Friday, October 05, 2007

Attention Smokers:

As a former smoker, I can understand the "need" to have that cigarette. It can become all-encompassing, and your brain temporarily goes on vacation as your desire overtakes the common-sense areas in your life.

But here are a few hints:

If there is a NO SMOKING sign, and you are standing beyond it, in a designated "Smoke-Free" area, please be assured that I WILL tell you to move into the designated area. The designated areas are generally NOT right in front of the main doors of the store (in this case, the commissary) I am entering with my young son.

If you REALLY need to have that cigarette, please, be my guest. But don't decide that you need it AFTER you've gotten into your car, started it up, put it into reverse, and backed up into the lanes of travel. THIS is NOT the time for you to let your brain go on vacation. This is NOT the time for you to dig through your purse for your pack of cancer sticks. This is NOT the time for you to search in vain for the flame of death that will warm the next nail in your coffin. Because you're in MY way, and your back-up lights are on, and I have NO clue what your intentions are for your direction of travel.

Oh...and one last thing. If you ARE a smoker, and a parent**, AND you choose to smoke while around your children, I'm all for it - it's your child, so I don't really care (well, I DO, but it's not my place to say your killing your kid, because quite frankly, I managed to survive my 2-pack a day parents). But PLEASE, don't bring your lighted cigarette into the gated, fenced public park that very plainly has a NO SMOKING sign on the gate. Oh, DID see the sign! Good for you. But let's have half a brain and do NOT, I repeat....DO NOT PUT YOUR CIGARETTE OUT ON THE GROUND IN THE PLAY AREA. Because this particular park/playground is designed for children under the age of 5. And did you even MANAGE to see the kids (mostly under the age of THREE) toodling around having a blast, picking up EVERYTHING on the ground? NO? Well, here's a good, swift kick in the buttocks to remind you.

**Dumb parent alert: If your child can't hold his head up quite steadily, he is NOT ready for a swing. I do not CARE how cute he looks. I do not CARE that the swing is a baby-style swing. Your poor little boy's head was bobbling all over the place, banging the triangular braces that hold the seat on...did you not SEE that? And you would push, ever so gently, and the cutest ever face-plant to the front of the should have been video-taping for posterity. The cries? OBVIOUSLY, as a parent, I must not be smart enough to see them as cries, screeches and whimpers of JOY.

I'm spent....


Dak-Ind said...

we live directly across the street from a city park, so i know all about those of whom you speak. a few times i have even had to put out small fires in the bark dust around the play equipment caused by smokers... and twice per week we go over with rubber gloves and plastic grocery bags to clean up the butts. sigh.

michele sent me

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Smoking is so damn insidious....I wrote a whole post about it, a long time ago...(It's under "Interesting Posts"...some day I will have to add to that tiny list of one....)

It is hard for me to understand ANYONE smoking at all anymore---But around their kids? I mean..I just do not get it! With all we know now....It is beyond shameful. It is just incredibly selfish and truly says what a disastrous dangerous addiction it can be to ALL those around you that you profess to love.
This is a powerful post Linda. Good For You!.

It will be 37 years since I stopped smoking, on November 13th...I will be starting into my 38th year. The damage was done and I am just grateful I did not inflict my addiction on any children...that is to say, any of my children, because I didn't have any....God knows what I inflicted on other people's children, animals, and them, too!

SB said...

I grew up with both parents are VERY heavy smokers. 2 of my siblings smoked. I swore I would NEVER smoke and I haev held true to that promise. I even brain-washed my oldest to believe that yes, ONE CIGARETTE CAN KILL YOU.

Smoking is a nasty, disgusting habit.

Next time you go that park, bring a water pistol. Practice your aim. Also wear running shoes. But certainly you can out run a smoker?


Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me... I can't agree more! And, I smoked from the time I was 14 until about 4 years ago.

BTW, they back out of a space and search for cell phones the same way! :)

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday!

Carmi said...

Amen. I look forward to the day when this habit is history. The behaviors that accompany it are almost too stupid for words.

My wife survived a two-smoking-parent household. What blew me away about her parents' conduct was that they knew she was asthmatic. Maybe it's just me, but that would be my first, last and only incentive to quit.


rennratt said...

As a former smoker, I couldn't agree more.

Please add "Please, PLEASE, feel free to give me attitude when I point out the NO SMOKING signs. Please, PLEASE, comment loudly that my husband is overreacting when he wheezes, turns red and nearly passes out around you. After all, he's only allergic to the crap!"

Heidi said...


Good post, Linda! I am glad that you were brave to post what you were thinking!

Nicely done.

Christy said...

You know how I feel about smoking! Not one disgusting habit I hide my disdain for. Growing up in a 2 parent house of smokers, and having bronchitis year after year and knowing that it did damage on my lungs and it's been now shown that it's linked to pediatric Childhood AML leukemia (the one Jordyn had) and of course we know all the other things it can bring on.

Now if only our post would get with it and totally ban it from the parks here, I'd be so happy. It makes me so angry to see parents smoking at our park and my kids have to hold their breath as they walk by them (and I tell them to hold their breath to make a point! LOL :X)

Sue said...

January will be 7 years for me and I thank Hannah every day for making me do it :) -- I can seriously understand the cravings but I see so many people who can't even afford it anymore spending more on cigarettes than groceries -- it makes me so sad. AND -- please, please, please, wait 20 minutes or so before coming into my office after you have had a cigarette -- you REALLY stink!!

Kim K. said...

I totally agreee. About 10 years ago, I had a severe asthma attack (was hospitalized for several days). When the ambulance came to get me, the driver had been smoking! I already thought I was going to die...but the smell of this guy nearly finished me off!
Way to go, Linda!