Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between


June 2009

Random Thoughts about Renting

I’m currently looking for a new place to live and I have been entertaining the thought of potentially getting an apartment where smoking is permitted. The thing is, they are few and far between. I am looking forward to not having roommates though. Actually the search for an apartment has been interesting. I’ve seen all sorts of things regarding smoking and renting to smokers. Some places are “smoking permitted”. Others are “smoking allowed outside only”. One ad went as far to say no smoking on property or on street outside of property as houses are close together and smoking will bother neighbors. I’m wondering if the landlord has had past problems with smokers or complaints from the neighbors. That seems extremely prejudice, not to mention I’m sure as long as you are more than 5 meters from people’s doorways and not actually on their property they cannot stop you from smoking. My landlord is a doctor and allows smoking “outside only” which is fine I think, seeing as you are renting the place and do not own it. Some ads want non-smokers, although I’m not sure how they ensure that you are not a said smoker. Especially someone like me- who smokes occasionally. I could be the very picture of a non-smoker (at least outwardly in scent) when I go to meet them to see the place. After all, I haven’t smoked in about a month. But who knows about the future?

For me, I honestly do not see a problem with landlords deciding whether or not they want smokers inside their places. To me that is on par with landlords deciding whether they want to rent to people with dogs or cats. But restricting outside smoking? Well, just their attitude would make me avoid renting from them because someone that gets irritated or thinks the neighbors are irritated by a person smoking on the street in front of the house, will probably be the type to complain about how loud your car is or its black exhaust or anything else that they deem to be “irritating”.

Part of me wants to avoid renting a place in which I could smoke should I choose because then I will be more tempted to do it and would probably end up doing it more often. Living in places where smoking is not permitted really keeps me from indulging more frequently because I have to do it outside. I wonder if it is a little bit of self-sabotage (or self-protection?) that I stop myself from renting a place where I could comfortably smoke indoors. Quite honestly, I will probably end up picking a place that is affordable and it will have nothing to do with the “smoking permitted” or “not permitted” status of the building. Just daydreaming a bit about what it might be like to have a smokey place of my own.


Do you really hate it?

Although you, as readers, have seen me waffle between extremes I really do feel like I have made progress. I no longer feel guilty or wrong for my fetish. It simply is and in many ways although I do not completely understand it yet, I understand it far more than I did before. This understanding is what helps me feel okay with it. I’m glad this process led me to be more honest with my partner. We are closer than ever before.

I also have discovered much about myself in regards to my desire to smoke. I am glad I indulged myself in this area because although I never did complete the transformation, I have a better idea of what it might be like to smoke all the time. I’m no longer as curious about it, nor do I feel anxiety about my desire to smoke. The desire simply is and it comes and goes. At this point in my life, I’m not ready to fully surrender myself to smoking and I think that surrender is necessary to truly enjoy smoking to its fullest. Being constantly worried about whether or not I am addicted and the anxiety from not smoking when my brain was telling me I should is not worth it. I realize, for me, I either will have to commit entirely to being a smoker or not smoke. While there is a lot I love about smoking, while I was smoking I realized that there was much I enjoyed about not smoking. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. When I am smoking, I always wonder what it feels like to not be smoking and vice versa. It is really weird, but having this understanding helps me appreciate each state for what they are.

I think the reason why my anxiety for purchasing cigarettes is gone is because I have finally untrained all those year of PSA brainwashing. I call it that because I was taught to fear cigarettes and smokers, a fear that I think only heightened my fetish. My fear was irrational before and not healthy. My fetish exists because smoking is taboo. It will continue to exist as long as society deems it to be taboo, which will probably be for a long time now. For now, I am happy not smoking. For all I know, in two months I will be hit with cravings like the ones that I had at the end of April.

Through the course of my experimentation, I began to question smokers who say they hate smoking. I happen to like smoking, and while I have never been completely addicted or had my smoking become habitual, I’m fairly certain I have gone through physical withdrawal. It sucked, I will not even lie to you. I think if someone truly hates smoking that should be enough to get you through the process of quitting. I understand the hold nicotine can have, not being able to concentrate, the anxiety, the depression when the lovely drug stops coursing through your veins. The first week really sucks- for me I felt really empty inside. But all that passes and within a week or two… you’ll be fine. That’s why I think that people who say they hate smoking but cannot quit, really do not hate smoking that much. If they hated smoking that much, one or two weeks of suffering would be worth it, would it not? Maybe I do not understand, and really I do not presume to understand what it would be like to quit something that has become so enmeshed in one’s life. But I guess it bugs me that they might not be completely honest with themselves or others. And would it not be better and healthier for them psychologically to accept the fact that they do enjoy it?

