Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Hunt for My Vice

For those that follow Inklings' facebook page, you know that almost a month ago, I quit smoking, which left me with virtually no vices.

Yay for me, getting my health in check and all, and setting a good example for my kids, but honestly, I'm upset about not having a vice anymore.

Vices make you feel naughty, feel alive, feel like you have a secret that only you and a few close to you know about, feel like an adult. And I'm talking 'acceptable' vices, not the type that can get you put in jail or put on a list for the rest of your life.

So, I kid you not, I set out to find my vice.

I started by looking up the actual, legit definition of the word (I wanted to make sure I had it correct, so my search would be successful, and, well, I'm a nerd):

vice: (n) An immoral, wicked or evil habit or practice.

Okay, great starting point. Let's consider the obvious...

I didn't smoke anymore, so that was off my list. Drinking for me consisted of 1 glass of wine every month maybe, so I'm pretty sure that couldn't count as a vice. I don't pop pills, don't smoke, snort or inject any other type of drug, so those are out. I've watched porn in my life, but considering I have a Hubby 2000 miles away and share a room with my sister, that's not really an option. Hell, sex isn't even a vice on my list in my current situation.

I cuss. Does that count? I cuss a lot, actually. Moreso than the average woman, because, well, I work in a male dominated industry. I've had to hold my own over the years, and with that comes the ability to grow a thick skin and speak their language.

I started to get a little happier. Cussing. Cussing is my vice.

Damn, that's a lame vice. Seriously.

So, my brain shifted to things that are 'normal', but because of the manner in which they are performed, could make them a vice. (Did I mention before that I'm a nerd... and a hell of a debater... I can argue just about anything, quite logically if I do say so myself.)

Do I overeat? Nope. I like my food, don't get me wrong, but it's not a vice for me. Do I gamble excessively? I buy a scratch off ticket every blue moon, and of course put $40 on the $600 million MegaMillions lottery drawing last week, but that's about it.

Oh my gosh, I was getting frustrated now. My only vice can't be cussing.

I looked into religious vices (of several different religions), not covered in the list I had gone through above. Pride, jealousy, anger, slander, laziness, blasphemy, greed, lying... seriously? Pride, jealousy, anger, slander,  and lying were all addressed by me over years of therapy and dysfunctional relationships that caused me to change things I didn't like about myself. Laziness? I'm a working mom of 2 kids... even my lazy days aren't lazy. And blasphemy? Well, considering my spiritual beliefs encompass an entire range of religious systems, but I don't hurt anyone in what I do believe, and I don't go around telling everyone else they are wrong, then I'm good on the blasphemy thing, too.

That left me with greed. Again, the nerd in me looked up greed:

greed: (n) Intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.

At that moment, I had an eye opening flashback (just like in the movies when the person realizes they saw the killer hiding behind the curtain and could finally make out their face, just to see it was really themselves holding the knife... or something like that) of my trip to Barnes and Noble this past weekend.

We were getting ready to leave, when I saw a book about helping moms to budget money. I picked it up, started flipping through it, and it seemed to be a pretty damn good book. I flipped it over... $15. Shit. My book buying consisted of girly fiction novels off the bargain book table, not full priced books. So, I put the book down and began walking to the front of the store. We got in line, and my eye started to twitch.

I need that book. Seriously, it had that whole chapter on when to buy things for the kids, like clothes and stuff, to help save money. I need to know that.

My pulse started to rise as the customer at the counter finished their transaction and the line moved forward.

It was only $15. The money I'd save after reading that book is worth the $15 I'd spend on it.

I broke a small sweat as the person in front of me approached the counter to purchase their books.

I'm going to regret not getting it. I'm going to get home, not be able to get this book off of my mind, and head back out to the store just to get it. I'd be saving myself money just buying it now, and then I can rest.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I stepped out of the line, walked all the way to the back of the store, picked the book up off of the table, and breathed a sigh of relief. The book was mine, and all was right with the world now. As I proceeded to the front check out, my pulse lowered, I stopped sweating, and my mind was quieted.

I purchased my $15 book, along with 2 bargain table books, and a book for each of my kids. No guilt, no 'Shit, I shouldn't have spent that money', just pure happiness and calmness that I was walking out of the door with the budgeting book.

This all played through my mind after I looked up the definition of 'greed', and the lightbulb came on.

Shopping is my vice. More specifically, shopping for books.

The thought of walking out of B&N without that budgeting book that day actually caused me stress and anxiousness. Here it is, 3 days later, and have I even read the book yet? The introduction, yes, but that's it.

My mind suddenly flashed to all of those reality shows I love watching- Hoarders, Obsessed, My Strange Addiction... and all the talk those therapists on those shows do about addictions (vices) and how they make you feel when you have to stop them. I was no where near as bad as, say, the woman who was addicted to working out for 6-8 hours a day, or that guy that bought every little clown statue he ever saw and had them sitting, floor to ceiling, in 3 rooms of his house, but I related on a small level to them.

Oh, thank the heavens above, my search was done.

I am a cusser addicted to buying books.

Are these vices going to harm me or my family? Seriously doubt it. And, are they really that bad? In the grand scheme of things, no. But, do they calm the little voice in the back of my head that says, 'Damn, you are a boring person who has no fun or secrets at all.'? Yes, they do.

Hmph. Maybe I should have taken into account the voices in the back of my head that say mean things to me, and how I argue with them, as being a vice. Nahhh, my cussing and obsessive book buying are fine for now...

And shit... I'm covered in tattoos. I feel like an idiot, seriously.

Apparently 'can't see the obvious' needs to be added to my vice list, too, damn it.

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  1. I don't think having tattoos is a vice - sorry. Doesn't fly.
    My ice is tea. I know this is weak but there you have it.

    1. Damn, I tried with the tattoo thing, lol.

      If you can claim tea, I'm claiming coffee.

      And, is your vice weak, or your tea? Hehehe, sorry, the nerd in me came out again, lol.

  2. Does reading YA fiction count as a vice? It can definitely be uncomfortable to be the only person in the YA section who isn't a teenager...

    If not, I can definitely jump on the "owns too many books" vice bandwagon. I have 12+ boxes in storage, and four tall bookcases crammed full in my home... But hey, I plan to be a librarian someday, so I consider all the time spent reading an investment in my future career. (Or at least that's the excuse I give myself.)

  3. I think it would count, though if it does, you won't be the only adult hanging out in the YA section, lol. I enjoy reading them because they are quick reads- I can get through one in a day, lol.

    In my defense, I did used to own a store, and had a reference section of books behind the counter... I think that's where the book hoarding began for me. So, I totally accept your librarian reasoning. =)