Sunday, March 04, 2012
Aging inappropriately: I'm too old for this
I inquired after a variety of blends, including one roasted here locally - Monkey Joe's - and then selected half-pounds of three varieties to try out.
"Do you want them ground?" she asked.
"Oh no!" I exclaimed faux-dramatically, hand held to brow, looking skyward. "I still need to justify buying that high-end Kitchen Aid grinder I have at home!"
At this point, my pretension level went up four points and two trendy New York City-to-Woodstock weekenders in the Imported Polish Juices and Unpronounceable Eastern Block Pickled Items Aisle flinched and went down two hipness levels.
The coffee lady went all misty on me and said, "Isn't that just the best first thing in the morning? A hot shower, fresh ground coffee you make yourself and - well, (she whispered) - in my case, a cigarette. There's nothing better."
Looking around first, I then replied, "Oh my GOD. I KNOW! RIGHT?"
Then - in a rapid transition that left me feeling both queasy and traitorous to my forebears - I said, "but you know - it's almost as good when you quit and go E."
I said "E".
Meaning e-cigarette. Electronic cigarette!
Like some damned Park Slope hipster, I said "go E." Like, I should have totally continued down the hipster path to "Hey, babe - this is the greatest - let's grab a PBR and go vape*!"
(*vape = vapor, i.e., the flavored, scented nicotine water vapor you expel when you 'smoke' an e-cigarette.)
I was ashamed and embarrassed that I now had to explain the e-cigarette concept to some lady who - if she lived in a trailer park in Ohio and bought her make-up at the Dollar Store - could have been an aunt or cousin of mine.
"I've heard of them," she hunkered over the counter and whispered, as if we were discussing herpes. "Do they work?"
I assured her - they do indeed help.
I'll pause for a moment to let the point sink in - yes, I was smoking ... again - yes, I know it's bad for you - yes, I know I quit at least one time before (those other times were 'kinda' quitting). But this time it's sticking. Unlike previous attempts, I'm not crazy, my nerves are not sticking three feet out of my body waving like tentacles, waiting to make contact with any random person, animal or hard surface thereby sending me up like a skyrocket of unfettered rage.
No - this time. It's cool. And it's not just the nicotine supplement that's making it this easy.
It's (gulp) getting older...
I'm simply not willing to work this hard at a supposedly relaxing vice. I have much better things to do - like watch public television and have cocktails. My time is too valuable. The time saved alone in brushing teeth, washing hands and chewing gum to go "unnoticed" has allowed me to sleep an extra hour every night. I'm getting that much more done.
I don't have to get up, put a coat on, go outside, come back in, hang the coat up, clean up, de-funk - and repeat an hour later. It's just too labor intensive.
Not to mention the cost savings - oy yoy! And it's not just the $10-11 cigarettes. It's the gum and the Handi-wipes and the Febreeze and the toothpaste. That stuff adds up.
When I sleep that extra hour every night now, I dream of counting the money I've saved over the last 14 weeks like some kind of demented Scrooge McDuck. (Actually, I mostly dream about smoking, but I was trying to make a point.)
The down side is that my weekly commute to the office now feels like I'm heading west on the Oregon Trail for days and weeks and months - because I am now simply that bored. I've considered napping during the commute.
But in the end, I'm pretty proud of myself for making the move. I feel wonderful, knowing that it was really the right time and the right thing to do.
Anyway - I wasn't really sure where this post was heading, but I guess I feel confident enough to share.
Here's to all of you and yours - best wishes for love, strength and support in your own decisions to change things up.
Some Native Americans used to attach prayers to the smoke from their tobacco pipe, sending their good wishes to the intended recipient on the winds.
You'll all need to settle for good wishes on a wisp of Vanilla scented vape. (that and the cherry flavored ones rock!)