By now, many who know me in real life have figured out my secret.
For four days (and 47 minutes) I have been smoke-free. But please, don’t treat me any differently than before. I don’t want any special accommodations.
I live in the real world, and in the real world, some people do smoke. I will NOT become an anti-smoker nazi, and I will not harass other people for smoking â€“ in my presence or otherwise. If someone wants to quit for their own reasons, Iâ€™ll be supportive â€“ but I wonâ€™t nag anyone who doesnâ€™t ask my advice.
Truthfully, once I get a few weeks behind me, it is very likely that I will occasionally enjoy a big, fat cigar with a fine single-malt scotch. Since I quit for a year once before, I remember the good things: food will taste better; I donâ€™t have to go stand in the cold several times a day (I havenâ€™t smoked in my own house for 11 years); I wonâ€™t waste $90/month on something unproductive; I wonâ€™t have to be an outcast in public, hiding outside the door. Some of the lines on my face will soften. I can carry a smaller purse — or maybe not carry one at all.
I also remember the bad parts: my sense of smell will come back, and there are a lot of people out there who just smell bad. Itâ€™s likely that I will struggle not to regain that 30 pounds that I gained last time, which made me feel like my skin was too tight. I just hope that I can keep the bitchiness at bay, because thatâ€™s what bothered me the most. I just didnâ€™t even like myself anymore — even a year later.
In case you’re wondering, I didn’t quit for my health (which is just fine, thank you very much). I quit because it’s inconvenient, because I’m tired of being an outcast, and because I can find better uses for the time and money that I used to spend on that habit.
This country is changing though, and Iâ€™m not at all comfortable with our movement toward a nanny state.
Next time you stop at a Golden Corral (especially the one on Clinton Highway), count the number of adults under 300 pounds â€“ the last time we were there, it was limited to our family, and the place was packed.
This year, itâ€™s banning smoking in â€œthe workplace.â€ How long before obesity is targeted? Diabetics who eat things they shouldn’t? People who don’t eat their vegetables?
I know you don’t believe me now, but just watch and see. We seem to be forgetting what it means to be the land of the free and the brave.