Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Smoke 'Em if You've Got 'Em

I am the grand champion of quitting smoking. I have given up the habit more times than I can count. The problem is that I eventually start again. The excuses are many: stress, a little “slip” while drinking, relaxation, concentration. You name it, I’ve probably used it. And yes, before I go further I know how bad it is for me, how expensive it is, how it sets a bad example for my kids, etc. etc. ad nauseum. You cannot convince me that I need to quit. I already know that I do.

What prompted me to bring this up is the fact that my state is raising cigarette taxes…AGAIN. Bastages. Where does all that money go anyway? The thing is, I enjoy smoking. I really do, though I can’t explain it. Oral fixation maybe? And we’re in the tobacco belt. I can’t imagine what the prices are in places like New York or California. I began smoking rather late in life. When my peers were experimenting with hard-core drugs in college, I was learning to smoke. It started out innocently enough. I would puff on one (I swear, I didn’t inhale!) while drinking. Eventually I found myself wanting one when I was sober. It snowballed from there.

Speaking of not inhaling. I hated Clinton for too many reasons to list here. The worst though had nothing to do with his personality. It was the “President’s Message on Smoking.” I remember it like it was yesterday. Here’s how I became aware that Clinton weighed in on the subject of my addiction:
#1 Son (bounding home from school one day): Hey Mom, you’re going to die.
Me: We’re all going to die someday.
#1 Son: Yeah but you’re going to die soon, the President says so.
Me: He does? How would he know? I wasn’t involved in Whitewater.
#1 Son: Because you smoke. We saw the President’s Message on Smoking today.
Me: Oh yeah? Well, he inhaled! Humph.

C. is a typical man who can quit at the drop of a hat, sort of. He just stops. No physical withdrawal. No crankiness. He just stops. Of course, living with me is hampering his ability to stay smoke-free. I do not smoke in the house. I smoke outside in all kinds of weather. C. & I have found that sometimes stepping out of the madness that is this house affords us some quality time and we enjoy the discussions. Sometimes the temptation to join me is too much.

Me: Are you going to wrap that up to take to lunch tomorrow? (pointing to the leftovers from dinner as I’m walking out the door)
Him: No.
Me: Well what are you going to do for lunch?
Him: I’m going to use the $5 from the lottery tickets I cashed in today. (as he grabs a smoke from my pack)
Me: Why don’t you use that $5 to buy yourself some smokes so you can stay out of mine?
Him: And just what are you using for cigarette money? My paycheck, so AH HA.
Me: I steal from the kids, so AAHH HHAAA.

Karma is a funny thing. His lighter died before he could light the pilfered smoke. Mine worked just fine. So guess who got the last AH HA? He went on to tell me that he isn’t going to buy cigarettes during the week because that would mean he has started smoking again. Well guess what buddy?!

I purchased a book a while back called “How to Stop Smoking Without Gaining Weight.” It’s been sitting on the counter by the back door for a couple of months now. I keep my cigarettes and lighter on top of it.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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