When Stacey and I found out we were having a baby we were both full time, pack and a half-2 pack a day smokers. We found out on thanksgiving night. She very quickly cut back, and within 2 weeks she had quit totally and hasn’t smoked since. She did it cold turkey with no help other than will power. Since she has a baby growing inside of her I imagine that was enough of a reason to stop. She misses smoking though but I don’t think she’ll start again after our son is born. I told her I would quit eventually. I’ve been pushing it back and not really wanting to but knowing I should. She hasn’t really complained at all about the fact I still smoke and for some reason still likes the smell. At one point in time I was 3-4 pack a day but that was when I was with a life sucking ogre.
The thing about smoking is that it’s really the only bad vice I have. I rarely drink and don’t do any drugs. I’d rather smoke cigarettes than smoke weed and be a stoned asshole for part of the day. There are worse things I could be doing than smoking cigarettes and maybe that’s how i justify it. For as much as people talk about the addiction of smoking…I just really like smoking. I enjoy it. I enjoy doing it and I don’t and never have felt bad about doing it.
However the world we live in now is largely an anti-smoking one at least in the USA and we smokers have to sit in the back of the proverbial bus. We are made to feel like we are outcasts; lepers of society. It’s ironic since (in some areas) we are supposed to tolerate people smoking weed in public and we all have to tolerate drunk people in public. In Michigan you can’t smoke indoors at bars, restaurants or even coffee shops and it’s been like that for a few years now. I spend a lot of my spare time at coffee shops and a diner and can’t smoke inside. I smoke less since I don’t feel like going outside every 5 minutes especially when it is cold. I don’t know call it me being lazy or call it old age. The cold doesn’t bother me and never has it just annoys me now. I don’t spend a lot of time with smokers unless I’m with my dad or my friend Andrew. I’m a lonely smoker.
I stopped enjoying going to bars, even socially when I could no longer smoke in them. For me I just didn’t see the point since I don’t much enjoy drinking. I find most beer repulsive. I look at beer drinkers in probably the same light nonsmokers look at smoker’s I guess. Except I don’t tell them they can’t drink beer. Socially though, when it comes to smoking the places I can do it are getting fewer and fewer. When my niece was born almost 9 years ago she didn’t see me smoke at all until she was about 4. I didn’t do it where she could see me. I just didn’t think it was right. The older she got though the harder it was to hide. In general now I am relegated to smoking in my car or the garage for the post part. With a baby on the way even the car will be off limits very soon regardless. I would never smoke anywhere near or around my son, so if my car doesn’t smell like smoke for him the better is it I think. But I still like smoking….
Maybe this is just the way of things, the evolution of humanity perhaps. The smokers are getting pushed out by the health conscious nonsmokers even though smokers have been around for a few thousand years now and have done ok. Maybe we have to be more like them so we are socially accepted. Maybe we have to follow THEIR rules of how we should live so THEY feel better about the world and more in control of it which is really want they want. Maybe we are changing by force instead of necessity. Maybe women should stop wearing hair product since I hate the way it smells and men should stop wearing deodorant because it causes cancer and the world can hold hands and sing fucking kumby-fucking-yah or some shit.
I used to have a lot of friends who smoke. Now I have more friends that are ex-smokers or just occasional smokers than I do full time smokers. Maybe that is what is the hardest for me. Up until now some of the best memories in my life I smoked during and this is the start of a new life that makes me nervous. I think of the old days when friends of mine like Luke, verb, , maaike, Brian, Matt and a few others would sit at the diner talking, playing cards, smoking and drinking coffee until the wee hours of the morning. We would talk about work, tattoos, motorcycles, politics, hopes and dreams, traveling and how much our families annoyed us. Most of my friend are parents now which is normal since i am older than all of them at 35.
Maybe I feel like the last of dying breed in an odd way. I know i’m not in general but in my small group of important people…i am. Maybe I feel like this country song by Hank Williams “All my rowdy friends (have settled down)”.
Despite all of my love for smoking and everything I said above, I love Stacey more. I made her a promise and I don’t want to let her down. She did something amazing in quitting smoking and I am so proud of her for that. She wasn’t afraid she just…did it. I’m not quitting because I want to, I’m not quitting because society says I should. I’m not quitting because people think it’s gross and unhealthy or it smells. I am quitting because I promised the woman I love, the woman who is making the dreams that I didn’t feel like I deserved come true, the women who is and will be my whole world that I would. So next weekend will be my last weekend as a full time smoker…
One thing I won’t want to become is one of those judgey asshole ex-smokers.