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.