Dressy Shorts In, Smoking Out

I’m not sure if evening shorts are still all kinds of In; I just know they’ll never be Out por moi.

I’ve kvetched about the price points of East Village consignment shop Cadillac’s Castle before. It seems I was remiss in reporting on the store’s virtues, one in particular that never fails to deliver on the bonafide score front. The perpetual outdoor sale rack. Snow or sun, hell or high water, the sale rack is there to welcome you upon entering.

The goods on said rack are usually $25 or under, and fugliness characteristic of certain boutique sale racks is nearly nonexistent. On-trend wares in mint – new condition abound (the shorts pictured still had their original tags). The only explanation for the fabulous discount is a lack of store space; the influx of new merch necessitates a price-point reduction on the month-old wares and BAM! Magic like $25.00 Walter Shorts happens.

In other news, I’m quitting smoking, and it really effing sucks monkey balls. Yes, kicking the habit will undoubtedly benefit my health and well-being; yes, I’ll actually be able to ‘inhale deeply’ in yoga class; yes, I’ll be able to shop more on account of not spending $50 a week on ciggies (yes, I’m THAT kind of smoker). All of the above is more than enough to rationalize quitting, yet none of the above prompted me to take the final leap. What, then, was the motivating force?

VANITY.

It happened the day before Father’s Day. I was making a cartoon for dad via transforming photos into illustrations, and made the mistake of applying Picnik’s Pencil Sketch effect to a photo of my face. Reality reared its wrinkled head.

I’d noticed the onset of premature aging, of course, and had a slew of excuses to rationalize the deteriorating situation – a bad night’s sleep, a lack of sunscreen, bad photo angles, bad lighting in my apartment. I could have kept up those lies, and probably would have for some time, were it not for that effing Pencil Sketch tool. It’s tough to blind yourself to the damage when it’s there in black and white.

I don’t mean to suggest that there’s anything wrong with having a few wrinkles at the age of 26. Age happens, and the only thing ugly about it is our culture’s preoccupation with youth; its tendency to equate beauty with what’s outside disassociates it from the wisdom that lies within. The only thing wrong with wrinkles in my case is the source of their appearance. I’ve been blessed with the kind of skin that’s seemingly immune acne, clogged pores, blemishes, sunburn, etc. I can get away with occasionally not taking my make-up off before I go to sleep. I can switch cleansing products without incident. I can put forth the most minimal of efforts and look as though I get facials regularly. I’ve been lucky enough to have the kind of skin that DOESN’T AGE… until it’s subjected to cigarettes.

I write this now to make quitting easier. It’s not doing a goddamn thing. Knowing I’ll live longer, have a fuller checking account, and halt the damage already done to my face is motivating in theory, and worthless in reality. I’m told it will get easier, that I just have to get through these first few hellish days. Right now, I’m not buying it. Smoking isn’t just a bad habit for me – it’s a writing tool, and I’m not yet sick of being a cliche. Six years of sporadic ciggies; four years of half-packs-a-day; ten years of smoking; zero attempts at quitting. I don’t know if I’m ready now; I don’t know if I’ll ever be. I just know I have to try.

Wish me luck.

Comments

  1. says

    Please apply for this. I love your blog and I think you’d win: http://community.asos.com/post-details/?contentid=6824082400594165072

    Also, I have successfully quit smoking after 10 yrs. of social smoking, smoking through grad. school for ‘stress,’ etc. Do this: switch to American Spirits (pure tobacco). That will wean you off the additives. I was only able to quit when my body said ‘this kind of sucks.’ I smoked one day and realized I was forcing myself to smoke, that I didn’t like the taste or enjoy it. So that was that. Have I relapsed? Yes. But smoking once every 6 mos. is not something I’m too worried about:)

  2. Margo says

    Quitting is the worst. It gets easier, but there will still be a small part of you that wants a cigarette. I’m just being honest, there are nights out where I would kill for a cigarette and it’s been YEARS since I’ve touched a smoke. BUT, the ability to rationalize and say “NO, I don’t want to look like my favorite vintage leather purse” get stronger and the urge passes. It sucks, but it’s the right thing to do. May the force be with you.

