I am trying to quit smoking, but it’s proved to be harder than killing Rasputin. My job is very stressful – as is my current living situation – and more often than not, the fiascoes that accompany me on a day-to-day basis drive me to seek solace in “just one more” cigarette. To make matters worse, I find nicotine gum disgusting and the patch is too expensive for me right now. I know I need to quit, but it’s hard to find a way to do it short of abandoning my job and moving to a remote cabin the mountains, away from anything that could potentially aggravate me enough to make me want to smoke. Are there any tricks I can use to fight the craving without drastically changing the rest of my life?
Sincerely, Black-lunged and Boondoggled
Dear Black-lunged and Boondoggled,
The first step at tackling this is to pinpoint the triggers of your Marlboro malfeasance. Each smoker usually has very specific ones, whether it be a stiff job or a stiff drink. But you just said it yourself, buddy: You’re surrounded by stress, and your aggravators come in spades. It’s pretty tough to grab the bull by the horns if you’re trying to grab said horns right after the ass has been slapped. So what do you got to do? Calm it down a bit. Sing it a song. You have to alter your routine and schedule somehow to make it less burdensome and at the same time find some way to alleviate your stress without resorting to a stick of nicotine. It’s 2011: There are thousands of different meditations, beneficial hobbies and alternative stress reducing tactics, so pick some and have at ‘em. Doesn’t work? Try some others; keep yourself busy relaxing instead of busy being pissed off by the world. Also, it helps if you’re not around fellow tobacco tasters when your cravings start to peak, and keep your friends privy on what you’re going through – they won’t dog on you for it and might be of some help. Once you rearrange your routine and sink your shoulders down a bit, the dust will settle – along with the smoke.
My best friend is getting married in May and hasn’t asked me to be a bridesmaid. We’ve known each other for a long time, and we got each other through the awkward experiences of junior high and high school group dating. I’m so disappointed. Should I talk to her about it or just leave it alone and let her enjoy being a bride?
Sincerely, Wannabe Bridesmaid
Dear Wannabe Bridesmaid,
Awkward is as awkward does – asking her directly about this will result in nothing but that. Look, it’s not like she slipped up and forgot you. She’s a woman getting married, so you can bet every meticulous detail of it has spent copious amounts of time on her mind whilst strategizing everything like a military general in a war room. She probably has a good reason set in her mind on why she didn’t recruit you. Yeah, you guys might have been the Lone Ranger and Tonto amongst the inelegant dating circles of high school, but what about all the other situations that didn’t involve awkward dating? You can only ask her who she has in mind for the lineup of being her bridesmaids and can’t really push further from there. If there is anything to be known, then she will let you know. Other than that, as hard it is to hear, you just have to move on. Bear in mind, this is her big day – not yours.