Scene from “The Royal Tenenbaums” involving Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow) and her mother Ethel Tenenbaum (Anjelica Huston):
(Margot lights up cigarette in hospital waiting room)
Ethel: How long have you been a smoker?
Margot: 22 years.
Ethel: Well, I think you should quit.
So here comes my royal confession: like Margot, I’ve been a closet smoker as well, and I’m nearing on 22 years myself. It’s been an on/off relationship as I’ve managed to quit a few times, but lately I’ve been blazing a half pack or more a day, and I’m officially done. Here is my private smoking life, displayed for you all to see:
Age 18 – Drops out of college and becomes a raver. Ravers loved to smoke menthol cigarettes because they enhance, um, things. I started with only smoking here and there, maybe a pack a week. Brand of choice: Marlboro Menthol Light.
Age 21 – Goes to Paris, France with a friend who also smoked. The laissez-faire cigarette culture of France was romantic and cool in my young stupid eyes. I started smoking like a fiend and switched to a “classier” pack. Brand of choice: Benson & Hedges Menthol Ultralight.
Age 22 – I had already met and was with my ex-husband, who smoked Marlboro Lights. I lost my taste for menthol and was up to a solid pack a day. Brand of choice: Marlboro Ultralight.
Age 27 – I was down to a half pack again, and after a small breakup with the ex, I decided to shift back into a different brand to suit my new single self. The recessed filter on these cigarettes are something I’ll forever miss. Brand of choice: Parliament Silver Pack.
Age 32 – I quit because my son was born. Cold turkey. No issues.
Age 35-present: It’s been rough. I started back in when we were having marital issues – usually just 3 or 4 a night. Then I would quit and tell myself things like “only on vacations, or when I go the casino.” Finally, I caved in after the actual divorce and got back up to a half pack a day again. Brand of choice, forever: Parliament Silver Pack.
First of all let me say – I think I’m completely disgusting. Second, I’m working on that as I type, and will reveal to you my plan. Third, I have no choice – I need to be on earth as long as possible for my son, end of story. So, I visited my surgeon last week (for my upcoming hernia surgery, read: Panic! at the Household
My philosophy is going to be this – and I borrowed a little bit of it from Alcoholics Anonymous but what the hell:
And soon enough, I won’t think about cigarettes as much as I am now. And after that I won’t think about them at all, or just rarely. So these 5 things will become easier with time – how amazing is that? Also, I won’t have ashtray breath, which will enormously boost my confidence and drastically reduce my Altoids intake. I’ve done this before and I can do this now. The timing will always be bad, but the reasons for quitting outweigh that greatly. I want my son to have his Daddy around for an ungodly amount of time, so I will do anything to make that happen.