Sunday, October 18, 2015

"A Different Kind of Love"

Breaking up is always hard to do. Especially if you're like me and commitment means something more to you than just a word. It's about sticking with something through thick and thin, no matter how tough it gets. I take commitment very seriously. 
I take my relationships seriously. That's why, after my breakup last year, I still look back at times we shared together. It wasn't an easy split for me and I fought it far longer than I should have. I was the one that ended it. Oh, it was messy for a bit. At times I fought back tears and there were emotional ups and downs. But I survived. 

It doesn't make it any easier when people still rub my nose in it. They don't mean to. I try to tell myself that. I'll be sitting off by myself minding my own business, waiting on a load to pick up or get unloaded then I'll hear, "sorry, you can't be here, you'll need to go sit with those folks." Then they'll point me towards a table or a bench. 
Within a few feet of that table I'll smell the memories wafting up. It's hard not to get choked up sometimes. It's hard not to get a flash of the longest, most intense relationship of my life. The same old love is always there, trying to draw me back in. But I hold grudges so I can't go back. 

No more walks together. No more sitting outside holding her after dinner. No more time together on the porch with a cup of coffee. Nope. A year ago I walked away from that relationship and I won't be swayed. 

That's right. After a nearly 30 year, committed relationship, I gave up smoking and started vaping. "Hooray for me, on to a healthier lifestyle, right? Just think of all the benefits! Breathe easier, no more stinky cigarettes, save money, and not have to go out in the cold and rain to smoke. Sound too good to be true? That's where the conundrum begins. Follow me on a fun-filled journey through the eyes of a "vaper"... 
Here's where you cue the squiggly lines and slowly fade to another scene. Geez, I gotta do all the work around here? (Oh, you thought this was about a girl? Pfft..)

See, the thing about Vaping is that when you first start off you typically start with tobacco flavors and those cheap little "e-cigs" like Blu or something. Personally, I started with those "E Go" ones. Then I slowly began upgrading. Next came the E-vod. Then Molly gave me a cool, nearly indestructible one that I liked called the ELVT. 
In time I moved up to a God180. Even cooler and more power which meant I could be more "showy". I even bought a different model, called the Hades, for my oldest son for Christmas. When I discovered my newest one, the Sigelei Oni Limited Edition I had to have it. Partially because it was a Limited Edition. We won't even begin to discuss the tanks I went through during all of this. 

As we "evolve" as vapers we go from tobacco flavored "e juice" to different flavors. It doesn't take us long to refine our tastes. Right now my flavors of choice are Wendigo, which is a delicious Key Lime Pie and Magpie, which is "ooey gooey butter cake". These things smell as delicious as they taste.
Though the "e juice" is a mixture of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin with nicotine added to suit your desired levels, it smells like air fresher. It's like we are breathing out Febreeze and stuff. No need for cologne anymore, I'm wearing "fragrance de key lime". I feel it makes me sexier if I smell like a dessert item. 

Clearly I was working my way backward financially. "Hey, you guys all said this would be cheaper. I must really suck at math more than I thought I did."  As it turns out, I was spending more than I would on those delicious smoky treats. That's ok. I think I've finally settled on this set up so the cost will go back down. Mercifully. Unless something cooler comes out then I may have to explore the world of loan sharks so I can keep collecting. 
Now it'll be cheaper than cigarettes. Or, at least, cost about the same. So long as I can exhibit some self control. Self control isn't my strong suit. Who are we kidding? My only real strong suit is sarcasm. 

So then we enter a world where Vaping is becoming more and more popular. But here comes the rub. See, most people quit smoking and turned to Vaping for the health benefits. (Before you start arguing those with "studies that show Vaping is as harmful or more harmful", remember, those studies came out after tobacco sales dropped. That, to me, makes those studies suspect). Where can vapers vape? (Sounds like a tongue twister. "How much vapor would a vaper vape when a vaper vapes good vapor?") Outside. In the designated smoking area. Of course. 
So, here I am trying to smell like the dessert tray at a fancy French restaurant and you guys have me out here hanging out in the tobacco cloud. These buggers are hacking up lungs and I'm breathing easier. Unfortunately, I'm breathing in second hand smoke now. My clothes smell like this stuff, my hair smells like it and I've spent a year trying to overcome it. Does it make sense to send recovering smokers to hang out with the smokers? Is this like a ruse from the tobacco companies to reel us back in? That's like telling a recovering alcoholic that they've gotta wait at the bar. "Don't worry, shots will be waiting when you arrive."