Photo of Joey and Arlene seated on runningboard of 1940s car

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About Arlene

Scenes from My Life On Hemlock Street: A Brooklyn Memoir by Arlene Mandell

Resolutions Made and Broken

Arlene with girlfriends in a restaurant for her Sweet 16 party

Arlene's Sweet Sixteen Party, 1957

The original list of New Year’s Resolutions was pasted into the back of a photo album. I wrote it when I was a senior in high school and never really intended to keep all the resolutions, but am proud to say I have kept #6.*


I will sew buttons on as soon as they fall off.


I will wear lipstick whenever I leave the house.


I will start every day off by grinning in the mirror.


I will gossip a little less maliciously with Ruth.


I will always walk with my head up and not wiggle so much.


I will not light a cigarette if I don’t really want it.


I will not tease boys (especially ones over 18).


I will not fall into bed without brushing my hair and teeth, no matter what time it is.


I will not pay for dates with kisses.


I will not go out with icky boys, ever!

*Author’s note: After I dropped a lighted cigarette on my blue silk organza prom dress and burned a hole in it, I never smoked another cigarette.

© Arlene Mandell, 2009

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Welcome to Hemlock StreetBlock PartyBuilding the Ferris WheelCrossing Pitkin AvenueThe KissInvisible BabyAunt Minnie's Second WeddingMurder Inc.A Real Italian DinnerSleeping with Nettie SachsDuke Snider Breaks Our HeartsCherries in the SnowMy Thirteenth SpringNo Room of My OwnDeeply in LoveHangin' Out and Makin' Out • Resolutions Made and Broken