August 22, 2005
You've come a long way, baby.
Sweet baby Jesus, I miss smoking.

I don't miss it like I miss the smooth, muscular legs I used to have when I was 17. I don't miss it like I do the ability to read Seventeen magazine without getting awkward stares from other business travelers. I don't even miss it like I do the innocence I lost in '91, the same one that Mr. Henley so blatantly immortalized without permission that very same year.

I miss it, as my best friend has pointed out, like Jazzy Jeff misses the Fresh Prince. Like Tom Cruise should miss his sanity. Oh, yes. I miss it that much.

It isn't because it's cool. Shit, there are rumors that it isn't even really healthy. But there are times when it seems to a smoker that few things in life are better than slowly devouring a single, full cigarette. After a Taco Bell Burrito Supreme and a large Diet Coke, all I have ever wanted to do is take a sweet puff of a Marlboro Light. I jones Less Than Zero-style for even a bummed Pall Mall after two glasses of wine, whether I be at a favorite local bar or at a bris. When desperate enough, I have hit up 80-year-old men for smokes and even teenagers whose legal eligibility for the act was questionable. My burning desire knows no bounds.

It all started on a Friday night circa 1989 in a lame Pennsylvania skiing lodge. Jason Wiener and I sat thawing at a darkened back table while our other high school friends continued down the icy slopes. He pulled out a pack of Camel Lights. I knew immediately that I wanted one. I feared that I would cough like I had seen the child actors do on ABC after-school specials, but I was quickly a pro. Maybe those suckers only coughed because they mixed smoking with wine coolers, I thought to myself. The wisdom I had at 16.

Before I knew it I was in college and smoking every day. In that former life (the same life in which I hitched a ride home from unknowns driving an unmarked white van by the highway in rural Virginia) I re-smoked what others had left behind, whether it be on the ground or in an ashtray. I have doused myself with Love's Baby Soft at rest stops on rides home from college as to avoid the wrath of conscientious parents. I was even occasionally bumming Menthols - I know, God forgive me - out of sheer desperation.

But unlike my stretch marks, some habits seem to fade. I don't need to smoke like I once did. I can say proudly that I probably only fully indulge every few weeks; to the dismay of my smoking friends, I have avoided purchasing my own pack for months. I don't have cigarettes in the pockets of each of my frequently-used handbags. I hardly ever have an emergency stash. I like it that at age 31, I no longer have to worry that my parents will smell it in my hair when they give me a spontaneous hug.

But most of all, my friends, I consider it a triumph that it has been weeks - nay, months - since I bummed my last Kool.


76 Comments:

Anonymous Neil said...

Even though I'm not a smoker, I'm glad that blogging is still the one place left where you can talk positively about the pleasures of smoking without there being some legal action taken against you. Not that I wouldn't sue your pants off if I could.

Blogger JJ said...

I quit for eight years and then one day for no reason fired up a Marlboro Red and it was like my soul reinflated and I knew what it meant to be alive again.

And though the last five years have been my most prolific, I haven't finished anything, not even a short story, since I quit smoking a year ago.

Miss it? Oh, I'd say so.

P.S. - Neil, my lawyers will be contacting you.

Blogger Mel said...

Yay, GOOD FOR YOU!

My mom has smoked for as long as I can remember. Because she did, I have NEVER ONCE had the urge to smoke anything other than a cigar (a very occasional indulgement).

Seeing what the cancer stick (literally) has done to her over the years makes me sick.

Keep up the good work! Your body will thank you when you are 50.

Blogger Mel said...

ps. um, wanted to leave a comment for Sunday's post. Should I be taking this personally?? :)

Blogger playfulinnc said...

How did you quit? My 31st is coming this fall, and I have seriously considered quitting being my present to myself.

Blogger lizzyjane said...

yay!!!
One day at a time!!!

Blogger Kiki said...

I must say you are doing a great job!! This last weekend was the first that I didn't give in and cheat. So now I'm officially smoke-free for one week.

Things that make me want to smoke:

1. Purses with pockets perfectly sized to fit a pack of cigs. What else do you put in there???
2. Seeing people in movies smoke. Especially at the movie theater when it's all ginormous.
3. After stuffing my face with hearty meal.
4. After sex.
5. Drinking.

Sorry for taking up so much space!

Anonymous Bad Maria said...

Ah smoking, ah, my favorite vice - well, perhaps kiki's #5 is my favorite (I don't consider #4 a vice) but yes, now that I am well past 31, it's time to quit again. The first time I quit was for 15 years - jj, my first puff back was an American Spirit yellow..mmmmmm...

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

I was going to leave a comment but I'm afraid of Neil's legal actions.

I can't tell you how many people have a Jason Weiner story on their blog!

That muthafugga gets around!

Keep up the good work. :)

Blogger Kris said...

I know Lizzy. I had a crush on Schneider too.

Anonymous Jorge said...

I don't know if we call each other friends.

But as your friend I will fly down there and kick your ass if you start this habit again.

