12 December 2007


Once upon a time, I smoked.

Cigarettes, silly, not anything else.

Not a whole lot, you understand, but enough. It started as a "look at me, I'm so tough with my beer and cigarette" thing, and grew into a "well, everyone else does it, so why not." I'm not suggesting that intelligence was ever a factor here.

Shortly before I met DH, however, I quit. I was very ill the summer after I graduated high school, and stuck in bed for most of that summer. When I began to feel better, the first time I went out with friends and lit up a cigarette, I started to hack and cough. I put out that cigarette, and have only had a stray puff here and there in the 14 years since.

It isn't a habit that I miss, most of the time. Every now and then, on a stressful day, I'll walk past smokers outside and think, "ah, that would be nice." Middlesis smokes, but I can never talk her in to giving me a hit off of one of her cigarettes if I'm around her when I'm having a day like that. Which, all things considered, I'm grateful for.

I despise the smell of cigarette smoke. With a burning passion. (No pun intended.) Ex-smokers tend to be the most nazi-like enforcers of "no smoking" signs, which is pretty hilarious and hypocritical, but somehow I think ex-smokers are particularly sensitive to the smell.

About a year after I quit, I was diagnosed with asthma; the decision to either breathe or smoke was a pretty simple one. Its tough to do both if you're an asthmatic, although I do know asthmatics who smoke.

When Oh-hia-ia passed the smoking ban a year or so ago, I was ecstatic. Finally, no more smelling like cigarette smoke after an evening at a bar with friends. No need to strip down in the garage after bar-hopping, lest the smell of the cigs be carried in the house with the clothes. Enforcement of the law isn't perfect; there are still a few places where you can light up and no one will say anything. The state does not have near enough folks to enforce the law; it is the local health departments who are responsible for checking up on restaurants and bars. Which is ridiculous, really, because personally, I'd rather that the health department continue to insure the cleanliness of the area kitchens than play cigarette cop. The law isn't without its flaws.

Over the past two days, I've been smelling cigarette smoke IN my house. Ugh. And double ugh. I can not figure where in the living hell it is coming from. DH, the son of a pretty heavy smoker, despises the smell worse that I do; but he says he can't smell it. Now we already know that I'm mostly out of my mind, but phantom smells? Really?

It is strong enough that it woke me this morning; spraying air-freshner (something I hate to do) only covers it for a short while. Lighting the two aromatherapy diffusers I have hasn't helped much either. One is sitting next to me as I type, filled with a combination of lemon, lavender and cedar essential oils. It isn't helping sitting less than a foot away from me, I still smell the cigarette smoke. And we aren't talking about that first inhale from a cigarette, which could still appeal to me; we're talking about the smell of a week-old overflowing ash tray. I say again: ugh.

I can't open the windows...besides being too cold outside to open the house up, we've plasticized the windows, something we do in the winter to help keep our heating costs down. Even the sliding glass doors have been covered over with a shrink-wrap-esque sort of material. Baking more cookies is out, because I only smell it in the bedroom, which is on the second floor. So that wouldn't help either.

As if I needed more proof I was out of my mind......

On something not exactly related, I have sent in the entry form for my first ever 5K race. It is on New Year's Eve. I choose this race because it is at a location that is entirely flat; and I think it is a good place to start to attain my eventual goal of running in a marathon. What was I just saying about being out of my mind? Just nod and smile at the crazy woman in the corner.


Dawna said...

Kudos for the race thing! Braver than I.

As for the cigarette smoke, yeah, ex smokers are extra irritating when it comes to smoke. I discuss it all the time with Hubster, he being a former smoker and I being a smoker. We butt heads often. It is one part self righteousness, one part jealousy (that's my opinion, lol), and several other bits and pieces that stem from knowing what it is, truly, and growing intolerant of it.

How I'd like to quit! Until I know that everyone around me are mentally prepared- forget about it. It could just be ghost smells or sometimes you just have a smell stuck in your nose. Silly, I know. There was one time that I could smell body odor all the time. Okay, it wasn't all the time, it was only in certain places. At first I thought that it was me who stunk. The smell went away eventually.

The best thing to clean your smell palette is coffee, so maybe you should sniff some coffee beans.

MotherMe http://motherme.wordpress.com said...

[former smoker speaking] i can smell ciggy smoke inside my house in the dead of winter if a car that someone smoked in a week ago goes by at 60 mph.

okay, not quite that sensitive, but close.

and as for the race, will you stop trying to impress me? Because you had me at 5k...


John said...

A 5k is a great place to start! Have a great, if freezing your fanny off, time of it! Proud of you.

Quit smoking. Running. What next? Bran muffins for breakfast?

Way to go Lucy!


Lucy Arin said...

I put a little bowl of coffee beans on my desk. Thanks for the suggestion, I hope it helps.

Just keep thinking about how likely it is that I will be slipping and sliding on ice during that race, and it is much less impressive. :-)

You've given me an idea for another post. Thanks!