This is the time of year when non-Philistines try to give up something for Lent. Ok, compared to Ramadan (a month of fasting every day), giving up chocolate or coffee or flossing your teeth for 40 days is for wussies. Just the same, I’d like some kind of reward for my self-deprivation.
Sure, I have the personal satisfaction every time I resist the urge to pounce on a Snickers bar, but I wouldn’t mind a little pat on the back from the lady behind me in the checkout aisle. You know, the one with the three boxes of Ho-Ho’s in her cart. Health food nuts who routinely abstain from sinful snacks like Cheez-Whiz will not be impressed by my willpower.
My husband and I are giving up cigarettes, but not out of religious observance, health concerns, or nagging from annoying non-smokers. It’s all about finances. We gave up smoking so we don’t have to give up luxuries like cable, phones, and running water.
ASIDE: Whenever we’re shopping for a new house, the first thing I do is go through and flush all the toilets. Apparently, those times when I’ve had to use an out-house have left an indelible mark on my psyche. Cigarettes vs. flushing = no brainer.
Whatever the motivation, this is a big fat hairy deal for us—especially my husband, who has been smoking all his adult life. In commercials, when you resist the urge to light up, a tiny band appears playing happy snappy music. First of all: creepy. Secondly: where’s my band?
I’ve found that those times when I feel like hanging it up and getting a pack of cigarettes, I’m scared about something. No, not like bigfoot, ghosts, or Donald Trump’s hair. More like, “What if people don’t like my new book?” scared.
Considering all the scary things that people face every day, it’s amazing that we’re not all chain smoking and buying out Twinkies. Honestly, I don’t know how Hostess is going out of business. Twinkies are sponge cake filled with unidentifiable cream, people. They practically sell themselves.
Maybe Lent is really about getting rid of our security blankets and facing our inner demons. <Whoa, that’s way too profound for this blog.> Ergo, I’m becoming a stronger person by working through my fears and I should be satisfied with that. Flush toilets are just the icing on the cake.