I CAN Quit You

Eight years ago Monday, I quit smoking.

There are a couple of factions of people in my life who will have completely opposite reactions. There are the ones I went to high school with who can’t imagine their valedictorian doing anything “bad.”

I tried to find a picture of myself from high school and failed. I should have raided my mom’s photo albums today. The only one I had access to was one my friend Beth sent me. It contains about 7 other people, none of whom — save her and our friend Jenny — would be thrilled about appearing on some random lesbian’s blog. Oh, and Beth’s husband is there with another lady. So let’s just say I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes.

Then…there are my friends from college.
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College BFF Sarah. And some awkward man in drag.

I smoked all. the. time. Back then, you could smoke in a lot more places, like in bars.

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And daaaaaance!

One girl in my sorority called the “The Smoking Mon,” which was apparently an “X-Files” reference. And my favorite bar was nicknamed Smokin’ Mon’s in honor of my patronage (and pile of cigarettes I left in my wake).

I’m pretty sure my high-school peers pictured something different — a lot more books, a lot more flannel.

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Exactly.

Anyway, I left college with a degree and a pack-a-day habit. All things considered, it could have been worse.

I quit once about a month before my dad died, and, well, that didn’t last long.

But two days after my 30th birthday, I lit up for the last time. I wish I could say that I don’t miss it ever, that I don’t still crave them, that I don’t wish I could be one of those smokers who have one every now and then, but I can’t.

I can, say, though, that Chris would kill me if I ever started smoking again.

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And how could I give this up?

Happy Quit Day, Monica. Way to not light things on fire and inhale them!

Yeah!

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Thirty-eight

I’ve been horrible at being a blogger. Chris and I have been busy with, well, life, I guess. 



Moment of downtime with that a-hole cat sticking his tail in my face.

In honor of my almost-38 years on this earth and another year closer to 40, here are 38 random statements.

  1. We have eleventy million shows we want to watch, and yet, all it seems like we watch are reruns of “Castle” and “Modern Family.” “Modern Family” is on right now. Three episodes and counting.
  2. The balloons Chris got me for Valentine’s Day are going strong.
  3. We live in a really old house, and the shower has been giving us problems. We had one estimate this week and another in a couple weeks. I know we need to take our time and make a responsible decision, but I wish it were being replaced tomorrow.
  4. We went to the home show, which is where we found the bathroom estimators. I love the home show. Love it. It’s always around my birthday, and I drag Chris there every year.
  5. Work has been crazy, which seems like the norm lately. But at least Chris and I get to drive to work together.
  6.  We went for a walk this weekend at the Montour Trail so we could take pictures of this ice craziness in the old tunnel.  
  7. I also took this picture. “Let’s go for a walk on the trail in the snow and do our scratch-offs!,” said at least one person.
  8. 38 didn’t seem like that many when I started.
  9. We have narrowed down our photographer search to a handful of possibilities. We need to set up appointments with them to see which is the best fit, and then it’s another box checked!
  10. Doing that stuff is so awkward. It’s always weird meeting new people, and then there’s the added issue of them trying to sell themselves. Plus…gay couple, which everyone is not always okay with. So that will be fun.
  11. We have pretty much solidified the cookie table, so at least the most important wedding planning is done.
  12. Chris is doing dishes while I’m blogging on the couch. I like that she isn’t upset with me for being lazy. I’m a lucky gal.
  13. Sometimes I get sad that we knew each other for so long (10 years!) before we started dating. But, really, neither of us was ready back then. Life leads you in interesting places.
  14. For instance…I used to blog for a gay-wedding website. You know, that other time I was getting married. Through the years, I have kept in touch with some of my fellow bloggers on the Facebook and seen them get married and have kids. I had a bet with one of them last year, a bet that ended up with me sending homemade pumpkin-spice blondies to her. Well, said friend lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and when I asked her for suggestions on areas to stay for our honeymoon, she offered up a free place to stay, all out of the kindness of her (and her family’s) heart. 
  15. So all of those problems and years of difficulty led to a house! On our honeymoon!
  16. That makes total sense, right?
  17. A new brewery opened up near our house, Spoonwood. These pretzels and beer cheese were freaking amazing.
  18. And this beer. I don’t know which one this was, but the coffee-drip ale was amazing. It will change your life. 
  19. Also, adorable beer samples for $2.00.
  20. This guy is trying to help me blog.
  21. I kept whining to Chris that I didn’t have any presents, so she gave me an early one. A Millennium Falcon keychain!
  22. Thanks, Buzzfeed, for all of your “Top This Many Restaurants to Try In This Place” or “With This Food.” Our honeymoon will have to be seven weeks to eat all of those doughnuts!
  23. I could probably eat all of the doughnuts in two days.
  24. We have also been incorporating more activity into our, well, activities. We are doing twice-a-week Zumba, walking on the trail, Piyo, and I got a Fitbit. And we wonder why we have no free time.
  25. Restaurants we have been to lately — Emporio at Sienna Mercato, Piper’s Pub, Ten Penny, Toscana Brick Oven. This weekend — Primanti’s, Gianna Via, and Piper’s Pub (again). 
  26. Pittsburgh is not always my favorite place, but they do know how to make good food!
  27. I’m headed to Mom’s Monday for more birthday celebrating, so I’m basically extending it an extra two days. That’s always a fun time.
  28. I’m not sure how I got to be 38. Better than the alternative, but still.
  29. That being said, 38 wil be awesome. So many things to look forward to.
  30. So, there’s that wedding of a lifetime, which will be great.
  31. And there’s marrying my favorite person. Also great.
  32. Hey, my favorite person and I get to go on an amazing vacation!
  33. Maybe something like this will happen! This is us watching the sunset at Matador Beach on our “second date.”
  34. The stage production of “Dirty Dancing” is next month, and we’re eating at Meat and Potatoes beforehand, who have the best burger in Pennsylvania, per some random list. They also have bone marrow, which I will not be eating.
  35. One of my favorite things about the upcoming year is that I don’t even know what all the year will bring. 
  36. It’s going to be amazing.
  37. I’m a lucky person.
  38. Thank you for reading all of my 38 points.

Happy birthday to me!