Friday, August 9, 2013

You Can't Make Me Smoke....but do you have an extra one?

As a reformed smoker, I was happy when the world had its little paradigm shift away from indoor smoking.  It was extremely difficult to go to a bar, have a beer, and NOT smoke.  Dare I say, impossible?  At least it was for me.  I could have avoided the bar scene.  But then there was the smoking in restaurants, on patios, at the ice cream shop, at the mall, it was everywhere.  ...and who am I kidding? Avoid the bar scene?!

 That bit has gotten easier since I have had kids.  Turns out, having two small people at the bar with you that can unexpectedly leak out of an orifice, isn't particularly sexy.

It's still difficult for me to not smoke when I'm around smokers, even though it has been more than a decade since I quit.

I love Japanese signs!

I enjoyed smoking.  More importantly, I looked cool doing it.  I had a friend, and this is way back in high school mind you, that I would do smoking tricks with.  I would inhale from my cigarette, then we would lock lips and I would exhale as he inhaled what I was blowing out.  Then he would blow out my smoke.  ...what isn't cool about that? (I know, pretty much everything...)  I could also 'French inhale', which I'm not sure is a real thing, but in high school, it was an art. (consequently, I looked it up, and it is a real thing.  I was going to post a picture of it, but they all look horribly disgusting, which makes me think perhaps I wasn't so cool in high school.  Depression is setting in.)

So here's my point in all this drivel... we ex smokers need the equivalent of AA.  And since I'm the one creating this group, it's going to be named something like Anonymous Smoking Secession.  And our meetings will be in a hospital room filled with oxygen tanks and trachea stomas.

But seriously, when I meet someone that trusts me enough to let me know that they once were an alcoholic, and have been in AA for x number of years, I am in awe.  That's more impressive than figuring out how to stay married.  It's more impressive than climbing Mt. Everest.  More impressive that becoming a CEO at 20.  I could go on and on.  I look at the person with a little more respect.  I think that's most people's reaction.  Mostly because we all know how hard it would be for us to quit anything.  And I could never imagine hearing someone say 'oh c'mon, quitting was silly, here, have a shot on me..'  What I expect to hear is 'wow, that's awesome!'

But smoker's, we are a heartless breed.  We thrive on each other's weaknesses, because it makes us feel less horrible for being the last holdouts.  I say 'we' because I have been that person.  I have been the one that leaves classroom during break and makes the long trek to the smoker's section that is out in the sticks.  I have been the person that holds out my pack with a twinkle in my eye and says to the ex smoker, 'oh, come out with don't have to smoke, just keep me company.' The entire time knowing that I have hooked another one to do the deed with me.  Because what is the harm of having just one smoke?  And just so that I am confident in my portrayal of the black hole that smokers use to suck in our victims, I was attacked in such a way JUST last evening!

I stayed strong.  I said I can't come out to the smokers area because I would want a smoke.  And she said 'that's ok, you can have one of mine.'

It was very sweet.  In a 'I'll wait until tomorrow morning to murder you' kind of a way.

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