Where’s my brass band?

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.

outhouse-moonASIDE: 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.

9 thoughts on “Where’s my brass band?

  1. Cigarettes, of course, are so expensive these days that stopping smoking frees up a lot of room in the budget.

    Even though the budgetees spend the next six months grouchy while they wean themselves off the habit.

  2. Glad to hear you’ve given up smoking. This will improve your health and we will be able to look forward to many more years of your hilarious blog.

  3. I can totally relate to the fear of not being able to flush. One of my biggest fears is running out of TP paper. Is that anal? Don’t answer in case Dr. Ruth or someone is reading this. Congratulations on quitting. My brother’s in the hospital with a trach and he’s finally off his ventilator–yeah! Never smoked a day in his life. Trust me, you don’t want to go through any of it. In fact falling into the crapper sounds like a better way to go.

    • “falling into the crapper sounds like the better way to go.” Words to live by – literally.

  4. I won’t pretend I understand how hard it is to quit smoking, since I don’t smoke. I can only wish your transition into the non-smoking world be as swift and painless as possible!

    I was reading The Desert Rocks comment and was delighted to learn that I am not the only one who fears running out of toilet paper. Thanks goodness…

    • Dad told me how they used to have the Sears catalog nailed up in the out-house. Thank goodness, that was before glossy photo days.

  5. I used to play flute. In the 6th grade. I can be your band and provide much needed snappy music! On second thought, I wasn’t very good at the flute.

    Congratulations on quitting! I don’t know what it’s like, but if it’s anything like me giving up carbs, the world is in trouble.

    • I tried to learn the flute when I was 35. The little kids at the recital laughed at me because I sucked. Kids can be cruel.

      I totally agree. Nobody better mess with my carbs.

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