The nyc laws put in place to make me a better, healthier person tend to have the wrong effect on me. In economics class, we probably would have called this something fancy and dire, like unintended negative consequences.
A classic example: after the city passed a smoking ban in bars and raised the cigarette taxes drastically, I stopped being a occasional smoker, bumming drags and half cigarettes from friends. Instead, I became a smoker who bought and carried a pack at all times. Who wants to be the person who sits in the bar guarding the coats while the fun kids go outside to smoke & flirt? And with cigarettes costing the better part of a ten dollar bill, who feels comfortable bumming one without spending at least 15 bantering moments with a potentially troll-like person?
The new branded condoms -- the ones given out in every single bar -- are unbelievably appealing to me. Not because I have plans to use them. Sadly, no; there are no plans. No: It's the free that gets me. And so I've been taking them by the dozen, much like I scoop up handfuls of those dreadful diner mints, the ones that are suspiciously gummy on the inside, and chalky on the outside.
I'm addicted to the free.
But here's the part where the consequences get unintentionally negative. I've taken so many -- greedy, unnecessary handfuls -- that they're everywhere. I lend a friend a purse, and she reaches in to stash her lipstick and wallet, and then glances up, smirking. I put my hand in my back pocket at a party (of course, while flirting with a boy) only to pull out the distinctive package. Even at work, I fear opening up desk drawers in front of coworkers.
Any day now, I assume my roommate will come home to find me chugging a gallon bottle of trans fats.