Back in the old days, you were considered cool if you smoked. Now it’s frowned upon. So much so, that smoking has been banned in restaurants, bars and just about anywhere that is public. You’re lucky if you get to smoke in your own home. Come to think of it, I am not allowed to smoke in my own home. My family won’t allow it. I have become the crazy old woman who sits out on the front porch, puffing away on a cigarette, tucked away in a big blanket or sweating profusely while she watches everyone walking their dogs. Oh, well, at least it’s been a way to meet my neighbors.
Back in the old days, we were shown commercials that glamorized cigarettes. Nowadays, the cigarette commercials have been banned, replaced by commercials telling you how many people have died from cancer and how many more will be diagnosed within the next years. Telling us the dangers of second hand smoke to our families and the people around us. And while I am not trying to minimize cancer, the many deaths from it, the dangers of getting it yourself or giving it to someone else, I sometimes wonder why cigarette commercials have been banned while they still glamorize beer. Prancing horses, dogs, beautiful women and people having fun race across our television screen while they advertise Budweiser, Natural Light, Busch and oh, how could I almost forget my last name…..Miller beer. What’s the difference? Because smoking gives you cancer? Yes, it might and that’s worse than getting cirrhosis of the liver and drowning in your own blood? Please.
I’ve watched family members die from both and I don’t want to die from either of those options. And while I know that lit cigarettes falling into your lap while you’re driving or trying to light one while you drive can cause an accident, if given the option of meeting a car driven by a smoker or a car being driven by someone drinking alcohol, I’ll take my chances against the smoker any day of the week.
Back in the old days, the biggest stars in Hollywood smoked and made it look glamorous. John Wayne. Clark Gable. Katherine Hepburn. Just to name a few. Nowadays, the cool stars don’t smoke…..unless it’s pot. They prefer to take drugs and end up in rehab. Or drink. So much better, don’t you think?
I do realize that I am hurting myself by smoking and have been trying to quit. But it’s so very hard. On the up side, since I’ve passed the age of experimentation with pot, don’t like the taste of beer and have put aside my seldom drank margaritas and daiquiris, I only have two vices. Smoking and swearing. And while swearing can be offensive to some people, it won’t kill you unless you happen to call the wrong person a certain name.
All that aside, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned in my journey to quit smoking.
Top Five Times A Day That You Want A Cigarette So Badly You Think You’d Kill For One:
5. When you’re driving down the road. I put this one last since I don’t drive anymore. I mean, why drive when I have three children who can chauffeur me around? Besides, after having as many wrecks as I’ve had because I’m a terrible driver, I’m a menace to the road and should be forever banned from driving. But that is for another article I should write. How Not To Drive….or maybe….How To Get In A Wreck In 10 Easy Steps. Yes, having my children drive me around is much nicer. Only problem is, or was, that they don’t allow me to smoke in their vehicles.
4 First thing in the morning when the sun is coming up. Or at night when it’s peaceful and all of your family is home for the night, safe and sound. They’re all tucked away in bed and I can sneak outside for a cigarette and soak up the peace and quiet.
3. When you’re watching a really good show or movie. It gets to the scary part, you want a cigarette to take your mind off that girl/guy that’s getting ready to get stabbed to death in a very bloody way. Or if it’s funny, you want to laugh and smoke…..don’t ask me why. And romantic movies…..well, we can all guess when I really, really need a smoke which brings me to…..
2. A tie. It’s between after intimate relations with your partner. Come on, smokers don’t tell me you’re not right there with me on this one! And the other is reading fanfiction on the internet. Now I’m a big Buffy/Angel fanfic reader/writer and I can attest that there are plenty of Spander writers out there that will make you crave a cigarette after reading their, uhm, love scenes. I have to admit that I’ve written a few scenes where I’ve craved one long after my fingers have stopped typing. And my husband wonders why I keep going from the computer to the front porch and back again!
1. After eating. Okay, people, quit shaking your heads. Yes, when I was younger, number 2 would be number 1 and vice versa. However, since I’m old, I eat more than I have sex because you don’t have to exert that much energy to get your fork to your mouth. Also, I can eat in front of my three kids.
Top Five Things My Family Has Learned
5. Don’t ask me if I’m craving a cigarette. I love you guys but what do you think? Do farts stink? Duh!
4. Don’t ask me if I need or want something from the store because you know what the answer is going to be and you won’t like it.
