Nov 19, 2009

The Good Old Days (puff) (puff)

MSN has informed me that today is the “Great American Smokeout”. I would argue that the “real” Great American Smokeout is at my father’s house every other Saturday when he and his cronies get together to play poker. It’s loads of fun to play poker with them but if you’re bothered by second hand smoke you should steer clear. A two block radius would be best.

It used to be worse. A few years ago six of the seven regular players smoked. These days it’s down to three out of seven. My husband and I are two of the ex-smokers. We both quit a little over two years ago.

The Great American Smokeout doesn’t make me want to extol the virtues of being a non-smoker. It just reminds me how much I miss smoking. I loved smoking. Nothing compares to the first drag off of a cigarette. Light it up, inhale deeply and exhale the smoke along with a satisfied sigh. It was like a reward. (Yes, I know it was that insidious little drug nicotine that made it so nice, but there’s no arguing that it WAS nice, drug induced or not.) It also kept me 20 pounds lighter than I currently am, with no effort on my part. I’m all about effortless.  (I'd love to lay the other 20 additional pounds at the doorstep of my quitting but that just wouldn't be fair since I had those before I quit.)

I know some of you are thinking to yourselves... If you loved it so much why’d you quit? The biggest reason was the constant grief I got from my children. I didn’t like looking weak in their eyes. I also hated feeling like a rat looking for a hole to crawl into every time I tried to light up in public. It was an expensive habit and was getting more expensive every year. I had a bad smoker’s cough that I wasn’t able to get rid of. Friends and family said they could find me in a crowd just by listening for my cough. Combine all these things with watching my mother-in-law die from emphysema and it was enough to make me quit.

The thing that keeps me from starting again is not wanting to go through the battle of quitting again. I quit once before back in the 90’s. Then I got a new stressful job so I started smoking one or two a cigarettes a day just to calm down at the end of the day. In no time at all I was back to a pack a day. Then it took me eleven years to quit again.

For now I am content to be a non-smoker. But I have plans to take it up again when I’m in my 70's. By that time I’ll be retired and hope to be all sassy and “I’ don’t give a damn!” about everything. How can I play bingo and sit at the blackjack table without a cigarette in my hand? When I do take it up again I will buy my first pack on the Great American Smokeout day.   Just to mess with 'em.


  1. I can only comment on this subject on somebody else's blog..
    I live with people that go into mass hysteria if I light up within a hundred feet of them,what with all that detrimental 2nd hand health crap and all..
    Meanwhile, won't find them less that 2 feet from their popcorn,and ice cream,and sodas,and pie,and bacon,and potato chips,and candy bars,and Vicodin,and gravy,and sausages,and the paralyzing fear that they might actually have to WALK two blocks to the corner store to stock up on all of the above!

  2. About that starting back up in your 70's...just know that the new consequence may be less visits from your grandchildren or great grandchildren :(

    Good point Sling. Europeans smoke like mad but make up for it with a healthier diet and increased exercise.

  3. I never mom dad smoked cigars. I have asthma. I do agree with sling however....everyone has their vice...mine was bacon...I take 3 blood pressure pills and red yeast rice for my cholesterol. When I'm 5 years, sniff....I'm gonna eat a pound of bacon all by myself.

  4. when i get old I will do whatever I want. Oh wait, I already do whatever i want.

  5. I could only read this post until exactly the part where you started getting into the reasons why you quit.

    I smoke. I'm courteous. I wouldn't mind cutting back. And that's it.

    I only have one friend who lectures and, of course, he fails to notice that I don't lecture HIM about being a lawyer, suburbanite or neocon. (ooh. Not so true on the last one.)

    The open lectures, though, seem to me way easier to tolerate than the occasional wailing 'Ooooh, we worry about you.' So far, I haven't found a good reply to that. I think it's nothing but melodrama, but one can't really say that, can they?

    Anyway, I like your poster, too!

  6. Sling - I always swore I would never become one of those sanctimonious non-smokers. Acting as if smoking makes you weak. I would argue that potato chips are a hell of a lot easier to give up than cigarettes. They are the weak ones.

    Miss E (Mrs. C) - You know I wouldn't smoke around the beautiful grandchildren coming my way. I'll make them go in the garage when I light up ;-)

    Rosemary - I could eat five pounds of bacon, easily. Then I will to light up a nice after dinner cigarette.

    Mom - Lucky you doing whatever you want. You'll have to figure out something else to add to your reportoire (sp?).

    Booda - Oh, I am so jealous of those that still smoke. If you had read further you would have learned that I plan on taking it up again someday. When my hair is blue and I spend my entire day doing exactly what pleases me. And to Sling's point, it is melodrama. Nobody every tells you to put down that burger or to stop salting your food. Shouldn't concern be universally applied?

  7. When Don gave up 20plus years ago it was dreadful being in the house with him for two weeks like that...till it eased. I remember arriving home with the girls in the car, after school and they asked me how their dad was...and I just said "wirra wirra" which they knew to tread very warily which they did and me too...surely you weren't that bad...

  8. MC - I can only guess that "wirra wirra" means something like "if you value your life, steer clear". That's exactly how I felt when I quit. Like I wanted to rip somebody's head off.

  9. Wow, great post! Love your poster, too. I just quit, starting in July, and I had a whole bunch of ambivalence about it, too. (There is nothing to quite replace it, is there?)

    My soon-to-be husband was quitting with me until week 7, when he just said to hell with it.

    Good for you for quitting and not becoming sanctimonious. That's the worst. After going through the hell of quitting, I've accumulated quite a list of folks I'd love to slap if I ever decide I'm through being socially acceptable.

  10. Meredith - Congratulaions on quitting. Non-smokers really don't understand what they are asking of us when they push us to give it up.