September 10, 2007
Sunday was my first day in some time without a cigarette. And that’s a long some time. I’m not sure when I started the everyday thing, but I do know that the vice progressed from a once-a-month “with a glass of wine” indulgence to a regular in-my-car and (gulp) while-at-work routine. Giving into this excess happened right around the time of Bug’s tumor and the start of a new, doomed relationship, both of which made me very anxious, something of which I wasn’t completely aware in that moment.

I didn’t come here to brag about this excellent accomplishment, which is actually quite stellar when you really think about it and stop chewing both your fingernails and the cats’. Instead, I came to gripe about just how frustrating it is to find as you age that each and every one of the things you love is now on the list of prohibited items. Like staying out until 3 am. Like breaking into Dave Grohl’s house and inviting him to be your love slave. And smoking. Have you tried cigarettes? If you haven’t, don’t. Because for the most part, they’re glorious. Smoking feels fantastic and makes you a little giddy despite your odd smell. It goes great with a summer night or a glass of Pinot Grigio or a soft taco from the Bell. Cigarettes taste good. And they feel good. And anyone who says differently is a liar, a big, fat dirty liar like those adults who tell teens that sex just isn’t any fun.

Don’t ask me why, but I stayed in, watching nearly every episode of one of those weight loss reality shows on this beautiful weekend (the humor of that fact not lost on me). And I wanted to jump through the screen every time one of the trainers showed a chunky contestant just how super! artificially-flavored, sugar free gelatin is, and how Mmmmm, it tastes just like Mom’s strawberry shortcake when you open a cup of the stuff, top it with a sassy dollop of Suave styling mousse, some crumbled Wasa bread, and ¾ of a strawberry (leaf)! Because no matter how much those reality-deprived contestants want it to be different, the food in life that tastes really, really damn good, the stuff of Pavlovian responses, is all awful for you. General Tso’s chicken. Supreme pizza. Easy Cheese right off of your finger with a 64-ounce Coca-Cola Classic. Eaten while in the tub.

Nowhere in my life is this phenomenon more pronounced than in the area of rosacea. Yeah, I said it, the condition one aims for second only to syphilis, the skin affliction that leaves me at 33 years of old age with teen acne that has me attending to Oxy commercials and putting on foundation before I exercise. Want to know what's on the list of prohibited goodies for this one? Don'tcha?

Alcohol, especially red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne.
Sour cream.
Hot baths.
Soy sauce.
The sun. You know the one - the giant orb around which we all rotate?
Indoor heat.
Heated beverages.
Marinated meats.
Spicy foods, like the beloved vindaloo.
Did I mention the beer?
And the red wine?
And the happiness?

Although there is one beautiful item that made the list, for which I will be eternally grateful:


Time to sit on my ass and eat some Easy Cheese. After all, no one mentioned cheese product specifically.



Blogger jessabean said...

Ooo! I'm the first one! Surely that must redeem me for lack of previous commenting.

And are supposed to squirt the cheese directly into your mouth and gargle it. It's the only way.

Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Oh sweetie - I sat through that fattie-boombalattie marathon also. And I paired it with 1/2 a bag of Indian Papadam chips, a bowl of Fruit Loops topped with Organic milk and a properly thawed pint of chocolate hazelnut gelato.

Blogger playfulinnc said...

After I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, I found that my skin condition could be caused by a hormone imbalance. I partake in many of the wonderful things on your list, so don't let this make you more anxious (yet another thing we share).

Just wanted to chime in...

Blogger justjenny said...

If we stayed away from everything that was bad for us, we would stay away from everything... I guess that holds true even for exercise!

Blogger Mamma said...

It is glorious isn't it?!

I love you rosacea or not.

Blogger Ryane said...

Now listen. There is one thing on this list to which I must draw attention as being veryveryvery good for you. (and your rosacea).

Anything to do with Dave Grohl has to be, by virtue of his being Dave Grohl, good for you. So if you want to go ahead and aim for that love slave business.. I say go.

Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I, too, wish to comment that you're never too old to try to get Dave Grohl to be your love slave. Although he will probably already be busy being mine.

Everything in moderation. You'll be great.

Blogger JoJo said...

I feel your pain, Kris. I, after having gone through puberty, my hard partying filled 20's, and early 30's with nary a pimple, now suffer the scourge of rosacea.

