I Just Want to Breathe

I sat outside for lunch today.  It’s gorgeous outside.  So, I sat there with my lunch and a paper that I wanted to read.  One bite in, and the person at the table next to me lights a cigarette.  I am downwind.  I just got up and moved to another table nowhere near anyone else so that I could enjoy my lunch without getting a headache  & coughing like mad.  I gave her a glare as I walked by, but she didn’t notice of course.  After I re-settled and took a bite of my food, a guy sits down at the table next to me … he has no food, no paper. Just sits.  I am on alert.  Sure enough, he lights a cigarette too.   I love sitting outdoors, but I do not like when other people ruin it for me by smoking near me.  99 days from today, Tulane’s campus will be smoke-free.  I am very much looking forward to that day.

I’ve always been appalled by cigarette smoke.  It gives me a headache and I can’t stop coughing when I am near it.  Growing up, both of my parents smoked.  I hated it.  I controlled the situation in the only way I knew: I cried (and made exaggerated coughing noises whenever they were near me).  When that didn’t seem to be effective, I bought “No smoking” signs and plastered them all over the house.  They promptly “disappeared.”  Eventually, I convinced them to only smoke in one room of the house, and today, their house is smoke-free.   Success!  Now, if only their patio was smoke-free too …

Today, many places are smoke-free … indoors.  So, the smokers are going outdoors.  Near the entrance to buildings.  On the patio of nice restaurants.  In the park when I am trying to run.  It’s ruining the outdoors for me.   The kid in me wants to cough like crazy near them hoping they’ll realize that they are causing me discomfort.  The sophisticated adult in me just goes inside, usually with a headache.  It doesn’t seem fair.

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2 Responses to “I Just Want to Breathe”

  1. Ma Says:

    I totally agree. Smoking is not only gross, it’s stupid and inconsiderate.

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