  3. Rachel says

    Not sure that you’re the running type…but the thing that helps me to resist the urge to bum butts whilst having a cocktail is to remind myself that my lungs will feel like compressed fire breathers on my next run if I smoke a cig. Good luck!

  4. says

    I’m wishing you mountains of GOOD LUCK!!!!
    Quitting smoking is THE SINGLE BEST thing a person can do for their health and their looks! It WILL get easier every day…
    You’ve made a great decision and I’m rootin’ for ya! :)

  5. tess says

    Good for you on quitting. I finally quit using the nicotine inhaler. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, it looked a little ridiculous. But I didn’t care. After 20 years of smoking, I quit and am grateful every day that was able to. It’s effing hard. Funny, I never have a craving for cig. I thought that I would, but I’ve not yet, and it’s been, like, 7 years.

  6. Jennifer says

    Good luck quitting! With people pulling for you here, even if they don’t post, and those I’m sure have wished you luck in real life, know you have many friends in your corner.

    Not only will quitting help your looks (breath, teeth, hair, skin, etc.) down the road, it really is the best thing you can do for your health. My mother-in-law didn’t quit until she was diagnosed with lung cancer between stages 3 and 4 – really, about as bad as it gets.

    She’s gone through several rounds of chemo, radiation, surgery, etc. Every time the doctors think they’ve got it, it comes back. Last time, it spread to her brain. Now, they’ve reduced the tumors’ size, but they’ll always be there.

    So know you’re increasing your chances of having a healthy life. All the best.

  7. Laura says

    Good luck! And hey, I work at a doctor’s office… patients have actually had a lot of luck with something called Chantix. We’re talking been-smoking-for-forty-years and able to quit. You might consider talking to your doctor.

  8. says

    I quit cold turkey 1.5 years ago. If I can do it, so can you. Seriously…you’re a strong woman…you’re not going to let your body’s cravings and habits beat you.

    There came a time when I was just sick of being dependent on ciggies. My body didn’t FEEL like quitting, but I’ve always been a very logical person and logically, I needed to quit for my health and I wanted to be around to grow old with my husband.

    So I gave my cravings and dependency the finger flip and refused to give in…I had cravings most definitely, but I’m stronger than them at the end of the day. I decide what I do, not my cravings.

    Have not smoked since…not looking back! You do it too! Also, both my parents quite after smoking for 25+ years. My brother in law woke up one day after 10 years of smoking and quit too. They’ve all stayed smokeless since. Do it, Cheap Jap!

  9. Kaya says

    I’m 25. Been smoking for 9 years….and quit smoking June 15.
    Two weeks and still going strong!
    Not been too hard except when I went out dancing tuesday. BIG mistake to go to a place that doesn’t give a shit about the new European rules about public smoking. But even bigger mistake to throw down too many Jack D/ginger ale. They are by far my favourites and go perfectly with – not my new bag – but one or ten cigarettes.
    So my best advice is to try to find a new favourite drink/meal/snack/whatever that doesn’t remind you of what you have to do without.
    Surprisingly sparkling water with vodka is a complete hit….who knew?!

  10. mary says

    I just wanted to say congrats and good luck! Also, I’ve been following your blog for a while and was excited when I saw you featured in Women’s Health Magazine! Not sure if I missed it somewhere on the blog, but you need to pimp that out..super exciting :)

  11. says

    I just quit too!! I know what you mean by writing tool, after pumping out papers in the middle of the night, there’s nothing better than having a cig dangling put of your mouth. Best of luck, cheapjap!<3

  12. Anna says

    Yay for quitting! Most people don’t realize it’s does a major number on your arteries. I work in healthcare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>