I've decided to pretend that having a red face is normal.

Blogger Michele said...

With the exception of the hot bath and the indoor heat, I think every other thing on the list was featured at some point in my weekend.
I'm not bragging. I should have been eating Suave mousse and Wasa instead. I belong on one of those reality shows.

Blogger Chantel said...

I agree with everything you say here. I smoke, I wish I could give it up but I LOVE IT. I'm at a client onsite for 5 days this week and, I'm sneaking around smoking because its so abhored. this is obviously because I'm a horrible person. But don't you worry they're giving me free booze, free chocolate and all kinds of preservatives.

P.S. I woke up with a big giant pimple for my 35th birthday on Sunday -- it never stops does it?

Blogger JordanBaker said...

So far, the following technique for making cigarettes taste lousy has worked:

1. Drink 1 Guinness, 4 bourbon and cokes, and 2 shots.
2. Smoke.
3. Fall off of front porch down full flight of concrete area way stairs.
4. Get concussion.
5. Decide that this was all due to smoking, which enhances the drunkenness.
6. Don't smoke for 18 months.
7. Have 3 Gin and Tonics.
8. Borrow weird unfiltered European type cigarette from lanky Italian.
9. Smoke it.
10. Notice how very, very much like ass it tastes.

I went to the doctor last week and he recommended eating better, but not exercise.
I'm glad that the medical community is finally embracing what I knew years ago- exercise = sweatiness = bad.

Blogger flutter said...

Oof. What a friggin drag.

Blogger Skyzi said...

I am printing this and bringing it to my doctor next go around. Doesn't he understand what this whole "you need to exercise" thing is doing to my skin?

If it makes you feel better, next to me you are the pastiest girl I have ever seen. I even get the occassional "wow, you must of had a great time at the beach this weekend". Beach?? I have been in doors all weekend.... for months ....

Blogger Sizzle said...

a couple of my friends have rosacea and they took some pill and cleared it up. if only there was a pill to clear up everything in life. i'd be golden.

as a former smoker, i get how hard it is to quit the sticks. it's been 4 years since i smoked (ok, whatever, i had one when i was drunk a couple months ago) and i honestly don't miss it. i know not everyone can say that but maybe, just maybe, someday you will?

good for you. :)

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

You lost me at no alcohol. Because, dude. Well, I know I don't need to explain!

Blogger Kim said...

Rosacea? I thought that was Asian Blush.

And Dave Grohl? Psh. Whateva. Taylor Hawkins is where it's at. Mmmm...

Blogger janet said...

I was a "social smoker" in college (whatever that means), and as gross as it smells to me now, I still sometimes get the urge. Especially when drinking. I swear it never really goes away. Ditto my love of artificial cheese, now that I think about it.

Blogger BOSSY said...

La la la - Bossy can't hear you. She likes it better when chocolate and red wine show up on How To Live Longer lists.

Blogger HKW said...

Well, hell, I suppose sex is out too since it cures or accompanies everything on this list. Yeah, even the sour cream.

Blogger Jorge said...

You had me at General Tso's Chicken.

Blogger Sue said...

I felt that way when diagnosed with diabetes... me, a confirmed Pepsi (leaded) addict, chocoholic, and general foodie. It was all bad. Including the alcohol. Including the stress. Including pretty much everything. Bah.

Good luck with it all... I feel for ya.

Blogger Miss Parker said...

I love what you said about smoking. I am right there with you on the topic. I have been trying to quit, and actually went four days without smoking last week, but I don't want to quit. If someone invented a cancer-free cigarette, I'd be all over it. I love smoking; it's glorious. When ex-smokers talk about how it grosses them out now, all I can think is, "You are so full of it. You loooove smoking and would do it right now if you could."

Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

I have the same problem, maybe to a (bit) lesser degree. I was prescribed a few products that changed everything.
If you're interested in what they were, let me know.
No more zits, decreased redness...

Blogger Lisa said...

I keep saying I can quit whenever I want to - it's just that I don't. Now I'm starting to think it's all a lie, that I'm really addicted. Starting to. I plan on postponing freaking out till I actually believe it. Till then...

Cigarettes with rich red wine. Cigarettes with cheap convenience store wine. Cigarettes with beer. Cigarettes with coffee. Oh glorious, glorious death.


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