The title of this post should probably be Danny Castellano is my favorite tv closet smoker. I just started watching the Mindy Project and I am thoroughly enjoying this quirky comedy. I should be clear- cigarettes, in the show so far, have pretty much only been held, nobody has ever actually smoked.

That said, I love that they made Danny Castellano a pseudo-closeted smoker. I say pseudo-closeted because it seems everyone knows about it, but he still tries to hide it and projects an image of largely being a non-smoker. Classic closet smoker. It is probably not the only thing I like about him but the fact that we know that he smokes and that it is referenced to frequently is super intriguing.

I think I connected so much with this because of my brief foray into closet smoking. Although I guess I’m sort of a closet smoker as well. I still don’t volunteer information about the fact that I smoke to most people. I sometimes tell my classes for increased credibility. My anti-smoking boss doesn’t know nor would I tell him. My parents don’t know, nor do I ever think I will tell them. My close friends know I smoke the pipe occasionally and some of them know about my experimentation with cigarettes but other than my significant other have not seen it. My fellow occasional smoker co-workers know, but their secret safe with me.

All this secret/ occasional smoking gets me wondering: How many of us are there? I’m going to the dentist tomorrow and when my hygienist asks me if I smoke, I’m probably going to lie and say no again. I mean I drink a lot of tea and like red wine so there is other places for the staining to come from. More likely places. Family doctor asks: I’ll probably say I don’t smoke. But if I did tell, what would I say?

Me: I smoke when the opportunity presents itself.

Doctor/Dentist: How often would that be?

Me: Anywhere between 5 and 10 times a year.

Doctor/Dentist: Blah blah much healthier not to smoke at all blah blah blah or my doctor (because he has got the best sarcastic sense of humor) would probably almost roll his eyes, look at me disapprovingly and say, “Really? Try to cut back to zero.” or potentially, “Why? I don’t get it.” That could quickly turn into an awkward conversation.

I mean I occasionally fantasize about becoming a regular smoker but it is just a fantasy. A fantasy that turns me on. The reality is: I like enjoying a cigarette or pipe or cigar occasionally without the strings of daily use.

So when they do surveys to find out how many smokers there are, how many people lie and say they are non-smokers when really the answer should be occasionally? Perhaps the question is “Are you a smoker?” and they don’t identify as a smoker. This article says half of people in the US claim to be light or intermittent smokers.I also identified with this quote:” And because they don’t see themselves as smokers, they don’t intend to “quit.” ” So true.

But that article misses the point. Occasional smokers aren’t really addicted. At least not in the way the article suggests. This article was much more accurate in describing the occasional smoker. It talks about how the occasional smoker is addicted to smoking not necessarily the nicotine. Bingo. They likened it social drinking. Drinking and smoking confined to social situations that poses no problems to the user.

While I was terrified of becoming addicted, for me, it was the result of many many year of anti-smoking propaganda. It is becoming clear to me that beyond my fetish, I don’t have a huge drive to smoke regularly. Even when I do smoke socially, I often don’t want a cigarette as fast as some of the people that I am with. But I love the feeling of smoking. Inhaling the smoke. Holding the cigarette. Trimming the ash. The Buzz. Watching the filter turn brown.

So I think Danny represents a lot of us and that is why Danny Castellano is my favorite tv closet smoker.