June 8, 2006 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

After the birth of their baby, Alison Naomi, I was perusing Brian and Jodi Vandervort's Photo Gallery.  It turns out they have a section called The College Years.  All of the photos were extremely interesting– to see how young we all look, how different we look and the weight differences.  One picture in particular caught my eye:

Vicky Smoking?!?

Now, this isn't exactly the most flattering picture of either me or Sean.  That's okay because I want to draw your attention to something else– look at our hands.  I'm holding a cigarette and lighter and I'm handing a pack back over to Sean.

This is a picture from my rare smoking days!  I think I smoked for about 8 months total.  Most of it was social, but near the end there, I recall taking breaks at work to go have a cigarette– I seem to recall a Vandervort being a cohort.

Why did I stop?  On a beautiful spring day, Sean, a third person (Jodi?) and I met on campus and went for a walk.  Almost immediately we all lit up.  Suddenly, it struck me.  Here I am outside, with all this fresh air and great weather and scenery… and I'm inhaling all this crappy smoke. 

That was a turning point for me.  I attempted a cigarette after that at some random party, but since that the seed was already planted in my head it made me gag.  That was that.  Sometimes being susceptible to psychosomatic symptoms has its perks! 🙂

The 62nd Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion was this past week, so I've been thinking a bit about Dwight Eisenhower– who happened to have great success quiting smoking in 1949.  From Stephen Ambrose's Eisenhower: Soldier and President

While he was at Key West, Eisenhower had been told by [his doctor] that he would have to cut down from four packs of cigarettes per day to one.  After a few days of limiting his smoking, Eisenhower decided that counting cigarettes was worse than not smoking at all, and he quit.  He never had another cigarette in his life, a fact that amazed the gang, his other friends, the reporters who covered his activities, and the public.  Eisenhower was frequently asked how he did it; he replied that it was simple, all he did was put smoking out of his mind.  It helped, he would add with a grin, to develop a scornful attitude toward those weaklings who did not have the willpower to break their enslavement to nicotine.  He told Cliff Roberts, "I nursed to the utmost… my ability to snear."

Unfortunately, we can't all have serendipitious gagging or a deep distain for those without willpower.  In contemporary times, I've seen many friends and family members struggle with quiting, sometimes serially.  So I'm thankful I got out of it when I did.  I guess the moral of this post is:

Hooray for Gagging?

Entry filed under: Brian V, Jodi V, Sean, Smoking.

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