Once burned, thrice shy | Bleader

Friday, January 6, 2012

Once burned, thrice shy

Posted By on 01.06.12 at 11:00 AM

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The first time I lapsed was in the mid-aughts. I was driving to O'Hare to pick up my mother, and was so anxious about what I'd find that I stopped at a convenience store for a pack of Camel Filters. I hadn't smoked in a couple of years, but, boy, did it sink back in with a vengeance. I got to the airport, parked the car, conducted a somewhat frantic search, and found my mom in the wrong terminal, wearing a large wooden cross and chatting amiably with a stranger.

I must confess I continued chain smoking throughout her visit, shepherding her to Wrigley Field, paying $50 bucks for parking, leaving her with a vendor for safekeeping, etc, etc. "Oh, Kathleen, just stop it," she'd say of my puffing. But that took me a while.

I honestly thought I was inured this time around. I hadn't smoked for at least three and a half years. The smell of it from passersby made me turn up my nose.

Then came a shitstorm. I started buying packs of American Spirits for my managing editor so I could mooch off him in good conscience. I'd smoke a half cigarette at a time and tell myself I was at just two a day.

Fat fucking chance, and I can't believe how hard it is to quit yet again. It's been more than a month, and I'm stuck on the noxious, itchy patch with another shitstorm to deal with.

Don't go there, kids.

Read more from Resolution Week:

"NBA resolution: Walk less, not more" by Ted Cox

"Say you want a resolution?" by Tony Adler

"Rahm swears off swearing for 2012" by Steve Bogira

"A resolution for 2012: Watch more Indian movies" by Ben Sachs

"A resolution for 2012: A more comprehensive and specific approach to writing about art" by Tal Rosenberg

"Nixon, Mayor Rahm, Herman Cain, and Pam Grier—only in the Reader!" by Ben Joravsky

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