Cigarettes (In Which I Contradict Myself)

A friend of mine just wrote a post about her first cigarette. This got me to thinking about my first cigarette, and my continued contradictory relationship with tobacco in general.

My mother smoked cigarettes for awhile, my stepfather smoked cigarettes, my step-mother has smoked on and off for years, my father smokes cigars, my grandfather smokes cigars. I suppose it was relatively certain that I would try them at some point.

My first cigarette was no where near as eventful as Erica’s. It was near the end of my freshman year of college. Someone offered, I accepted. I bought a pack that summer. I suppose that I could say I was a smoker for that summer, since I kept some on hand. Generally more for social smoking than anything else. That changed the following fall.

My grandfather (not the one who smokes cigars) had been having some health issues, bad enough that they sent him for the gamut of serious tests. While I was back at school for my sophomore year, I got the call that my grandfather had a bone-based cancer. IT was bad, and wouldn’t get better. I went into stress overdrive. I got a friend of mine, and we went outside to talk and have a smoke. About the time I was done freaking out, and lighting my second cigarette, I looked at my friend and said “Gee, maybe since I just found out my grandpa has cancer, there’s a better way to handle that than smoking a cigarette.” We both quit smoking after that, and nothing has been the same since.

I had cigarettes after that, but only a few. I’ve had cigars since then, but only a few. It certainly makes a difference that My Wife, does not care for it, is allergic to the smoke, and the smoke aggravates her asthma.

The really strange thing is, I have, on numerous occasions since then, wanted and not wanted cigarettes at the same time.

I have no real desire to smoke. The main reasons being, it’s bad for me and My Wife does NOT me to. Obviously lots of other reasons too.

Sometimes, I do want to smoke. I want to sit on the deck at my house and have a cigar, or have a cigarette with my friends at a bonfire.

It is a really strange feeling to have 2 contradicting thoughts in quick succession, with no real conflict involved. Let me explain how the thoughts go:

(Sitting next to a fire in the fall)

It’s so nice out here. This beer is great. It’s great hanging out with these guys and a beer. I could really go for a cigarette. That would be great. Eh, I don’t really need one. My Wife would be DISPLEASED. Don’t really want to smell like stale cigarettes AND campfire tomorrow either. Look! s’mores!

See? No real conflict there. I don’t know if it’s some leftover impulse from that summer, or just the fact that cigarettes and bonfires seem to go hand in hand. Strange.

You know what makes me chuckle even more? I went to visit my dad not too long ago and we had some father/son time. With my wife’s blessing(since I’d be showering multiple times before seeing her again) I had a cigar with my dad.

I didn’t even enjoy it all that much.

-Chris

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One thought on “Cigarettes (In Which I Contradict Myself)

  1. I don’t think smoking is about enjoyment. I think it’s about relaxation. It’s something you do when you’re doing nothing else (aside from drinking). It’s a reason to take a break, to be alone with your thoughts and the whorls of smoke. It’s also a reason to just sit with someone. And while you may not think you’re accomplishing anything, you’re really building camaraderie.

Well, what kind of feeling do YOU get?

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