THIS YEAR ...BUTT OUT!
Sure, there are lots of good reasons to quit smoking. It just took
me twelve years to find one. Once
I made the decision to quit, I started reading everything about the
subject I could get my hands on.
I found nothing that inspired me.
Then one day, about three days before
my target date to quit, I hit upon my own
inspiring thought. It was my own bright
idea to start smoking, so why should I
expect somebody else to convince me to
stop? At that point I stopped reading and
started thinking for myself.
If you are expecting a righteous diatribe on the evils of tobacco, you will be
disappointed. I would still be smoking
today if I were as happy about being a
smoker as I was the first ten years that I
smoked. I quit because I had become one
of those annoying whiny smokers. I began
confessing my desire to quit to my friends.
I rambled on endlessly about the damage
that cigarettes were causing in my life. I
couldn't light up without seeing the Grim
Reaper tapping on my shoulder. After
about two years of such nonsense, I had to
admit that the thrill was gone for me. If the
thrill is gone for you, too, I hope I can provide some encouragement.
My first suggestion is to use any
means necessary to help you stop. If you
want to go "cold turkey," you have my
admiration. I opted for the nicotine gum
method myself. (Many straight people ,
warned me about the perils of the gum,
such as jaw soreness, but, needless to say,
that has not been a problem.) Use the
patch, acupuncture, past lives, whatever.
My experience has been that if you think it
works then it will work.
If you, like me, are looking for inspiration from literature, know that most of it
is written by non-smokers. Take for
example the supposedly motivational fact
that if you quit today, your lungs will be
back to normal within ten years. Smoking
is all about immediate gratification. If we
could wait a decade to feel better, we
wouldn't be smoking in the first place.
How many people would buy a diet book
that boasted, "Lose all the weight you
want by 2004*'? You will live longer. Now
that is definitely a non-smoker's idea of
encouragement. Who wants to live forever
thinking the entire time about how badly
she wants a cigarette?
The folks who write stuff like "reduce
your risk of cancer and heart attack" must
not realize how much denial is involved
with smoking. Deep down, every smoker
believes that she will be that legendary
puffer who lives to be a robust 100.
Willard Scott's grandson will be wishing us
a happy century along with that lady in
Montana who lived so long because she
never wore her seat belt and therefore was
never trapped in a burning car.
What I have for you here are a real
smoker's reasons to quit:
1. MORE SEX
It's true. Whether you are single or
partnered, you will be having more sex
when you quit. You will have no choice.
One of the primary withdrawal symptoms
is increased sex drive. Smoking is an oral
fixation. Take the cigarette away and the
fixation still remains. Also, you will not stink
or have dragon breath any more, so women
are bound to find you more attractive.
2. MORE TIME
I never realized how time-consuming
smoking was until I quit. This was especially
evident at work. I used my breaks to
smoke. By the time I reached the designated
smoking area and had a few puffs, it was
time for me to race back to work. I was
always exhausted after my breaks.
3. YOU GET TO BE A BITCH
And get away with it. The truth is that
people who quit smoking are no grumpier
than the average non-smoker. We just seem
crabby compared to how we used to be
when we smoked. Hey, it's easy to be mellow when you know that you can suck on
a drug and everything will be all good.
4. NO MORE CONVENIENCE
Talk about living longer. You are
much more likely to be killed while purchasing a pack at a mom-and-pop death
stop than you are to die of lung cancer.
Have you seen the papers lately? Those
places are like shooting galleries.
5. EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER
If you think food tastes better when
you quit, wait until you try . . .
6. FEWER CAR ACCIDENTS
Non-smokers have been wasting all of
their time and effort getting bars and
restaurants to prohibit smoking. Sure,
second-hand smoke kills a few thousand
people a year, but that is nothing compared
to how many car wrecks smokers cause.
Those groups should be lobbying for a
non-smoking lane on the freeway.
If I ran out of smokes while driving
and I thought there might be another one
somewhere else in the vehicle, you better
Reprinted from Deneuve
Deneuve has a new moniker, CURVE
by michele fisher
believe that I was looking for it. Many's the
time I have steered my car with one foot
while I searched the back seat for a butt.
Did you know that it is impossible for
the human eye to focus on an object that is
very close and one that is further away at
the same time? Ask any smoker; she will
tell you. Every time you light up behind the
wheel, you travel a few hundred feet totally blind. Ever try to steer a ton of metal
while a burning object smoldered on your
crotch? I have, but not very successfully.
