Memories of traveling as a smoker

Blog Post created by Margaretd Champion on Feb 1, 2020

I am on an 18 hour car trip and I'm reminded of the pains of being a smoker while traveling with a non-smoker.  First, I remember how I used to look at the map to figure out where I was going but more so, to figure out how many miles I would have to travel before I could legitimately ask the non-smoking husband to pull off so I could have a cigarette.  The first few requests to pull over went over okay, but as the travels wearied us, so did the husband of my constant request to pull over. 


When I was able to get him to pull over, I knew my time "break time" needed to be split between cigarette, bathroom, getting a coffee  -  in that order.  I can tell you the cigarette had priority over all other necessities, including foregoing the bathroom over having a cigarette.  - what person in their right mind makes that kind of decision?


My next struggle was giving myself enough outdoor time without a cigarette so that I could let the smell of the cigarette dissipate before getting back into the car because my husband would always (rightfully so) make a comment about how bad I smelled.   Somehow his mention of how bad I smelled would cause me to seeth because, after all, had he given me more time on our incessant breaks, I could have the cigarette and wash up a bit before getting into the enclosed car smelling like the bottom of an ashtray.  I truly thought he was being selfish and inconsiderate of my needs.


Reaching our destination, you'd think I would get relief. Here,  I could smoke again when I wanted to.  Yet, when we reach our friend's house, I have to start the plotting once again.  They (the friends) come outside to greet us, bring us inside and while I'm happy to see them, my body is screaming for a cigarette.  I don't want these people to know I'm hooked on nicotine so I keep it on the sly.  I wait a reasonable amount of time and tell my friends I want to go for a walk around the block - I'm trying to be healthy, I tell them.  


By the time I leave, these people will believe I'm in training for a walking marathon.  Smoking on the sly means that I must wake up before anyone and go for a walk to get in my nicotine fix, being careful not to wake the friends, my husband or the stupid dog that always catches me and starts barking.  I fix that because I start taking him on my walk with the leash, and my friends are grateful that I am walking the dog each morning.  Once I figure out the dog walking trick, I'm walking him all over the neighborhood to the point when he sees me coming, he runs away.  


Finally, the visit is over, time to go home.  Plotting the nicotine intake on the way home is a little easier because I know the route and the limits of my husband's patience.


 When I get home, I'm more exhausted than when I left for vacation.