Freshen Up, Ladies! A Dozen Vows for 2003

New Year’s resolutions are a raging, screaming yawn-unless, of course, you break away from tradition and create them for other people. Why not? Prescribing rigorous personal improvements for others is inarguably more amusing and refreshing than tedious introspection. And it makes more sense: Your insights about other people are far more penetrating than your biased, half-hearted observations about yourself. Here, therefore, are your 2003 New Year’s Resolutions, as prescribed by moi . F.Y.I., the theme is “freshness.”

1. Stop pretending to adore The Osbournes . Yes, there is still a chuckle or two to be had, but after Sharon Osbourne admitted to Barbara Walters that she had mailed boxes of her own excrement to her adversaries, the show somehow lost its freshness. P.S.: Didn’t you think Barbara, in her breathless attempt to be groovy and Osbourne-positive, was less than appropriately horrified by Sharon’s poo-parcel admissions?

2. Join the Doris Day lobby. Liz Smith ( New York Post , Nov. 22) was 100 percent on the argent when she exhorted us all to make nuisances of ourselves until the Academy of Motion Pictures ponies up an honorary Oscar for multitalented, fresh-faced Doris. So much more than just another perky blonde, D.D. achieved the kind of multimedia cultural penetration that Madonna and J. Lo can only dream about-and had a great pair of gams, to boot! If you are about to dismiss this resolution as the drivelings of just another tired old AMC queen, then you are obviously overdue for a screening of Teacher’s Pet , Calamity Jane , Pillow Talk , Move Over Darling , That Touch of Mink , Julie , The Pajama Game or any other of her chicly fresh blockbusters. Send excrement-free Doris petitions to 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Calif., 90211.

3. Stop pretending you don’t find President George W. Bush kinda hot. No matter what your persuasion, you have to admit that Dubya’s earnest Texan big-daddy assertiveness and well-toned bod has a certain je ne sais fresh.

4. Stop picking holes in Michael Jackson! 2002 has been open season on the artist formerly known as the Gloved One. The poor thing gets all the accumulated flak that the press can’t fling at other celebs because they’re too scared of losing their access. So leave the freak alone-it’s no skin off your nose!

5. Stop dressing like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver ! That goes for you and you and you. Previous exhortations in this column to reduce the slut quotient in your personal style have been met with rebellious indifference. I’m giving you one more chance to refresh your look: Rent the Scorsese classic, take a long, hard look at Jodie’s hot pants and decide if you think they’re wartime-appropriate. And while you’re at it, stop pretending to be an expert on Middle Eastern affairs and support the country that gives you the freedom to flaunt yourself à la Jodie in Taxi Driver . Cancel any planned European vacations until they-France and Germany in particular-adopt a more U.S.-friendly tone.

7. Refresh your mind. Reread the books you read when you were young and stupid and didn’t really understand what you were reading, but pretended to. I’m rereading the fetid and fabulous Nana by Emile Zola, and realizing how many of the unsavory nuances were lost on me in my youth.

8. Stop going to trendy yoga classes. That competitive über -trendy New York lunacy-not to mention New York Times honcho Howell Raines’ apparent fascination with the practice-has taken the granola out of yoga. The frantic hoopla to get into ultra-hip yoga classes has me longing for a wildly unspiritual, shrill, you’re-in-my-space-bitch, high-voltage Jane Fonda aerobics session (try the Lucille Roberts at 80 Fifth Avenue at 14th Street, 255-3999).

9. Get TiVo. If you are seeking genuine spiritual calm, you can only really find it with TiVo. This life-changing digital system, which costs a measly $12.95 per month, offers you a chakra-opening, commercial-free television reality devoid of the worldly cares which come from worrying about missing favorite shows. Jerry Springer , Dynasty reruns-all can be waiting alluringly for you when you return home after a tough day. Call 877-BUY-TIVO and discover the real meaning of Zen.

10. Monogram your life. Forget about L.V. and Y.S.L. and C.D.-this year it’s all about you, so go ahead and refresh your garments and other artifacts with your initials. Muffy and Buffy gentiles should hit the Monogram Shop (various locations and, while Jews and homosexuals must take the chicer, less uptight, iron-on summer-camp name-tag route at

11. Why not refresh your stale-smelling apartment with a jasmine-honeysuckle-gardenia olfactory orgasm for the New Year? Wait until the steam heat is blasting, and then spray your radiators liberally with Kate Spade’s new eau de parfum ($58 for 1.7 oz.). Inhale deeply.

12. Re gender refreshment: Feb. 25 is the Doris Day Animal Foundation Spay Day. Happy New Year! Freshen Up, Ladies! A Dozen Vows for 2003