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?
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.