The first time I tried smoking I was in 7th grade. It was cold out, and I think maybe our teachers were on strike. There were four of us and we stood in one of the girls back yards, underneath her pea-pod tree, and tried one of her dads hand rolled cigs. He had one of those machines and would roll smokes that looked just like store ones. It was awful. But it was fun. We giggled a lot and even though none of our parents were going to be home for hours we were nervous to get caught.
That said, a few months later, guilt caught up to me and one night I couldn’t take it anymore and I confessed to my mom. She was great about it. I didn’t get in trouble. She pretty much told me that it was normal to want to try things…but not to do it again. You see, my guilt wasn’t totally because I was a complete goodie-two-shoes (which I was for the most part), but in fourth grade, I gave a speech to my class, and I think to my school about how Smoking Stinks. I quoted the TV commercial “You can do your hair. You can do your eyes. But you can’t do a thing with your mouth. Smoking Stinks. Yuck”, I talked about my dad and how long he smoked for, I talked about the teen who smoked down the road, and I even calculated how much my dad spent a year on cigarettes – which was a lot, and caused my mom to be mad at him for about an hour cause she hadn’t ever thought of doing the math. So after the excitement faded from trying that terrible and yet exciting cigarette, I felt like a giant hypocrite. Which unfortunately wasn’t the last time I have had that feeling.
Anyway, I went on to trying it again in Grade 8. For one month that year, I had about 6 cigarettes total. I would tell people, that ‘I smoked for a month in Grade 8,’ like I thought it was cool or something. Which I did. Idiot. In Grade 9 I started to smoke every weekend and sometimes at school. Did you know that all the cute and cool boys smoked? They sure did. And I wanted to be near them. Smoking too. I remember going to this corner store and buying smokes ‘for my dad’ and they cost $3.75. They cost three times that now. Anyway, I went on to gradually increase my smoking habits, until I was in my early 20’s when I would smoke nearly 3/4 a pack a day. Gross. Luckily, towards my later 20’s I got out of the service industry and reduced my smoking completely. That said, I was always a smoker. I’d smoke nearly everyday, and smoke all night at parties. I would even tell people how much I LOVED smoking. What’s that all about?
But then, as I got older, after a night out, the recovery from smoking all night got worse and worse. I’d catch myself wheezing and sounding like my 90 year old grandad. Anyway, somehow in the last three years, I have accidentally quit smoking. I started smoking less and less and I went from saying ‘I wish I didn’t love smoking so much’ and meaning it, to just not smoking. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone cold turkey. One night in the summer I smoked, and another last winter. Because, well, I know myself, and I know that if I tell myself that ‘I can’t have a cig’ I’ll want one and then I’ll have one, and then I’ll be smoking on my way to work again. Chain smoking one after another just because I feel like it.
I’ve also realized from a vanity perspective that I want to delay the signs of aging as long as I can, and I know if I smoke I’ll age faster than chicken in my refrigerator (what?). I also had no idea what it was like to wake up after a night out and not smell like an ashtray. It’s awesome. Now I just smell like a little alcohol and a hint of sweat. I say a hint because I’m a lady, and we all know that ladies only mildly perspire.
So with patio season upon us, I thought maybe I’d write this in hopes to inspire some others to accidentally quit. It’s great FYI. And it saves all kinds of money.