Monday, February 9, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Size 8, Swallow Hard

My husband smokes. This isn't earth shattering, and any more it's not even news. We both used to smoke when we started dating, so I feel a little bit hypocritical being so adamantly opposed to his habit now. The thing is, he already quit.

When I got pregnant with Sabrina, I had already been trying to quit and the fact that the occasional cigarette I was sneaking was beginning to make me queasy was one of the first clues there was a bun in my oven, before the little pee-on-a-stick confirmed it. But as soon as I saw two lines, I quit. I was done. Haven't smoked one since.

Dave, took a little, um persuading. He had good intentions. He tried the patch, Nicotine gum, Wellbutrin, and various combinations of all of the above. Yet every morning when I would go to the garage I would have to stop and vomit in the trash can because I was hit by a wall of cigarette smell. I couldn't make him understand that "not smoking in the house" included the garage where I had to get in the car every morning. But even the threat of a displeased morning-sick cranky pregnant wife could not get him to quit.

Finally, FINALLY, he set a date for Sabrina's first birthday and he did it. And he hadn't smoked since that day almost 7 years ago.

Or so I thought.

Dave's a construction worker. A lot of construction workers smoke. I realize this is a stereotype, but having worked in construction for years myself, I can assure you there is a basis for the stereotype of the guy in the hard hat with a smoke hanging out of his mouth.

For this reason I didn't get too alarmed when I smelled smoke on him occasionally. He works around other guys that smoke. I get that. I don't like the smell, but it was gone when he washed up after work.

But I really thought we were past the days where you took up smoking "because all the guys are doing it."

It's true. As I suspected men don't seem to mature much past 18.

When he finally 'fessed up and told me he was smoking again I offered to "encourage" him to quit. And by "encourage" I mean harping on him day and night and listing the evils of smoking and warning him of all ill-effects. Not to mention, shutting him off. I have no interest in kissing an ashtray. I know. I am the worst kind of reformed smoker.

The kids have picked up on this and they now "encourage" him to quit as well.

This morning when I took Jamie to Pre-School another little boy and his Mom were waiting along side us. They hadn't been to school in a week or two and I was happy to see them. I like this Mom. She's funny, down to earth, and we enjoy chatting before and after school. She also happens to be a smoker, but I'm generally far less obnoxious about it to people other than my husband.

But this particular morning I heard her son saying, "Mommy you better get rid of your cigarettes or I'm calling the cops." She said back to him, "Yeah I really need to. I will." Assuming she was trying to quit also, I said, "At least he's nice about it. Jamie just tells my husband, "You're going to DIE!"

And she said, "My Mom did just die. From smoking. On Tuesday."

I hereby vote all people should get one option of allowing the floor to open up and provide a quick and clean disappearance.


dynamitt said...

oh... i'm sorry. i can imagine that was not to fun for you. Would it help if I said it was funny to read :P

Lisa said...

I am really good at putting my foot in my mouth too. You are not alone...but hey, what is she doing STILL smoking if her mother just died. You don't die quickly with smoking related illness, so there must have been some time between her diagnosis and her death. I wonder why she didn't quit then?? I can understand her child's concern!! I wouldn't want to lose my mom and my grandma to a preventable illness. Sigh. What are people thinking. I hope Dave quits for good soon!

Dani said...


My brother quit when my nephew asked him for a cigarette. That was the kick in the head my brother needed. Dylan is autistic and he just says what he thinks, he has no filter, it is very refreshing sometimes to be around someone so blunt.

Colleen said...

Yikes. That's a real stinker. We did the "encouraging" thing with my mom too. She quit years ago when I did Jenny Craig for the 1st time--we were both in our own little hell...anyway, we've caught her on occassion since then sneaking them. We enlisted my grandma to harp on her. The grandkids now chime in too...

Kim said...

Oh, boy, not a fun moment for you. I agree with Lisa though - why the heck is the woman still smoking?!

Both my parents smoke (yet none of their 3 kids do). My 7 year old occasionally tells my mom that she has black lungs, and that she should stop smoking. Mom did quit briefly, and we were very proud of her, but it didn't last long, maybe a couple of months - mainly due to circumstances at the time (she'd broken her hip, needed surgery, no smoking in the hospital!!). Nothing we say will convince my dad; he's deluded himself that he has the lungs of a 25 year old, as he hacks and coughs...

Mary K Brennan said...

These things happen, but they never feel good. My husband smoked from the time he was a teenager up to two years ago. I often offered encouragement. He just came home one day and said: "I quit." For most people that doesn't work, but I'm all so grateful that it worked for him. Best wishes for Dave. He'll do it.

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

My mother was the best at putting her foot in her mouth.
One time she was at the funeral home and like alot of people, she got nervous when talking to deceased family. She got up to the casket and instead of saying "I'm so sorry to hear about your wife"
She said "I'm so happy to hear about your wife"
The poor man looked at her like she was crazy, but he got a good laugh in a sad, sad situation.
And I agree, what the hell is this woman smoking for. I smoked for 25 years, but quit while I was pregnant with my kids. After I had my first I asked the Dr. if I was allow to smoke in the recovery room. (That's when you were allowed to smoke in hospitals) I just wanted to go back to my room, smoke a pack of cigarettes and call everyone I knew. And that's exactly what I did.
I quit 15 years and 60 lbs ago.