DLD and I have challenged each other to a bad habit cessation duel. I started writing up a formal contract… 21 days ago. Because God only knows how long it was going to take me to write it, we started the challenge before I finalized the contract. I valiantly wrestled my smoking monkey for about 24 hours and DLD valiantly wrestled his falling-asleep-in-front-of-the-TV monkey for about four hours. Since then, we have each tried with varying and inconsistent successes in kicking our respective monkeys. So it was back to the drawing board!
I got the writing a contract idea from Oprah’s “Best Life Diet – Best Life Contract with Myself”, but I ended up perverting it beyond all recognition. The last sentence in her agreement is, “I realize this contact is solely with myself and that it carries no rewards, penalties or punishments other than those associated with the reflection of the strength of my character”. I don’t think so, Opes – that’ll never ever work. That self-determination, among many other reasons, is why your net worth is $2.9 billion and mine… isn’t. But self-determination has nothing to do with overcoming whatever plagues you. The very spirit in which my and DLD’s contract is intended is to acknowledge that we absolutely cannot do this solely by ourselves. We’re using the 12 Steps as a model: knowing that probably no human power could have relieved our fixations, and then committing ourselves to our primary purpose, which is to stay <something healthy> and to help others achieve <something healthy>. Being accountable to and supported by someone you love makes quitting a very bad and very old habit bearable, and maybe even possible. And what’s this business about “no rewards”? More like “no fun”! No penalties or punishments? We LOVE penalties and punishments! (More on this later – see contract). This “Best Life Diet Contract” sounds like it kind of shames people into skinny. Failure to smack down whatever misery you’re battling has diddly, zilch, zip to do with your strength of character. Sheeeeesh! This kind of ultimatum practically begs someone to mainline a double-deep-fried Baked Alaska then throw themselves off the roof of Harpo Industries. Shame on you, Oprah. And now that I am spending way too much time considering this, I’m surprised Oprah would support such a sinister and threatening contract. She may want to consider a 12-step program herself. There must be one for overeating, right? Hmm. Nothing is coming to mind.
DLD and I originally made a wager. If he fell asleep in front of the TV, he’d give me $50. If I smoked, I’d give him $25. (We agreed to a scale – I’m barely working, remember?) The money part got laughed out of consideration for inclusion into the terms of the agreement – we’d just end up swapping cash from my sweaty, unemployed hand into DLD’s lifeless hand (lifeless from lack of sleep). The other snag we immediately got caught in is that one of us (which one slipped first is irrelevant) fell asleep/smoked before the other, hence giving the other permission to fall asleep/smoke (which one slipped last is irrelevant) and revise the start date. So there was really no incentive other than having the privilege of being smug for a little while, which isn’t very nice. All that this confusion managed to do was obliterate the entire purpose of the challenge, which is to be happy and healthy and live a long life being bright-tailed, bushy-eyed, and smelling like a girl, and helping a friend do the same. Except he’d smell like a boy, not a girl. He’s going to smell the same as he does now – which is sort of like a combo of turf and juice – no matter what happens. I’m going to smell like a girl. Or at least not like smoke.
We decided to make the challenge for 40 days and 40 nights. I don’t remember why it’s 40. I think it has something to do with Jesus. Or the Israelites. Or something.
Sooooooooooo without further confusion and procrastination, here’s the contract!… which DLD is invited to clarify or to straighten shit out in the comments or something…
40 days and 40 nights C&C Super Smoking Cessation and Sound Sleeping Challenge, Commitment, and Consequences Contract
The 40 days and 40 nights C&C Super Smoking Cessation and Sound Sleeping Challenge, Commitment, and Consequences Contract (“40/40CCSSCSSCCCC”) between Slushkitty (“SK”) and Darlie like Darling (“DLD”) will commence on the morning of Monday, the eighteenth day of August two thousand fourteen, and will end on the night of Friday, the twenty-sixth day of September two thousand fourteen.
The challenge for SK is to secure her rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of having nice-smelling hair, lungs, and mouth.
SK hereby commits to quit smoking. She will cease the inhalation of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanides, ammonia, as well as any of the other 4000 deeeelicious chemical compounds – 69 of which are known to cause cancer – and the trace amounts of tobacco and nicotine found in cigarettes or created by the burning of cigarettes. Regardless of the precipitant(s) of the craving, which include but are not limited to: physical addition, social awkwardness, emotional distress, boredom, habit, anxiety, excuses/opportunities to be close to cute boy smokers, escape from work (when applicable), obsession, motivation to get out of bed, she will abstain from smoking as evidence of her commitment to herself – and, by way of this contract, to DLD – to live and enjoy a long and healthy life.
The rewards that SK will earn for quitting smoking include, but are in no way limited to: zip, zest, wealth, health, extended life expectancy, calm, increased energy, wrinkle prevention, whiter teeth, prettier skin, easier breathing, reduced irritability, peace of mind, self respect, respect of others, smelling better, increased work productivity (when applicable), prevention of puppies stepping on my burning cigarette butts, prevention of an inevitable smokers’ cough, a savings of approximately $296 per month, $3558 per year, elimination of litterbuggerness, decreased homicidal ideations when flying the friendly skies, prevention of house fires, prevention of forest fires, prevention of ashtray fires, fewer dirty looks from non-smokers, ending being the incarnation of Pigpen in a cloud of dirt and ash, fewer dirty looks from ex-smokers, less annoying to others, and not flying into rage and/or hysteria upon realization that my pack is empty and the store is closing in 3…2…1.
The consequence for violating 40/40 CCSSCSSCCCC by smoking cigarettes, including drags of cigarettes, is a ban on Facebook for any purpose in any way for the four days following the violation.
DARLIE LIKE DARLING:
The challenge for DLD is to secure his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a good mood. I kid. It is to secure his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a restful night sleep with sweet dreams of Slushkitty and bunnies and ice cream cones and rainbows.
DLD hereby commits to turning off the TV, getting off the floor and into bed, and calling to check in with Amanda by 10:00 pm Monday-Friday, and by 11:00 Saturday and Sunday. Regardless of the precipitant(s) of the desire to stay on the floor, which include but are not limited to: fear of the dark, fear of being alone, depression, believing life is too scary, feelings are too scary, sweet sweet numbness, repression, feelings of any kind, obsession, false sense of escape, fear of being alone late at night with nothing to do, thinking it’s not worth it – never has been, never will be, doing God’s will isn’t worth it – never has been, never will be, delusions that he has never been committed to recovery, believing changing anything makes no difference, he will begin and maintain his healthy nighttime routine as evidence of his commitment to himself – and, by way of this contract, to SK – to live and enjoy a long and peaceful life.
The rewards that DLD will earn for getting off the floor and into bed include, but are in no way limited to: everything. Every area of life will open up, come alive, and exponentially improve socially, professionally, psychically, gastrointestinally, spiritually, mentally, and sexually; acid reflux will be reduced, while memory, sex life, libido, studliness will be increased. He will feel younger. He will love and care for others in an honest way. He will also never have to look like this again:
can you actually get black eyes from insomnia???
The consequence for violating 40/40 CCSSCSSCCCC for DLD sleeping on the floor with the TV on is a ban on watching TV for the entire day following the violation. Wish us luck! Keep us in your thoughts, please…