Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Resolution

This year is the first January I haven’t made any New Year resolutions because for the first time in my life, I can’t think of any. When I used to smoke, at every New Year’s Eve party I would luxuriously take my last desperate puff on a cigarette one second before midnight, shlurp from a proffered glass of champagne, then feel so light-headed from the bubbly, would mindlessly accept a cigarette. Having completely forgotten I had vowed to stop on the stroke of midnight, I would mindlessly puff away, scattering the ash on bystanders’ hair, before realising with horror I had already broken my new year’s resolution, knowing that I would be psychologically unable to stop the filthy habit until the following New Year’s Eve.

I finally did manage to kick the disgusting habit when I was grown-up. I started smoking when I was at school, because I was convinced that if I stuck a cigarette in my mouth, I wouldn’t be able to eat anything. I’ve always been naturally thin, but when I was a schoolgirl, being thin wasn’t good enough. In those far off days, Fashion dictated that you had to resemble a fragile elf in order to squeeze your shoulders into a garment cut so small, that the arms were no larger than a thimble.

I smoked for years, but unlike some of my hooked contemporaries never inhaled the smoke into my lungs, but instead puffed furiously away, which made me permanently look like a demented shuttlecock. Funnily enough, I was never a fan of smoking, because I was always conscious that my hair and clothes used to stink like an old ashtray. But, luckily for me everyone else used to stench like an old ashtray too, because in the Old Days, everyone smoked. If you didn’t have a cigarette drooping out of your mouth at all hours, people thought you were a drip and a weirdo.

Naturally, I didn’t tell my parents I smoked. Dad was glued to his pipe and as a result, all the ceilings in the house were stained orange from the nicotine, but he didn't care. Mum stopped smoking when she watched a scary programme on TV, which proved that smoking gives you lung cancer. She would have been furious if she realised I was secretly puffing away in my bedroom while blowing the smoke out of the window. Unknown to her, I used to wake up first thing in the morning, retch my guts out, then light up a cigarette before breakfast. I was so addicted that even when I was afflicted with bronchitis and was unable to walk up the stairs, the doctor warned me if I didn’t stop smoking, I would die. But, his prophecy of doom didn't stop me puffing away. When I used to smoke during my teens, it was impossible to give up. Smoking used to be allowed everywhere: on the tube, upstairs on buses, in restaurants, pubs, and in every public place imaginable which included the cinema. I recollect with gruesome nostalgia that when I went to the movies, I could just make out the screen during a fog of blue tinged cigarette smoke. Those were the days - not! But, after I finally stopped smoking by sheer will power, I blew out as I compulsively substitued grub for nicotine. After I had stopped smoking for a year, my next New Year resolution was to stop gobbling chocolate, which was the hardest thing, I ever had to do.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2006


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