I'm not really all that militant about smokers vs. non-smokers (unless you breathe smoke in my face, of course).

However, I really like you're writing (and consequently you, from what I know). And I would like you to continue writing for a long time. Smoking seems to make this time shorter, so I don't like it for this reason:

It would deprive me of as much Kris as possible.

Capice?

I'm nothing if not supportive.

Hugs,
Jorge

Blogger Megarita said...

That's funny - we have very similar smoking stories. I still go on nicotine benders about 4 times a year, and I bum them off smoking friends if we go out drinking, but really...I don't smoke that much anymore. Although I have to say the past month has been stick-pack-in -mouth-tear-off-bottom-light-'em-all worthy!

Mmmmmmmm...Kools. Here's to American Spirits everywhere...

Blogger Rachel Norfleet said...

I've only been smoking for eight years. I've tried quitting, but the whole "rome wasn't built in a day" concept gets to me everytime. So, congratulations to you for actually sticking to it!

Blogger kitkat said...

I have indulged in a few cigarettes in my lifetime, and I definitely see the appeal. However, while smoking may be cool and fun and make you feel great NOW, that isn't going to continue as you age. Congrats for nearly kicking the habit. You'll thank yourself later for it.

Blogger Dave said...

Did you know that you'd start a "Hooray for Smoking" movement with that post? For shame. Smoking makes the baby Jesus cry.

Blogger babyjewels said...

Oh my god, I miss it too. You and another of my fav bloggers both posted about smoking today. I may take this as a sign to start up again.

Blogger Oh, that girl. said...

I love my cheap menthols! Yummm!

Blogger Kim said...

After I read this post I calculated how many years I've been smoking. 13! 13 of my 27 years.

You may have just helped push me into quitting. I had always planned to stop for good when I was 35 but I'm not sure my lungs could take 8 more years.

Blogger deanne said...

I got arrested for shoplifting cigarettes when I was 12 - thus began a long on off, then on, affair with smoking.

I'll buy you a drink (FedEx a pint from London, no, really!) if you can guess which brand it was!

Blogger Jason said...

It's been six and 1/2 years since I last smoked -- the night before my wedding. Lately various stresses make me think about lighting up again, but health issues remind why I can't. Oh it's pleasurable all right, but the shit is more addictive than heroin.

Blogger Slade said...

I used to smoke Marboro Menthal lights...hehehe...
Hey, it's the only kind of cig that will give you a buzz.

I know what you mean though...even though I wasn't a heavy smoker, I still get urges every now and then and just think to myself, "man, a nice cig would be just the ticket right about now"

Blogger Sizzle said...

i quit 2 years ago the day after my 30th birthday. it was the best gift i ever gave myself. i had tried to quit unsuccessfully before but for some reason, this time it stuck. i haven't puffed since. i think you have to want it badly enough that you just let go of whatever need it fills.

i do miss my american spirits sometimes, particularly after a couple of drinks. i am with you on that.

Blogger Murph said...

I've never completely understood people's addiction to cigarettes. I guess it's because I've never been addicted to anything besides masturbating.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blog in haste; repent at leisure?
On the blogs, we're seeing a more thoughtful response to the same problem. There's a temptation to comment on an event straight away, but it sometimes takes a while for all the facts to emerge.
Bookmarked, nice to see some decent content for a change. FYI have you seen this we've got a new feature, the 'Flag blog' button, which is inconveniently located between the 'Get Your Own Blog' and 'Next Blog' buttons so that we would presumably be getting some flags on error alone (although if one happens to notice it, you can unflag a blog). I don't know about this, what one person finds offensive is anothers cup of tea? Just my 2 cents, Astrology Readings .

Blogger Poppy Cede said...

Where is Jason Wiener from? There's a JW I went to high school with, so curious if it's the same one. If he's actually from PA, not the same one.

Blogger Doc said...

We have drinks in hand.
Lungs clear and air flowing free,
I crave a Camel.

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Blogger Brookelina said...

I had two Marlboro Lights yesterday with a friend. It was gooooooood.

But man did I stink when I got home. Yuk! I miss smoking, but I don't miss the stink.

Blogger Bridget Jones said...

only smoked for a few months in 73 and still wanna do it.

GREAT for you that you've kicked it so far...keep going!

Bridg

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Blogger nutty said...

I'm so glad I'm not a smoker, but if I was I wish I could write a post about it like that.

I'm not a smoker, either. I always thought it was kind of gross. Plus, I was traumatized as a child. They passed around this liquid filled sack that was supposed to be your lung or something. I spilled some on me and almost got sick.

Blogger notasoccermom said...

I can only quit when I'm pregnant and brestfeeding. Other than that I always find my way back. even when I think about quiting I know I'll never be able to drink and not smoke.

It sucks

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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I have a cool blog too. When you leave spam on it, it automatically generates a picture of you humping my cat and sends it to your mother and your youth pastor! Check it out! I-hump-Kris'-cats.blogspot.com

See you there! Bookmark it!

