Last weekend my husband and I went away for a few days. Once again we were upgraded to a suite in the hotel because we weren’t even there one second when I noticed that the patrons before us were smoking. Mind you, it was a supposed to be a non-smoking hotel. But what really got me is that it was also a no-pet hotel. We could have easily been sneaky and brought our cat in and no one would have been the wiser. Yeah, some pet owners don’t clean up after their animals and they could be destructive, but for the most part, pet owners are clean people and control their pets. You can’t say the same about smokers. The nicotine fit kicks in and the cigarettes are whipped out faster than a greased rat’s ass. Smokers have zero control over this nasty habit and leave their disgusting butts all over the place.
What makes someone smoke is beyond me. Cigarettes smell and leave a stench that lasts for eternity. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would have several cigarettes lit at one time. I’d go around, ashtray to ashtray and put them all out. She’d get mad at me, but that never stopped me from doing it again. And again and again. Later on in life, cigarette smoking attributed to her diabetes complications and Grandma had her leg amputated. There are television commercials that illustrate this, yet people continue to smoke like chimneys. Some women use smoking as a weight loss tool, with no regard for what could happen to them down the line. Just another sad illustration of how we live in a world where people are ruled by selfish instant gratification.
As a young girl, I once asked a male friend what is the biggest turn off. Without hesitation, he said, “A woman who smokes. That is not sexy.”
I have to agree with him. All the years of seeing so many of my favorite actors or rock stars with a cigarette dangling from their mouth, I felt incredibly disappointed. A pretty boy can turn real ugly with one of those dreadful things coming out of his lips. Ew.
But aside from the stench, aside from the fact that it’s totally disgusting, and aside from the fact that smoking is a health crisis, what bothers me most about smokers is, as I said above, how inconsiderate they are. When I was still single and living in an apartment complex, the couple below me smoked like chimneys. They had a bucket near their door filled with sand and cigarette butts. Just looking at that turned my stomach. Once they moved in, I could no longer sit outside on the back porch. The smell made me gag. When I complained to the supervisor, those tools retaliated and said that I made too much noise. Note, I was in that apartment from 1991 to 2005 and none of the other couples below me complained. But try to come between a smoker and his/her cigarettes and it’s like trying to pry food out of a Pitbull’s mouth … it just ain’t happening.
And I don’t know what’s worse: the blatant in-your-face smokers who shamelessly light up with no regard to who they are annoying. Or the sneaky ones who lie about it. The episodes of “Sex and the City” where Aidan wanted Carrie to quit smoking was so on the money. I worked with women who were engaged and lied to their fiances about smoking.
One day years before I became self-employed, I was working for a publishing company in Hoboken. Hoboken, New Jersey was a great place to work in the late 1990s. There were health food stores, indie bookstores, and indie record shops before corporate Hipsterville took over and homogenized it. But, yeah, back in the day, I’d freely roam the streets and even though Hoboken is like a little Manhattan, you could easily jaywalk from side to side. That’s exactly what I did if a smoker was approaching me. I’d simply cross to the other side of the street so I didn’t have to smell his/her stench.
Anyway, I worked with one of those lying smokers. I’ll never forget, it was either spring or fall — one of those seasons where you either need a jacket, or you don’t. I made the mistake of asking a smoker, “When you went out for your cigarette, how was the weather?”
She didn’t hear the “how was the weather?” part — only the part about “cigarette.” The woman went into a ballistic rage about how she DOESN’T SMOKE! She was yelling at me, embarrassing herself, for at least seven minutes straight. Then she didn’t talk to me anymore after that.
Did I deserve that? Not at all. Yet other smokers defended her and said I should have asked her about the weather without saying, “when you went out for your cigarette.” That is the smoking mentality … people who smoke make no sense. It’s okay that their smoking offends everyone, but not okay if someone speaks up about it.
Isn’t it my right to live in a world with clean, fresh air? Why do I have to suffer for your nasty, stinky habit that you obviously have no control over? Why is it okay for smokers to brazenly light up in a hotel room (and get away with it) when a pet owner would never dare bring a pet into a hotel that says “no pets”?
After three days, when my husband and I came home and opened the door to our house, it smelled SO GOOD. Was it because even after a hotel upgrade, I still had smoke on the brain? Maybe. Once that smell gets up your nose (and into your lungs) it’s a helluva gross thing to forget.
I took a great big whiff of our non-smoking house and then picked up my cat and gave him a big hug, taking in a big whiff of his natural, beautiful kitty smell! If I have to be addicted to something, I’m so glad it’s my cat! ❤
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513