Ryan Gosling and I have one less thing in common.
I have decided to quit smoking because I’ve never spent so much money on something I’m so ashamed of. I say this as a man who has been to several WWE pay-per-views as an adult.
It smells. It makes me smell. Its dirty. I’ve burned holes in shirts. One day, it will kill me. So best to get out of that, I guess.
That being said, smoking is really, really cool.
Smoking might be the coolest thing in the world. I have a very specific idea of what cool is, and you’ll have to excuse how antiquated it may be, but that Steve McQueen sort of thing should work for everybody. He died of cancer, but it was from asbestos. That’s one in the plus column.
I’m not in touch with my manliness. At all. Like, not even close. I live tweet Jerseylicious. I spend a lot of time shopping for socks online. I was once late for work because I was in the middle of a fairly extensive Google image search for exactly what I wanted my hair to look like. Smoking was all I had to pretend to be dangerous in some way. As dangerous as Parliament Lights can look, anyway.
I can’t speak for the experience of others. Maybe some people do use cigarettes for the stress relief, or the least believable reason possible, great taste. I smoked specifically to feel more like Keith Richards, or Hunter S. Thompson, or Montgomery Clift.
LOOK AT MONTGOMERY CLIFT. LOOK AT HIM RIGHT NOW.
That’s me. Or it used to be, anyway. As it turns out, most people(read: girls) don’t seem super into that sort of thing anymore. Somewhere along the line being health conscious and having a sense of smell managed to overtake what we knew to be cool. Somewhere along the line it became trashy.
I have spent my entire life running away from being secretly trashy. No one in my immediate family is especially trashy. We had certain trashy tendencies like enjoying NASCAR, wearing free hats and irresponsible spending, but those things are all fairly mainstream at this point in time. Put it this way, no one owns any guns.
My extended family, however, is a low income murderers row of shame and depravity. The idea that smoking a cigarette somehow makes me resemble any of them is enough to put the fear of God into me. Or the fear of public ridicule, which is a much more real and infinitely powerful threat.
I don’t know how long this will last. Until I die from a cancer unrelated to smoking, ideally. I’m three days in. I just figure talking about it is a way of putting pressure on myself. As someone who can’t stand the thought of being judged, a displeased “I thought you quit” out of someone could shake me to my core. I’ll lament the loss of a beloved accessory and character trait forever, but there are others out there.
There are tons of less harmful, less smelly forms of self destruction I can use to define my personality. What do you guys think of Scientology? Is that a good look for 2012?