Blogger babyjewels said...

Kris,

Did you know about this feature. I think its new for controlling spam.

word verification

BJ

Blogger babyjewels said...

Not that I don't enjoy the cat humping comment immensely

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

Who doesn't like cat humping?

Spammers suck the big suck.

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Melliferiys - If you can only hump one cat this summer, make it Kris' cat. Really, really fine lay.

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Blogger Aliecat said...

God, this is why I don't want to quit. I loooove smoking. I don't love the after effects, just the physical act (much like sex on the first date). I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can tell you that my first 'gritte was a Camel Wide and I graduated to Camel Special Lights, and damn, are they special.

P.S. Spammers should burn in hell, stat away from my site!

Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I think with Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, it should be the other way around. Jazzy Jeff was the one of the two with talent. His stuff nowadays sucks without Jazzy Jeff.

Blogger Andres said...

I'm laughing so hard at all the spammer stuff that I'm actually I'm crying. Oh god that's good stuff. Too bad Rodney Dangerfield not around to make blog/spammer jokes. . .

Anonymous Jorge said...

Wow, Kris,

Looks like you have anonymous fans.
Is there anything you can do to kick them out?

Blogger t2ed said...

I'm kind of bummed because I was looking forward to a tour of Clay Aiken's house. I wanted to compare it to Liberace's house.

I'm just saying...

Wow, I may need to get some of this swell word verification software too.

Blogger Slade said...

doesn't that SUCK that you acutally have to do word verification!!! Blogger should be on this problem!!! I know a lot of bloggers who have written to them, but no action yet.

Kris, could you do a post on how to get this word verification thing??

Anonymous Bug said...

Cricket is a little...bitch

Anonymous Criicket said...

shut up fat ass

Blogger Kris said...

A message to my beau, who has clearly learned how to manipulate me into word verification hell: I love you.

And bug is not fat.

Blogger erin said...

i need to quit smoking...it's starting to even gross ME out sometimes, but i'm waiting to graduate before i make the full on commitment, as i will always have an excuse that i'm stressed out or need to be up all night working on projects...i figure having a real life outside of school will be a deterant to smoking.

Good for you, for quitting...i hope that soon i have the will power to quit like you did.

Blogger Sub Girl said...

great post. i'm proud of you.

Blogger erin said...

oh, and congrats on keeping the spammers away...i won't b*tch too much about the word verification...you're going to have to tell us all how to get that on the comment pgs..just in case...if we all stand and fight the bloggers together, they will never take us alive!!!! ooopps, sorry, i'm slipping into the movie braveheart..i heart mel gibson--before the passion that is.

Blogger Amanda said...

like jazzy jeff misses the fresh prince...whew...funny...what do we think happened to him? i think that will probably had a room for him on the compound. i'd like to think that he's taking care of his buddy...parents just don't understand.

Anonymous erika said...

Finally. Now you can quit bumming my smokes.

Anonymous erika said...

PS - That picture makes me want one. Damn you.

Blogger Jessie_dc22 said...
Blogger Rob Lowe said...

I hope cigarettes will always be cool, at least in my lifetime. Hot.

Blogger TenaciousTab said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one who has cravings like this. Wow, sometimes I feel like I could run into traffic for that last cigarette if for some freak reason my pack flew into air as if trying to tease me. Ok, that's a little far, but the craving for a cigarette can make you do crazy things. And, the cravings come on so quickly sometimes, like...work sucks- i need a smoke, someone cut me off in traffic- smoke, my mom's pissed at me- smoke. All very good excuses if you ask me! :) Awesome post, got to go have a smoke now! LOL!

Blogger Aimée said...

My dear. MONTHS since you bummed ... hmmm ... DAYS, yes ... MONTHS, not so much. BUSTED!
xoxo
bf

Blogger Mercy said...

I wish I could say that ... *sigh* ... it's been at least 24 hours.

Blogger yunebug said...

Mmm... yes. I do miss that perfectly round, 2.5 inches of pure orgamic magic. It's been a month and 16 days for me... and I've been smoking since I was 15. I'm 25 now, so that makes it 10 years...

I don't even bum... due to the deal I made with my wife (see my blog @ ramblemaster.blogspot.com). But once the new year gets here and I'm drinking with someone (without wife around), I'm gonna start to bum a few here and there.... but I believe I'm done for life. HOORAY!

... I still miss it, though. <:0)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother quit when I was eight. Then, my freshman year of college, she sent me a letter in which she mentioned that she'd gotten together with a bunch of college chums she hadn't seen for years. Just for kicks, she had one cigarette, she reported. I knew right then that she was back in, and I was correct.

Oddly, I didn't take up the habit until I was 27.

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Anonymous eva woods said...

great. i read all of the comments, just like you told me to. and now i really want to smoke, drink, shoot heroin AND masturbate. Thanks a fat lot.

p.s. thanks to your blog, i've deprived amazon of 180 dollars in books i was going to order.

eva

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