7. SMOKING HAS BECOME FASHIONABLE AGAIN
Generation X is big on smoking. I prefer my addiction to bring up feelings of isolation and humiliation. I used to thrive on the
degradation of slinking outside alone at
social functions. I would shiver on someone's
back porch and pretend not to notice the
occasional pitiful glance that would come
from a warm non-smoker inside. Recently,
the porch has become too crowded.
8. NO MORE PET GUILT
When I smoked, I felt sorry for people
around me, but I figured they knew what
they were getting into when they entered
my ashtray of a house. I even puffed
around the kids shamelessly. I reasoned
that a little smoke in the crib was nothing
compared to what the kid would do to
himself when he became a teenager.
But pets. I just couldn't help feeling
like a louse for screwing up their already
too brief little lives.
When I quit smoking, the cat quit
snoring. Now that was inspirational.
9. WOMEN WILL HAVE TO DATE
YOU TO FIND OUT THEY DO NOT
WANT TO BE WITH YOU
When you smoke, it is too easy for
women to rule you out as a prospective
partner. When you quit, you will be like
everybody else. A woman will be privy to
your short-comings and bad habits only
after sex has occurred.
If you are planning to quit, I hope this
helps. If you are still smoking, then for
Goddess's sake shut up and enjoy it.
As of press time, Michele Fisher was
still making the world safe for her cat and
getting plenty of sleep.
Seeking Submissions for
March issue on Body
Image and Overeating
So as not to dis smokers by
themselves and because body image
is a universal concern for women, we
are planning to feature personal
writing and book reviews on body
image and behaviors around food in
the March or April issue. Please send
submissions to Womynspace,
P.O.Box 980601, Houston, TX 77098
or drop off at our envelope at Inklings
Bookshop in the Bulletin board area
behind the door. Please sign your
submission. We will withhold names if
specified. For more info, call Sue Cox
at 664-9215. Submissions must be
received by February 15.
A very prolific author, Leslea
Newman published a novel in 1986
Good Enough to Eat. Her heroine is
Liza Goldberg who is funny, twenty-
five and a bulimic. Here's how Liza
eats Doublestuff Oreo cookies:
"She put the book back and reached
for her calorie counter. I do have to
plan another diet after my fast, she
thought, bringing the book over to her
bed. She thumbed through it as she
ate the tops off a bunch of Oreos.
When she'd had about ten, she put
the bottoms together, making
quadruple cream sandwiches, lined
them up, and ate them slowly as she
plotted a new eating scheme.
Let's see, 500 calories. Think I'll start
with English muffins. Liza looked
them up: plain 120 calories, raisin,
130. A tablespoon of butter had 100
calories, so two teaspoons would be
about 66. That makes 200 calories
Newman's novel explores the
disease, bulimia and the recovery
A more recent work is Fat
Girl Dances With Rocks, a coming
of age, coming out novel about two
high schools girls who like geology
and looking for rocks. The girls also
experience a rocky relationship. More
on this book later. Sue Cox
Quotes and Soundbites From Feminist Booksellers on The Importance of Feminist
Bookstores to Feminist and Mainstream American Culture
"We are in feminist bookselling to educate, to end sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia,
classism, and all the other inequities that threaten our society and survival, and to create a safe
space for our sisters and brothers. We are in the business to change the world. Feminist
bookstores are in it for the long haul and are proud to be part of a larger movement for social
change. — Theresa Corrigan Lioness Books, Sacramento, Calif.
"We have a commitment to carry and disseminate progressive ideas, not merely to sell
commodities. We do so much more than sell books; over the last ten years we have helped
innumerable women through life crises, not by counseling them, but by empowering them about ,
the choices they have." - Tollie Miller, Co-Owner, A Readers Feast, Hartford, Conn.
"If people buy books at Barnes & Noble, small stores (including feminist stores) will go
out of business, feminist presses will suffer and books will disappear. This is how economics
creates censorship - book buyers contribute to their own censorship by supporting the chains. If
book buyers allow this to happen, Barnes & Noble (and the other chains) will decide what gets
sold, what is in print, the size of print runs, and ultimately, what people have access to. The
question is not who gets a piece of the pie; the pie itself will be drastically changed. And don't
expect feminist and other progressive causes to be part of what's left."
- Sally Owen, co-owner of the recently closed Judith's Room, New York City ___^m^mxmmmmim^JKmm