Yep, another month has rolled around, and it's time to do the counts:
Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3 and today, had I not quit: 6,300.
Amount of money saved: $1,123.50.
Last night I polished my nails for the first time since I quit. You see, I had a routine: Put on the base coat; smoke a cigarette while it dries. Put on the first color coat; smoke a cigarette while it dries. Lather, rinse, repeat.
And no, I never lit my nails on fire while smoking and putting on polish, but I know a girl who did. Her name was Beth, and she was the younger sister of one of my best friends in high school. Not only did she burn the polish off her nails, the flames singed her eyelashes and eyebrows as well. Her sister and I were sixteen or seventeen at the time, meaning Beth must have been, oh, 14 or 15, and already smoking. God, we all smoked like chimneys back then. Heck, they allowed smoking in the "senior lounge" in high school - you'd walk past it and the smoke would roll out into the hallway.
You could smoke everywhere back then - I remember visiting my Dad in the hospital when he was recuperating from back surgery and he was smoking in his hospital bed. A few years later, when he was in the hospital again, they had tightened up the rules, and he could no longer smoke in his room, so he had to go out to the hallway to light up. Can you even imagine lighting up in a hospital today?
I was on one of the last continental smoking air flights - My sister Texas and I went down to visit our parents in Florida in 1992. We could smoke on the plane on the way down, but by the time we came back, new rules had gone into effect and you could only smoke on intercontinental flights. If you tried to smoke on a plane today, you'd probably be accused of being a terrorist.
I have a picture of myself at eleven months old in the smoke-filled family rec room. The wisps of smoke are curling around me like wraiths. Everybody smoked back then, or at least it seemed like it. I guess it would have been surprising if I didn't start smoking; hell, I was probably addicted to nicotine before I ever lit that first cigarette.
That said, I'm sorry I wasted 30 years of my life in such a useless pastime, but I can understand, sort of, why I did it. It's hard to stop doing something that you've been doing all day, every day, for 30 freakin' years, but damn it, I'm doing it.
And I've figured out a new routine: Put on the base coat; watch a little TV. Put on the first color coat; read a few pages. Got it!