Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I never thought it could happen to me.

Around 1995 I made a conscious decision to start smoking. All the cool girls in high school smoked and I wanted to impress the myriad of unrequited crushes I had in 9th grade with my own innate coolness. ( I also took up drinking then for the exact same reason, probably with more successful results) To practice, my friend Mary Katherine and I would steal her mom's Capri Slims and sneak upstairs to the bathroom and try to smoke them. We lit the wrong end, didn't inhale, almost set the bathroom mat on fire, giggled all through dinner and made very bad smoking jokes. This was a sample conversation:

Daisy: Do you think we are inhaling right?
MK: I don't know. Does it look like it?
Daisy: I can't tell I've never really payed attention.
MK: Should we watch a movie to see if we are doing it right?
Daisy: That sounds like a good idea. Then we can get on AOL. Do you think your dad will let us stay on for 15 minutes tonight?

Oh well, we were super nerds who also listened to Nine Inch Nails or Liz Phair or, even tougher, The Cranberries and dyed our hair red because blue was too shocking and talked about how many parts of our body we were going to get pierced. Notice we just talked about getting pierced. Neither of us actually did anything although MK bought and wore a very convincing pair of Doc Martins.

After practice week I decided that I was ready to go prime time at a party. I even procured my own pack from Oscar's, the Korean owned convenience store, that had a lot of dirty porn magazines (think lower grade than Penthouse, possibly lower than Big Asses) behind the counter and let any girl as young as 12 buy beer. I was very proud of myself.

I was never a very good smoker. As one of the above mentioned crushes announced loudly at a party, "You aren't even inhaling!" to my great shame. I went home and practiced more. From Marlboro Lights I moved on to Winston Lights. My boyfriend smoked Winston Filters and all his older friends thought it was awesome that a tiny little high school girl smoked trucker cigarettes. FYI: Winston Lights are disgusting.

I smoked in the car all the way to school, I smoked during school breaks, I smoked so much on the drive home that I would have to lay on my floor when I got in the door until the nausea passed.

But then I stopped. And then started. And stopped. And started again. And when I stopped I was never bothered by the desire for a cigarette. Not one tiny bit addicted. To this very day I'm an awkward smoker. I hold them funny, I still don't quite inhale, I think I might be the one person on the face of the earth who looks more nerdy smoking than not smoking. They don't make me look like a badass. They make me look like Olivia Newton-John. They make me look like the 15 year old who dyed her hair red and listened to The Cranberries.

And now, stopping again, they are all I can think of. After 13 years I think I finally succumbed to some form of addiction to them. Sweet, delicious cigarettes and coffee while working at the computer. After eating dinner. After drinking a beer.
Lovely Camel Lights: I'll be back one day. I promise.

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