Stupid American Cancer Society. Them and their dumb 37th Great American Smokeout to promote quitting smoking reminded me that I’m not a smoker anymore. Of course, I’m not a quitter, because quitting is for losers, but I did stop smoking. In November. Of 2006. And I’m still pissed about it every time I think about it.
Of course, I try not to think about it because smoking was such a part of my identity for most of my life. If you’d asked anyone to describe me prior to 2007, I feel pretty certain that every single person would have started, “Well, she smokes a lot.” After that may have come that I wear a lot of purple (it’s my black), I’m short or even that I have brown hair. But smoking would have been the top thing. And then, one day, I wasn’t that person anymore. No more Cigarette Princess (one of my college nicknames). No more smoke buddy, as I was at work to many different people. Hell, I even got my first two jobs because I was a smoker.
And all of this sadness was caused by the inferiority of European tobacco. See, what you don’t know unless you’re a Real Smoker is that when you buy cigarettes in the US, you get gen-you-wine tabakky from Virginia. When you buy it in Europe, it’s probably from Turkey or some other place that’s far, far away from Old Dominion.
This inferior tobacco made me sick. I didn’t want for it to be what was making me sick, but when I did a little experiment beginning on November 26th of 2006 to see if not smoking for a bit would mean a change in the frequency of my rate of infections (nose and throat mostly) every month, well… I stopped being sick all together. So, then I was healthy but devastated.
I sometimes think that I can’t feel as much anymore, like life got duller, the color of my emotions was muted ever so slightly. Because I = smoking and not smoking means that I’m not me anymore which begs the question of who I am now and, honestly, I have enough identity issues before removing my defining characteristic.
Still. It’s good that people who are losers and want to quit do so. I was genetically blessed with iron lungs, so it’s unlikely I would have gotten cancer, but not everyone is so lucky. And cancer is bad, that much I can identify with certainty.