Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the Clouds

Yesterday I attended a holiday (well, pre-holiday party) at a friend's home. Fun time. I saw lots of people I really hadn't seen in a few years and met some new folks that were interesting to talk with. In short, I enjoyed myself. Except for one thing. At this party, I'd say over 50% of the attendees were smokers. This wasn't a problem for the first half of the night, but as the booze flowed, the smokes came out. By the time I was leaving, I could barely stand it any longer. I found myself wheezing and had a terribly scratchy throat - even through a good part of today.

I used to smoke. Not alot, and mostly during times of extreme stress or when pretty drunk. I haven't smoked now with any regularity (I'd say maybe I've had 10 cigarettes now in about 10 years) in a decade or more. I had forgotten, in fact, how bad it actually smells, to tell the truth. Now people can do what they want with their own bodies, but I really have become of a mind that says that indoors, where there may be non-smokers, lighting up is rather awful to some of us in the room. I care for these people...why are they doing this to themselves? Haven't they seen ANY literature in the last ten years? Watched Oprah or Dr. Oz, perhaps? Even as they all puffed away, I could literally envision the blackened lung on the table on an Oprah show, exhibited by the enthusiastic Dr. Mehmet Oz. It's enough to make one literaly gag.

The hosts of the party are smokers, and hence some of the issue. THese are great people that I really care about. Seeing them smoke just hurts me thinking of the self-destruction they are committing. I came up the stairs (looking for one of those goat-cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates) to find my DAUGHTER with a lighted cigarette in the kitchen. Augh. I've seen her smoke before. It's awful. Not pretty. Smells bad. Looks disgusting. ANd she's just getting over a bad case of bronchitis. I was not only a little shocked, but maybe a little mad too. Doesn't she care enough about her health? How in the world have I failed? It was she and her brother who convinced me to stop years ago.

I am all for the "take it outside" campaign. No reason to pass secondhand smoke to anyone, anywhere. I can't believe I ever did it, frankly, and am patently sorry for anyone I ever blew smoke in the direction of or near. The clouds of smoke last night turned me off in such a huge way I am certain I will never ever pick up even one more single cigarette. Blech. ANd I hope I can find the right words to convince my daughter it's just not worth it either.

In this day and age, you'd think people knew better already. Yikes.

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