Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 23, 2014

Smoker no more

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

— So, I quit smoking.

Of course, just admitting that I once smoked is almost sinful in this day and age, akin to admitting I used to sell heroin to orphans, but it’s different now than it was when I started. Back then, smoking cigarettes wasn’t a moral issue, just an intelligence issue. Of course, back then I could get a pack of cigarettes for less than $2.

I wasn’t ever a heavy smoker, seldom exceeding two packs a week, but I did it for a really long time, more than 20 years.

And then late last year, my health insurance company said they’d pay for something if I quit, so I quit and then they changed their minds in a “psych,” kind of move, like when you pretend to throw a ball for a dog and the dog runs off, all excited and quits smoking.

Yeah, kind of like that.

Anyway, even after I figured out it was a dirty trick I refused to start again because smoking is kind of dumb and expensive. And more than that, it was hard to quit. Really hard. Like imagine giving up eating hard.

I also had to give up some really long-held habits, like smoking in my car.

I started smoking in my car, and for about 10 years that was the only place I smoked. A friend used to joke it was because my own driving made me nervous.

And now with no cigarettes I’m forced to sing and half-dance in my car, which isn’t the same at all. Smoking was much cooler. Or, at least the way I sing and dance, which is badly. And it’s probably less safe than smoking, given how spastic I am when I dance.

My no-smoking thing has also begun to affect the dogs. They see less of me. I’ve never smoked in my house, so even in a blizzard I’d be out on my back porch trying to light up, but now I seldom go onto the porch, which makes the dogs sad. They always took a smoke break as an opportunity to get their ears scratched or to get petted. Now, they have to catch me on my way into the house or on a walk. They miss my smoking more than I do.

Of course, my dogs don’t care how long I live, so long as I live longer than them and am healthy enough to pour the kibble.

So, to summarize: I’ve saved my lungs and heart, but my dogs hate me. Truly, life is a trade-off.

Unless I crash after steering my car off a bridge while singing “Roar,” with Katy Perry, in which case it will just be pathetic.

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Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com