Friday, October 24, 2008

The Trouble With Smoking

First, can I just say...ENOUGH WITH THE BLEEDING ALREADY! God, I feel like some kind of really grotesque sieve over here. Stupid fucking pads, I hate them. I feel like I'm wearing a giant diaper every day (as opposed to the small diapers?). And I miss my thongs. Full coverage panties are so restrictive.

Ok, moving on.

The trouble with smoking, aside from the whole "really bad for your health" thing, and the "really hard to quit" thing, oh and the "god I really smell bad" thing...are the logistical problems that arise, namely the buying of the cigarettes and the smoking of the cigarettes. Which basically describes the whole process of smoking, now that I think about it. Shut up.

Buying them is becoming a problem. Aside from the rising cost and inconvenience of stopping to buy them, there seems to be a shortage of cigarettes available for purchase. It must be some kind of weird side effect of the economic trouble. I ran into a small gas station by our apartment building last Friday to buy a pack of my preferred brand (and by "preferred brand", I mean the only brand I will spend money on. It's the brand with the two-humped creature on the packaging. That brand is my brand. The light variety, to be more specific). It's a very popular brand, and in my experience, it is generally well-stocked in gas stations across America. But last Friday, the gas station didn't have any variety of my preferred brand. None whatsoever. They had one brand and one brand only. An icky brand. It seems they are experiencing a cash-flow problem at the moment. In addition to cutting back the variety of cigarettes, they also quit stocking chewing gum. Because, you know, gum is so expensive and nobody ever buys it?

Ok, fine. I figured this particular gas station would soon be declaring bankruptcy and that would be that. As it turns out, another gas station in my neighborhood also quit stocking my preferred cigarettes. They still had a couple of the fringe varieties of my brand in stock, but not my preferred variety. So now I'm really concerned about the shortage of cigarettes in the area. It seems like an odd thing to run out of, because don't people smoke more when they are stressed? In fact, that's my favorite excuse for smoking in the first place! I don't see why gas stations still sell flavored coffee creamers if they aren't going to carry smokes. How can you drink delicious coffee without a delicious side of cancer-causing agents? I'm afraid that before long I'll have to drive all the way up to Canada to get my fix. And if that happens, I'll probably be forced to give up the habit entirely, because if you haven't noticed, gasoline is also getting harder to come by.

The second problem is that I have a really bad memory. I'm amazed every day that I make it out of the house with pants on. Pants seem like something I would be apt to forget on a regular basis. I don't like to smoke in our apartment. The morning-after scent is too unpleasant. So I'm forced to go outside, which usually isn't a problem. Except when I forget to bring my keys with me and I lock myself out of the building. Like I did last night. Gray wasn't home and I was kicking myself for not knowing a single neighbor. I stood looking at the door for quite some time, thunderstruck at the situation, because I was JUST IN THERE watching Jon & Kate Plus 8, and the commercial break was almost over and I was going to miss the Christmas episode if I didn't figure out how to break into the building. I walked around to the front door hoping I could sneak in on the coat tails of another resident. I practiced my "I swear I live here, I'm not a robber, I'm just a moron" speech while I waited. I texted my Jill to bring her in on the action (and let's be real, to give her a chuckle). I waited. No one came. Just when I was thinking I'd have to bed down on the stacks of phone books and sleep in the entryway, one of the building managers appeared. He almost walked right by me, apparently mistaking my frantic waving for a greeting. Luckily, he put two and two together and let me in.

I spent the remainder of the night huddled on the couch, trying to warm up after my extended foray with the damp night, and pondering how exactly it is that I find myself in these kinds of situations. I chose to absolve smoking entirely and blame the episode on my crappy memory, therefore avoiding a close-call with having to quit again. See how my rationalization works? It's awesome.

I can't say I was surprised this morning when I couldn't find my keys. Because they were sitting on the bench outside. Where I left them. When I went out to smoke. And thought I was locked out.