I am going to say something I am sure you all know by now, but I almost never say the words out loud: I am a smoker.
Saying that hurts worse than accidentally ashing into your own eye or inhaling incorrectly. I think it is because to me, saying someone is “a smoker” conjures up a grotesque image of someone in sweatpants, hanging out on their back porch lighting up a Pall Mall Red 100s during Maury commercial breaks. Possibly missing a tooth. Probably a nice person. Probably smells bad.
Anyway, I am a smoker. I started when I was 18 because
1) My boyfriend smoked
2) I was 18 and I could
3) I thought it looked cool*
*Don’t believe anyone who doesn’t think they started smoking because they thought it looked cool. We’ve ALL seem James Dean with a cigarette, and we ALL thought it was punk as f*ck.
Smoking has pros, not just cons, so don’t be a cynic. (And I’m not even talking about quelling appetite because God knows I was at my heaviest when I smoked the most.) There are those obvious smoke breaks from a long day or an awkward conversation; but even more importantly, you can always tell who your friends are by who is willing to bum you a cig when you are most desperate. Or who will let you smoke in their basement. I love having guys light my cigarette, and I always feel cool when I tell people it’s okay to puff away in my car (sorry mom and dad.) And nothing feels better than that first cigarette of the day at the bus stop. Smoking in the morning is not for every smoker, but this one prefers to start her day with a cancer stick.
Okay, so enough about my smoking habits. The point of this is to say that even as a Catho-Compromise (also known as former Catholic) I still observe Lent just to sharpen the saw and keep that ol’ will power strong. This month, cigarettes were on the chopping block when the axe fell.
It is just time to go all-Carrie Bradshaw on my habit and say “enough”. Smoking may be enjoyable sometimes, but there are lots of things I find enjoyable sometimes that I don’t spend $5 a day (give or take) to do. Things that, I don’t know, won’t kill me slowly.
Will I start smoking again at the end of the 40 days? Possibly. To be honest, likely. Science dictates that when you are a former smoker who hangs around smokers in places where you used to smoke, you are something like A BILLION times more likely to start smoking again. So I’m not going to try to go against science. But the point of this exercise is to cleanse my system, prove I can abstain from an indulgence, and save a little money in the process. But more importantly, to break the delusion that smoking does not make me cooler, just a little smellier.