Monday, January 27, 2014

No smoking

A fun fact about me- my parents lured me to Budapest with tales of candy cigarettes and swimming pools with an artificial waves. They always felt they needed a selling point to get me to do a lot of things when I was little (and often lied to to do so). As a child apparently I liked the high class aspect of holding a cigarette like they did in old movies and the apparent sophistication of blowing smoke. So I'd just play pretend, like a lot of kids my age. I never smoked. I never had a single cigarette in my life. I once posed with a lit cigar in my mouth and that's about the only experience I ever had. It's funny how I ended up hating both of those things I was excited for as a seven year old- swimming and smoking. I find cigarettes to be the most disgusting habit I can think of. My dad apparently got started when he was 16. He was never allowed to do it the house and my parents fought over it frequently. He was either forced out of the apartment and into the balcony. And still he was able to bring in some of that nauseating smell back with him. My favorite aunt always smoked indoors and while I loved to visit, her apartment had always smelled like an ashtray. The curtains,  the furniture, everything felt like it was soaked in tobacco. I've known people who were able to pull all their teeth out by hand. I've had teachers who were chain smokers with grey complexion and prune like skin. What felt sophisticated when I was seven now feels extremely cheap. Not that it's a cheap habit to begin with. One of my neighbors is a chainsmoker. Not that I will ever understand what it today's day and age gets people started on this in the first place, especially if they're 20. During a fifteen minute conversation he has two, maybe three cigarettes. Take his pack away for a minute and he will plead with you like Gollum from Tolkien novels. It's not a habit he's proud of, but apparently has gone to great lengths to hide it from his parents.  I may have said a couple of times that I would tell them in one way or another if he doesn't quit and reduce his consumption. Initially I got a lot of appeals to my humane side not to, but never a firm decision to just drop it. If you thini what you're is a good thing and you're proud of it - be honest and don't hide it from your family. I have no sympathy for smokers. The second hand smoke, the smell, how it effects everyone else to a greater degree than it does you.... I think I may have had greater compassion for him if he was actually doing drugs.  Cigarettes is not a habit he can afford on his salary anyway. It takes a great toll on his fitness and strength, how quickly he gets tired and loses his breath, more than he realizes. I know it's none of my business. But then I'm sure one day he'll thank me. For saving his life. Now we're far from that point. He makes sure I know everyday how awful the patches are to wear and how the e-cigarette doesn't do anything. My aunt was able to kick her habit and after spending most of her adult life in clouds of gray smoke she says she never looks back. For her, the patches did it. She claims she wakes up in the morning happier and more energized. And that's the surprise. I was certain growing up and she and my father would be the last two people on Earth putting their feet down defending their right to smoke. As for my dad, you'd think that someone with heart problems would know better. He's a body in progress, I guess...

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