Ann smiled and proclaimed, “I’m going to cut way back on the wine and lose fifteen pounds – and keep it off.”

“Specifics. How much are you going to cut back on wine? You have to give specifics for it to be official,” Carrie said.

“Okay, okay. No more than two glasses and no more than twice a week.”

Everyone at the table raised their glasses, and then took a drink to Ann’s New Year’s resolutions.

Bob was next in going around the table, so Ann pointed at her husband sitting to her left and said, “You’re up.”

“Ten max going over the speed limit and I’m cutting back on red meat.” He noticed Carrie about to comment and added, “No more than once a week.”

Again, everyone toasted the commitment. “Your turn Carrie.”

Real lame, Joe thought, but he was getting nervous. He had recently married Carrie and started a job and he knew he should formally resolve to change his ways in front of his wife and new friends. But how would they take it? He met his wife online not long ago and she didn’t know much about his past. I will just avoid giving any details.

He felt Carrie nudging him with her elbow and noticed that everyone was toasting his wife’s resolutions, so he quickly raised his glass and took an extra-large mouthful. He was up next.

Carried nudged him again. “Your turn Joe.”

Joe chose to keep his resolution extra vague at the last minute. “Okay, I resolve to be a better person.”

“Come on Joe, that’s total crap, we need specifics or it’s not a real resolution,” Bob said.

“Okay, well, I guess I won’t do anything illegal.”

Kurt was next to his girlfriend Nadia who was on Joe’s left. He looked at Joe and raised his eyelids a little bit. “Nothing illegal, what does that mean? No more going over the speed limit?”

Crap, I was afraid of this, Joe thought to himself. “Well, in the past, before I met Carrie, I did some things. I guess some bad things.”

Carrie had a concerned look on her face. “What are you saying.”

“When I told you I was a delivery driver, I was running and dealing drugs, and doing other stuff. Bad things.”

“Damn Joe, that’s crazy shit,” Bob backed away from the table a bit.

“But the point is that I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m done with all that, ever since I met Carrie.”

Bob and the others looked more closely at the tattoos that covered the exposed areas of Joe’s arms and neck. “Do they let you just quit that shit? Isn’t it like being in the mafia where you know too much?”

“Yeah, will you always be looking over your shoulder for cops or gang members?” Anna asked.

Joe noticed the stares and unconsciously crossed his arms and looked towards Carrie. “It won’t be a problem, I’m pretty sure, but that’s another reason I was happy to leave LA and move here to be with you, Carrie. Also, I’m getting some of these tats removed.”

“Man, that’s crazy shit,” Kurt said. “But hey, do you have access to a little blow? And I’d like to try some Ketamine sometime.”

Carrie and everyone else at the table glared at Kurt. “What the hell Kurt!” Bob said.

“Uh, just kidding, sorry.”

“Yeah, I quit dealing with all that shit,” Joe said.

Carrie had a horrified look on her face. “We’ll have to talk.”

“Shouldn’t we do Joe’s toast?” Kurt asked his stunned friends while holding up his glass.