Announcing an exciting first for Alaina Mabaso’s Blog! Brad, my younger brother, frequent provider of blog material and occasional comment-realm dissenter has agreed to respond to my recent blog about cigarette smoking.
I have smoked on and off for about 6 years. Currently I’m off, and have been off for about 10 months. I’m pleased to report I have decided to stay off cigarettes, and that they have never been an addiction for me. Although I do believe an occasional smoke is quite enjoyable and nowhere near the end of the world. I was a 4-5 a day smoker for many months, for really no other reason than that they were just ‘there’, and it was instant gratification, which is usually mentally unhealthy. In the past, I don’t know why I’ve started up again after quitting for a number of months. After each cigarette-free interval, I feel significantly more healthy. You get your wind back, the dark circles fade, and the Alainas of the world release every grudge they may have had against you.
When it comes to smoking, both smokers and nonsmokers should be categorized and make to wear labels. This would prevent any altercations.
Here’s the category breakdown as I see it.
Category 1 Smokers
Category 1 Smokers are those who love smoking and have no intentions of quitting. They don’t care about the health of others or their own. They are category blind. Some are just plain selfish, and others are in need of mental therapy, because they justify their habits by saying “everyone dies someday.” They may smoke while pregnant, or they may smoke through illness. They are weak, and at the same time they are convinced that they are stronger than the rest. They feed off others and lean heavily on society, and will most likely never see the light.
Category 2 Smokers
Category 2 Smokers enjoy smoking but know they would be better off if they could just kick the habit. They understand the health risks, and have no problem changing their routine slightly to appease the non-smoker. In fact they prefer to know if they are being a bother to anyone. These folks tend to quit cold turkey when the time comes. Ask a Category 2 Smoker for stick. They will hook you up with a smile on their face.
Category 3 Smokers
Category 3 Smokers have a cig before bed, or a couple per week. They smoke on their own time, and usually in private. Most people don’t know they occasionally light up, and they smell like a ‘normal’ person.
Category 4 Smokers
There is almost no need for Category 4. These smokers might light up once every couple of months, because a friend offers them one, and because they’ve had a couple drinks by the time the generous Category 2 Smoker offered a cig (Category 1 Smokers never share). The Category 2 Smoker is thrilled to pawn off an occasional cigarette on a Category 4. The Category 2 usually feels very guilty smoking alone, so Category 2′s and 4′s get along quite well. But steer clear of the ox and enjoy your wontons.
Here are the categories of non-smokers:
Category 1 Non-Smokers
Category 1 Non-Smokers despise anyone who smokes for any reason or at any interval. They are category-blind. They are quick to anger, mentally unstable, have skewed vision, and it’s their mission in life to make a massive stink, paying for commercials where people line up body bags outside corporate tobacco company buildings and clutch megaphones feverishly with the anti-smoking symbol tattooed on the plastic rim. If they put that sort of heart into some other line of work, they would make six figures twice over, create charitable foundations and solve world hunger. Jerks!
Category 2 Non-Smokers
Category 2 Non-Smokers try to avoid smokers and smoking whenever possible. They are very agitated by Category 1 Smokers, but they also keep their distance from the Category 1 Non-Smoker. The Category 2 Non-Smoker is opinionated, but typically chooses to bite his or her tongue unless unnecessarily provoked. Watch out, because the Category 2 Non-Smoker will argue with unwavering confidence and wisdom. Category 1 Smokers and Non-Smokers will quickly realize that they have bitten off more than they can chew by arguing with a Category 2 Non-Smoker, and they will usually turn to anger and insults because they know their logic may be flawed.
Category 3 Non-Smokers
Category 3 Non-Smokers are aware of the laws and know the health risks, but are neither here nor there in the great debate. They go to concerts with their friends who puff, puff, then pass. The Category 3 Non-Smokers always pass, but don’t begrudge the recipient of the pass. He or she has more important things to worry about. Similar to Raymond, everybody loves a Category 3 Non-Smoker.
All this is not to say that, for example, a Category 1 Non-Smoker may cross over into the realm of the wise Category 2 Non-Smoker, but I really don’t have the room, time or desire to go into half-categories, though they probably do exist. No, there are no quarter categories – get outta here with that crap.
Alaina, as annoying as it is to your overactive olfactory factory, you’re almost out of luck with your smoking neighbor. He’s got an irrevocable right to puff that thing almost anywhere he wants until the day he croaks (literally). If he is a Category 2 Smoker, then you may have a chance to free your apartment of smoke, but at the risk sounding like a Category 1 Non-Smoker. If he turns out to be a Category 1 Smoker, then sticking to your Category 1 Non-Smoker guns is absolutely the way to go. Asking him to change his habits is a risky call. Flip a coin, and then have your husband do the asking if it lands on heads.
The categories balance each other out. Since Category 1 Smokers exist, there must be Category 1 Non-Smokers to retain equilibrium. But as soon as a Category 2 Smoker has a run-in with a Category 1 Non-Smoker, then a verbal D-day will most likely ensue, and it’s completely unnecessary. Category 1′s should be barred from debate with Category 2′s, and vice versa.
For those who are not familiar with recent roles my brother has played in this blog’s content, feel free to click on the pictures below.