3. Don’t tell me to quit tapping my fingers on the coffee table or shaking my leg up and down because it bugs you. If I can’t smoke, I have to do something with my hands, plus I’m nervous. And besides, I’m going through all of this for them, so they could at least bear with me, right?
2. Don’t come near me for a few minutes during or after the five top times I need a cigarette because I’ll bite your head off!
1. Don’t leave any spare change lying around because I’ll find it, walk to the store while everyone is gone and buy a pack of cigarettes. I won’t take dollar bills or anything higher, that would be stealing and I would never steal from my husband or kids. But change I find in the washer or dryer or lying in their bedroom floors when I’m cleaning their room is fair game. After all, they’re old enough to clean their own rooms or wash their own clothes and if they fail to do that and I have to…well, I figure the change is my pay for being their maid.
Top Five Things That Haven’t Helped Me On My Quest To Stop
5. People reminding me that quitting smoking is for my own good, cause if I had been smart enough to think about that in the first place, I wouldn’t be trying to quit now, would I?
4. People trying to hide my cigarettes and lighter from me. It won’t work because a)it pisses me off and b) I can sniff out a cigarette from yards away. Just picture a pissed off bulldog and you’ll see why number four is a very, very bad idea.
3. Those darn patches. They’re very expensive when you’re poor and they itch for some reason. Besides, if I’m gonna get a dose of nicotine, I’ll go back to cigarettes.
2. Chewing gum. Why? Cavities you ask? Nope. Don’t have to worry about that since I don’t have any teeth. And since I don’t have any teeth, I can’t chew the gum. And don’t point out dentures and that special gum you can chew when you have them. I tried to wear those things and they bugged me so I sat them on my desk. We moved and after that I could never find them again. Maybe he sold them at our yard sale? Whatever, I can’t afford another pair anyway.
1. Trying my parent’s way of quitting smoking. My dad used to suck on peppermints or hard candy when he craved a cigarette. Good idea if you have teeth. And when I’m craving a cigarette I suck on the candy so hard that it ends up sliding down my throat almost whole and I choke. Not good, trading one death for another. And my mom’s way? Keep an unopened pack of cigarettes tucked away in a drawer so you know you could have one if you wanted it badly enough. I just don’t have the self control or will power to do that. It’s like dangling your legs in front of a hungry lion. Not a good idea.
Finally, Five Things That Are Encouraging Me To Quit
5. I don’t cough as much.
4. I can walk a little way or climb a few stairs without gasping for air or collapsing on the couch, which leads to number three….
3. I have more energy to do other things and I honestly feel much better when I don’t smoke. Healthier.
2. I don’t have that smoky smell on me so when I go to give my husband a kiss or to hug my children, they don’t wave their hands in front of themselves and wrinkle up their noses while they tell me I reek of smoke. Funny how you never smell that smell until you quit or are trying to.
1. My family is proud of me for trying and anything that makes them proud of me is worth doing. After all, my family is everything to me.
In conclusion, I hope to live a long life. I have been luckier than my father. I remember he used to always say he just wanted to live long enough to see my sister and I grow up and be happy. He didn’t get that chance. He died when he was only 39 of a heart attack. My sister was 12 and I was 9. He missed out on our first big dance, our first crush, my sister’s prom and her graduation…(I didn’t make it that far but I did get my G.E.D), our marriages, and the worst part of all, he missed getting to know his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and they missed getting to know him. I have attended and cried through all three of my children’s graduations and I’m setting my sights on living long enough to see my children get married, have kids, ask me to babysit so I can spoil my grandchildren and be as happy as my husband and I have been….happier even, because you always want more for your children even if you’ve had the best of everything. I want my grandchildren to get to know me, love me and cherish the moments we had together like my sister’s grandchildren do with her. I don’t want them to get to know me through the stories my children would tell. I’ve tried to explain to my children just how wonderful their grandfather was but it’s just not the same. And besides, I’d be scared how my children would portray me! The hot tempered, nagging mother? Or the mother who they knew loved them with all her heart and would do anything for them even though she made mistakes? I hope I don’t have to worry about that and that God blesses me with many years with my family. That’s why I’m trying to quit smoking Because spending as much time with my family as I can is better than any cigarette ever made. And this time when I quit…..it’s for good.
And to all of you out there who are trying to quit as well, good luck!