I am going through a break up. It’s the worst of my life. Twenty years we’ve been together. That’s longer than I’ve been with my husband.
But it’s time. I need to quit smoking.
People are always a little bit surprised when they find out I smoke. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I look like your average, dorky, middle-aged lady and most average, dorky, middle-aged ladies don’t smoke.
But me being average and dorky has always been part of the problem. I want to have a dark side. I want to be the bad girl. I want to be cool like Sandy at the end of Grease, stepping out in black spandex and crushing a cigarette underneath the toe of my smokin’ hot red high heels.
Now I’m a few weeks shy of being 40 and I’m realizing two things – first, I never looked good in black spandex; second, I never looked cool smoking.
Besides, by the time you’re 40 cool shouldn’t matter any more. I should be more worried about keeping myself alive.
So, I’m quitting. It hasn’t been easy. I would like to say I’ve been determined to be done with cigarettes by my birthday. But, as you can see by my progress report below, “determined” maybe isn’t the right word.
I’m feeling pretty good about this. I bought a bunch of candy to help me quit – suckers, Lifesavers, caramel apple pops.
My daughters see me stuffing the giant bags of candy into my purse. I’m afraid I’m sending mixed messages about how hard it is to quit.
Maybe I should get an e-cig.
I have a few reservations about this – mainly I don’t want to use the phrase “vape juice.” Ever.
Also, they look like an instrument one would use to lure an infestation of rodents out of town. “Futuristic Fife Player” is not exactly the look I am going for. Although a 40-year-old-woman sucking on lollipops doesn’t say “sophisticated” or “mature,” either.
FUUUUUUCK! I want a cigarette.
We went to see a re-showing of Pulp Fiction. Every character in this film smokes. We are in the front row so the cigarettes on screen are seven feet long. Uma Thurman lights up and I am about crawling out of my skin.
We are sitting on the deck with friends drinking a couple of beers, listening to Fleetwood Mac and New Order. There’s a huge fall moon and lively conversation. Evenings like this are my kryptonite.
Someone puts their pack of cigarettes on the table next to me.
“Hey, girl, it’s been a while,” those cigarettes say.
“Tell me about it, stud.”
Cough, hack, cough. I am a cigarette slut.
Monday. My most stressful day at work. There aren’t enough Tootsie Pops in the world to help me deal with this level of aggravation. I’ve had five suckers already. I think my teeth are going to fall out.
Maybe I’m looking at this in the wrong way. I have 19 days left before I turn 40. That’s 19 days I could still be smoking.
Karaoke + Beer = Smoking. I will eventually need to figure out another solution to this problem. But tonight I am still in my 30s, so who has a light?
I’m back on track. No cigarettes since Saturday. I haven’t even had a sucker since Monday. If I stay indoors and shut off all contact with other smokers for the next couple of weeks, I just might make it.