I think you have to understand completely your motivation to smoke if you are going to quit. Telling yourself you hate it, when you really do not will just lead to frustration when you give in. Maybe some people do truly hate smoking. I guess I’m not one of them.

Smoking, Teens and Media: Past vs Present

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, probably because these are some smoking related media that resonated pretty strongly with me. Nowadays you are not allowed to show teens or pre-teens smoking cigarettes, nor do they have the PSA style episodes that they used to when I was growing up. My earliest memory of a response to smoking on television had to be watching the Raccoons. I think this is where my ideas of instant addiction came from. The episode showed Lisa Raccoon trying smoking to fit in with her friend from the city. At one point, they show her being chased by giant cigarettes and I think it really frightened me. I can remember that I always felt both excited and uncomfortable watching these young people/animals try smoking. What was even more odd, is that always wanted them to keep smoking. At least I thought that was odd as a kid. Now it makes a little more sense to me. But as a kid all I understood was that smoking was bad for me and the TV shows were telling me not to start unless you want to be a hopeless addict. And yet, I still on some deeper level I still think I wanted to try it. 

My next memory, is probably of Stephanie Tanner almost smoking on Full House. I was so disappointed that she didn’t. Again, this freaked me out a little that I was gunning so much for these TV figures to start smoking. Next was probably, the chick that takes up smoking on the original Degrassi. Honestly, this episode would be downright controversial and potentially even banned now because not only does the focus character for that episode start smoking, but they are ambiguous as to whether she will quit or not. I guess Degrassi was going for realism over PSA. That was long before the Next Generation years of exporting them to the states. I’m pretty sure that episode would never fly nowadays. 

I also remember Claudia from Party of Five experimenting and probably the most recent teen smoking that sticks out in my mind and probably one of the last incidences that would be shown on TV without some sort of PSA attached is the famous first time Ryan and Marissa meet on the O.C. 

You never did see Ryan or Marissa smoke after this. Sandy tells Ryan that if he is living under his roof he can’t smoke and Ryan obliges. After all, better to live in a mansion as a non-smoker than be homeless and a smoker. Or so the message of the show was. The next time you saw anyone smoke anything was when Marissa’s bad sister comes back from boarding school. She likes to smoke the green stuff and after getting some from her, Seth starts to smoke pot. Until he burns down his Dad’s office that is. I think teens pot smoking on TV is the 21st century equivalent of cigarette smoking in the late 80’s and 90’s. No one smokes pot without consequences and they are usually seen to abuse it in some way. Now they do not show teen smoking on TV because presumably they found that teens might be influenced by seeing the young stars light up on screen and it normalized the smoking. The same logic presumably does not apply to pot smoking because it is illegal. 

Gossip Girl, by the creator of the O.C.,  is based on a popular set of novels by the same name. The show differs from the show in many way but the most striking difference is that you would be hard pressed to find a character in the book that doesn’t smoke something. Nate is a pot head, Dan is a chain-smoker and Serena, Blair and the other girls all enjoy cigarettes with their coffee before class. Of course, they couldn’t have that. I mean they didn’t even show teens smoking like that back when I was a kid, let alone now when they seem to be hyper-vigilant about who is seen smoking on TV. 

Here is an excerpt:

Blair shrugged her shoulders and took a long drag on her dwindling cigarette. “I thought we could hang out by ourselves for awhile,” she said. “No one really comes out until later.”
“Okay,” Serena said. She smoothed out her dress and dug around in her little red purse for her own pack of cigarettes. Gauloises, from France. She tapped one out and stuck it in her mouth. “Want one?’ she offered Blair.
Blair shook her head no.
“There’re kind of strong, but the box is too cool, I don’t care.” Serena laughed. She was about the light up with a pack of bar matches, when the bartender swooped in with a lighter.  

We couldn’t have teens saying stuff like that on TV now, could we? And we don’t. Making Dan a non-smoker took a lot of his edge away. On the show, he is a downright goody goody, that is a writer still, but the similarities stop there. It is kind of interesting the difference it makes, but it does.

Anyhow, I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I’m not sure how much longer I will blog for so do not be surprised if this site one day disappears. I do not want to disappear but I might have to for personal reasons not pertaining to my boyfriend.

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