelance writer with two children and an interest in wine drinking. Today, I am a freelance writer with two teenagers and an interest in drinking slightly better wine. How do you design a tattoo that can keep up with that?
Still it would have looked awesome, possibly.
I did not write a novel. But not because I can't. But because I have been unable to break my addiction to reading other people's novels. In between reading other people's non-fiction, memoirs and plays. It was an especially good year for plays. The more I think about it, the more I feel like Tom Stoppard bears a lot of the blame for the novel that I didn't write. There's really no telling how good it might have been. Although, I think we can all agree it would have been better than anything I have written so far.
I did not advance in the world of adult figure skating. But not because I did not spend a ridiculous amount of time on the ice when I should have been finishing my novel. But also because the figure skating authorities have ignored my petition to remove the &^%$-foot spin from the list of required elements, where it serves to thwart the dreams of many an aspiring novelist.
I went unrecognized for my contributions to the blogging world. But not just because I refused to get a puppy, develop some sort of dramatic personal problem or put up video of myself getting a bikini wax, because I totally would if there was real money in it and not just laundry detergent coupons, but also because I made no actual contributions to the blogging world, which apparently does not even have an award category for punctuation. Which is disappointing because I feel like I would own it.
I went unrecognized for my contributions to the Kamikaze family. But not because they do not recognize the breathtaking skill with which I juggle their many needs while simultaneously not finishing a novel, advancing in the world of figure skating or getting a tattoo. It's just that they don't appreciate it.
Of course, I did not do many of these things in some pretty charming places in 2011, and as always, they went undone among the most amazing collection of people, who are represented below as bananas and bottles of wine. I couldn't have done it without all of you.
Photo, top: Not learning to speak better French in Paris. Photo by Rick McCawley.