Lots of folks make New Year’s resolutions and fail to keep them, including me. A while back I failed to keep a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking. The reason? Teenagers. At that time, I had three, so I really needed my cigarettes.
For example, if I sent my son to the supermarket in my car for something, he’d return home hours later empty-handed with only fumes left in the gas tank.
Besides screaming at him, I grabbed my cigarettes. Then there was the bedroom my daughters shared that remained a disaster for three weeks until I had a mother meltdown and dumped everything from their closet and dresser drawers, along with the mattress from their bed onto a pile in the middle of the room and told them if they wanted to live in a mess it should be a real mess. While they finally cleaned their room, I smoked a bunch of cigarettes.
My girls and I also had “wardrobe" issues. Sandals in the snow (I don’t think so), low-cut camisole tops, miniskirts (that according to them “everyone is wearing”) and jeans that only came up to their hips leaving tummies exposed. If I had dressed like some teenagers dress when I went to St. Michael’s High School I would have been expelled. My son’s jeans weren’t much better. Grandpa gave him a pair of suspenders as a joke. He didn’t laugh.
On weekends my teens would sleep into the afternoon if I let them. I didn’t, but weekend afternoons at my house weren’t a pretty picture. And while homework, chores or conversations with their dad and me were rare occurrences, most of their at-home time was spent in front of the television, at the computer or plugged into something. I smoked lots of cigarettes.
Gradually my “terrible teens” evolved into actually pleasant youths. Now finally I would be able to quit smoking. I was even hopeful I could quit without gaining any weight. Some people chew gum when they quit smoking to keep from overeating. I didn’t like that idea. I decided to chew on a button instead (It’s a long story). I went through lots of buttons, finally breaking a tooth. That made my dentist happy. He sent me a very large bill.
Buttons were too costly an option I decided, so I next started drinking lots of diet soda. Diet soda has no calories, therefore I didn’t gain any weight, but I ended up with severe diarrhea and a not so lovely companion rash on my lower end. This time I made a doctor happy. Quitting smoking was supposed to save you money, but I was spending a lot of money and I still hadn’t been able to quit smoking.
There was only one alternative left – eating, and it worked. I finally did quit smoking. Unfortunately I went up a dress size; everything tasted so good. Still I’d rather be a bit heavier than the size 8, smoking mother of my three used-to-be terrible teens.
Carol Kloskowski is a resident of Elburn. Feedback on this column can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.