Present me a gold star and validate my positive choices for I do not, and have never, smoked a cigarette! Praise me for I am awesome, I am a…
Hold up a second! If I’m so great for not smoking, why do I so often feel like the rogue friend?
The majority of my friends are smokers. Eight friends go out to a nightclub, and three don’t smoke, myself included. We’ve all enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages and keen for a night out on the town. After paying for entry to a club, the group as a collective race for the designated smoking area, as I trail behind unaware of the destination. As they flurry to smoke, I ask one of the nonsmokers if he’d like to get a drink instead as the other had already embarked on his choice of passive smoking. But, to my disappointment, I was entirely ditched by my smoking and nonsmoking friends, all of whom huddled in the repulsive vortex of heavy thick smoke with dozens of people squashed amongst the gray clouds. I left and went home.
A good friend of mine – let’s call him Nut – doesn’t smoke. Nut and I have been friends for a few years, and smoking has never been a topic of discussion. One night Nut goes to a concert with a good friend, who also doesn’t smoke. The three of us catch up a week later at a BBQ, and I almost collapse in shock when I walked outside to see both friends casually smoking. They explained that they had decided to start smoking the week before and bought a pack of smokes at the concert. The year is 2018, and they’re almost 30 years old. Sigh. Am I being too judgemental here?
My old work colleague, goes for a smoke break for 15 minutes, casually struts back in and sits right next to me. I’m talking hunched over my desk since we’re working on a project together. She absolutely stinks of cigarette smoke! I’m choking, and not in a fun way. And why don’t I get a paid smoke break too?!
I’ve been abandoned at dinner parties in favour of smoking, the night turning into an unexpected date with just my right hand and I. My list of smoking annoyances feels seemingly endless. Poor little’ol me!
Why am I so bothered?! I’m born and raised in a little Australian town, and no one in my family has ever smoked. It wasn’t until I turned 18 and moved to the City that I was exposed to secondhand smoke for the first time. In the City, it’s everywhere!
My opinion is that people that smoke are selfish. Yep, I said it! They walk around leaving a haze of white smoke all over the place for the people around them to breathe in, their tiny cigarette buds get discarded on the ground without any care and then wash into our lakes and oceans. In Australia, the buds are often thrown out car windows and cause wildfires which burn down houses and destroy property. Smoking adds an astronomical cost to government medical expenses, and for those who don’t smoke, passive smoking is so often forced upon them.
Do I need more nonsmoking friends or am I just being a bit of a douche? My left-hand gets jealous of the right hand… was that an overshare?! Did this just get weird?
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Written by Jason Spark
February 15th, 2019