Monday, July 18, 2011

Lighting It Up

A few days ago, a friend of mine was relating to me about a someone, in her own perception, who committed an act of rudeness toward her. This is an excerpt and I paraphrase her words to me, somewhat edited for language:

“I walk outside to to get a quick smoke.  I usually go into the corner of  the building away from everyone who might be bothered by it  because you can’t smoke anywhere now.”

“Here I am freezing my butt off, minding my own business.  There was this guy who kept staring at me.  I try to ignore him, but he kept doing it."

“You know me, I sometimes lose my cool when I think someone is being rude. So after I finished my smoke I walked up to the guy.”

“He got better looking the closer I got to him. . So that got me to calm down. I was about a few a feet away when he started talking.”

“He smiled as says something like  ‘I apologize for staring at you.  I was trying to figure out how such  beautiful woman such as you could develop a disgusting habit like smoking’.  And in the first time in my life, I couldn’t come up with something to say. I just stood there like in idiot.”

“When I didn’t say anything, he says: ‘Have a wonderful day.’  he then walks away.”

Now, I am a nonsmoker. Never had the habit.  I personally find it disgusting , but I never condemn, and very rarely comment about someone else who smokes.

I have friends who smoke.  They are courteous enough to respect my wishes not to smoke in my home or car.   In turn, I have to tolerate their right to smoke in their property,  that comes with the territory.

It is hard on smokers today.  Outside your own property, there are not many places you can smoke.  I mean, why is it you can’t smoke in a bar or lounge?   There are even some towns where it can’t be done anywhere within its’ limits.

Why is it some people have to make it a point that it bothers them even though it does not affect them directly.  If someone is standing outside in the freezing cold,  far away from everyone, smoking a butt, why should it matter to anyone else.

We all know, smokers and non- smokers, that smoking is hazardous to one’s health.  We also know that tobacco companies put things in cigarettes that make very difficult to stop.  It is also very easy to give into the impulse when certain stressful situation arises.

My dad smoked on and off for 50 years.  He would stop numerous times, only to start again a few months later. He has tried the gum, the patch, even hypnosis. Nothing worked for the long term.  He tries very hard to quit, and we he picks it up again, we still give him the encouragement he needs to try to stop once again.

How many of us have habits that are found to be annoying or even repulsive.  Some are even unhealthy for the rest of us, but somehow smoking is the only castigated evil.

So if someone is lighting it up, away from everyone so not to bother, can’t we just leave him be?

Are you a smoker or non – smoker? What do you think about smoking and the general public’s view toward it?

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