"Hello father, forgive me, it's been 5 months since my last confession and my daughter and I got into a heated discussion this morning as I was driving her to college and some piece of crap deliberately cut me off...My daughter told me that while she thought it was OK to honk at the moron it was not OK to flip him off...I disagree...I feel that you need to combine the two or it's not as effective...thoughts?"
My daughter...did you just give up smoking?
There is not a day that I don't wake up and miss smoking. I haven't smoked in almost 6 months and everyday when I get up, the first thing I think is, "I would sure like a cigarette, followed closely by, "I wonder who I should choke today?"
I didn't take up smoking until my late 40's...imagine that! So yes, while I lived through the golden years of televison cigarette commercials "Winston taste good like a cigarette should," OR (my personal favorite)"I'd rather fight then switch!" None of these commercials ever influenced my decision to take up smoking. (Although years later I developed a fondness for Camels...the Camel "crush" to be extact, or was it "crunch?" I always said it wrong at Walgreens...you light the cigarette, and then crush the menthol...it made a crunch...granted it wasn't worth the seven bucks I usually spent on a pack of them unless they were on sale...but they were far less calories then the bag of Sour Cream and Onion Lay's potato chips's I've replaced them with...and yes, they make a "crunch" when you crush them...in your mouth)
You know what's really wild, back in the 80's when I worked the overnight shift as a nurse aide in the nursing homes, I had a patient who would always get up around 2 or 3 am, come down to the nurses desk, and I would light his cigarette for him. Then I'd say something like "you really shouldn't smoke...they'll kill you." "Well that's what I'm counting on," he'd reply, "I'm 103!" (He was too)
Then four years ago I got a boss who--outside the job, actually like--but as a boss, let's just say our styles didn't "mesh." He drove me crazy, I seemed to annoy him, and it was just a stressful situation. I read all the "how to get along with your boss" crap advice articles they released on Yahoo...guess what? Nothing worked! I developed painful headaches, and just coming into work set off an anxiety attack, until...are you starting to guess where this is leading? One day I noticed the smokers outside the building, some of them my friends, one of them handed me a cigarette, "God Cindy, you look awful, here, smoke this..." (And no, it wasn't pot, it was one of those Newports cigarettes...you know, the stuff the beginners smoke.) Later, I graduated to Pall Malls, they were cheaper then the Newports, but not as enjoyable as the Camels that came a year later. Sure, I tried other brands over the years, but it's the same kind of brand loyalty you have with other products...say, for example Coke or Pepsi, you either like one, or the other.
My favorite cigarette story comes a few months later, when my boss complained that everytime he met with me for a meeting, I gave him a headache (because I smelled like smoke) Well, now the truth can be told, everytime before I met with him, I'd smoke 2 or 3 cigarettes just so I could return the favor. The meetings with him became much shorter, until one day they became nonexistant. I was laid off. (I know what your thinking, but no, not because of the smoking, they decided to voice trak the afternoon shift, they no longer needed a "live" jock.) My stress headaches ended, but the smoking continued.
My kids and husband started nagging me, but it only made it worse. I really felt bad about how badly I use to nag all the smokers--including my own chain smoking dad--I use to nag him the same way my family eventually nagged me, but I can honestly tell you, their nagging only made me want to smoke more. Look, no one wants to hear this but it's true, smoking relieves stress. Sure, it's gonna kill me eventually, just like someday someone nagging me is going to kill them...no threats though...but you tell someone something is unsafe for them long enough, it eventually becomes white noise...that is if white noise sounds like blah, blah, blah...
Just recently, the health Nazis recently targeted hot dogs as unsafe for human consumption, arguing that hot dogs should have warning labels on their packaging! And you know how well warning labels work...just look what they've done for cigarettes! Honestly, you could put a warning label on hot dogs that show the "dog" holding a gun while smoking a cigarette, and I'd still be looking for the ketchup and mustard.
Look, the one point I want to make is this...I don't have one. If you see me with a cigarette standing outside puffing away in a blinding snowstorm, resist the urge to say something like "those are going to kill you someday." Because you just don't what mood I might be in...and your day may be sooner then mine.
I'll wrap this up with my dad...my sweet, kind, chain-smoking dad...a few weeks ago I was in the emergency room with my dad when the nurse asked my dad "so how many cigarettes do you smoke?" My dad says "1-3' and the nurse goes "cigarettes?" To which my dad answered "packs...1-3 packs" (a day)..."But it's OK, their filtered..."
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