I’m just going to come right out and say it: I fucking hate smoking, and I am so goddamned happy about the upcoming smoking ban in Oregon slated for 2009 I could scream.
We went out to a bar with some friends recently, and it was a bar we’d never been to but heard good things about. It’s small-ish with no windows, which seems like it’d be creepy until you get inside, and it’s actually a pretty cute, cozy place with rad zebra striped benches and funky, unique tables. It does, however, allow smoking.
As soon as the men sitting next to us lit up, my eyes started burning and it got harder to breathe. I started blinking a little bit more forcefully since my eyes were irritated and tried to breathe through my mouth so I wouldn’t smell it as much. It didn’t work. My eyeballs were stinging and my lungs felt gross.
After we left, my mouth tasted so bad I had to spit on the ground a couple times on the way to the bus stop. I NEVER spit in public if I can help it, but I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth and it was the only thing I could do to help. I would turn to say something and get a whiff of my hair, which by then had soaked up the stench as well.
On the bus ride home I felt nauseated and tried to think about things other than vomit. My eyes were still burning. My lungs and the area right around my sternum ached.
Upon arriving home, my hair still smelled awful and Daniel and I had to take a shower before bed to get the stench off. I was wearing a tank top, a simple t-shirt, a simple zip-up hoodie, and my waterproof rain jacket. I did not remove the rain jacket or even unzip it the entire time we were there (even though I was a little warm) and EVERYTHING I wore, all the way down to my bra and underpants reeked of smoke. IT IS THAT STRONG. We had to do an entirely separate load of laundry to take care of it.
That’s what I think those who smoke fail to realize – I doubt this sort of thing bothers them because, well, they’re smoking. (See here, fourth paragraph.) They’re sucking that shit into their lungs, so if their clothes smell like it afterward, well, that’s their normal. They likely don’t even notice it.
Our friends are important to us, but if we are asked back to this particular bar, I am going to have to decline for health reasons – I’d rather not feel like death warmed over all night. Maybe we’ll go again after the smoking ban in 2009, which really cannot come fast enough.
Don’t get me wrong – we had fun that night with regard to the socializing aspect. It was the environment that did us in, and I’m not ashamed to say I can’t handle it.
File Under: General