I am the worst kind of reformed smoker. It has taken me years....I mean YEARS to finally let it go. It wasn't only a habit, but a treat. A treat, a gift, a release, an enjoyment. Smoking was something I looked forward to every morning, every day, every night. Wait. Let me start from the beginning. I can only tell it like is for me if you have the entire story. I'll be quick with it, I promise.
My grandmother smoked. She was like the Olympic Champion of smoking. When I was kid, I had more cigarette burns on my arm from running into her cigarette (other than my siblings and cousins). She kept this giant aloe plant for just such an occasion, too. If we went somewhere with her in her giant Oldsmobile, she would light up when we got in the car and we'd have to ask her to crack the window. If she was alone in the car, I feel certain that she never thought to roll down the window. Oddly enough, this woman died of old age and I've heard that there was not a trace of cancer in her lungs, but I'm certain the beginnings of emphysema.
7th grade--I took one of my mom's cigarettes and hid it in my room. I don't know how long, but one day after school, I slipped out onto the ledge of my bedroom window and lit it. I felt....glamorous. I felt...like an adult. I felt....important. I felt....sick. Yuck! This thing is disgusting.
9th grade--My best friend and I started smoking. Her older sister smoked...hell, everybody smoked. It was the 80's. It was our freshman year of high school and we needed to be cool. Smoking made us cool. We smoked Marlboro Reds, but to say we "smoked" was kind of funny. I remember sitting at tower four at school (because yes, you could smoke at school back then) with my friend JC. He was teaching us how to properly smoke. You know, inhale. It wasn't long after learning to inhale that I quickly switched to a "lighter" brand.
|Photo Courtesy of TV ACRES|
I quit on and off through the years. I'd give my lungs a break. I mean, even through my 20's you could still smoke in bars and restaurants. Heck this is NC and we were the LAST hold-out to ban smoking. Within the last year or so (maybe longer because I'm not one to know the date of the last puff I've taken), I finally said no to smoking. I feel better than I've felt in a long time. I exercise regularly. Well, regularly enough to think I can
Which brings me to the reason for the post. **If you know me in person, you know that that was the quick version to get to this point.** Lately, anytime I walk out the front door of my office or across a parking lot and I smell cigarette smoke, I think, "how rude." Which snowballs into thoughts like, "why can't this person smoke at home? I don't want to smell that crap." At work, people who don't smoke in the designated areas grind my gears the most. These areas are far away from the entrances, yet some smokers will light up right outside the door and smoke as they walk out to the smoking area or worse,walk three feet from the door and stand there on their phone while they smoke.
The worst offenders are those who smoke in their cars. At work, this is not the designated area. Out at Target, or anywhere else for that matter, it's just annoying. If I'm parked next to you and your car is puffing up smoke like it's on fire, you are receiving tiny daggers that are being thrown from me while I hold my breath to get in the car.
All of these deranged thoughts are coming from someone who used to smoke.....everywhere. Someone who did not give a crap that you non-smokers didn't want to smell it. Someone who thought she might never go out to a bar or restaurant again when they banned smoking indoors. Someone who spent the most part of her young adulthood puffing away on a Vantage Ultra Light.
So you see, I am the worst type of reformed smoker.
I know this is a touchy subject for many. Smoking...love it or hate it? How do you feel about public smoking?
Happy Oscar Sunday, y'all!