Chicken Soup For The Vaper’s Soul
The last days of 2015 are slipping by at a staggering pace, and, as most people are this time of year, I have been swept away in the hustle and bustle of the season. There seems to be so much to do, and never enough time to do it! That’s why I wanted to sit down and share a light-hearted column with you today for vaper’s holiday season. Perhaps, like me, you need to just take it easy for a few minutes. So why not share a few “before and after” vaping moments with me? How many of these can you relate to?
Before: You are behind a car at a stop light, and the acrid smell of smoke drifts backwards from their open window to yours. You wonder, sheepishly, how many non-smokers have sat behind you at stop lights, scowling at your foul habit and its encroachment into their personal space. Despite that, you find yourself needing to light up now that you’ve caught the scent.
After: You are behind a car at a stop light, and a giant cloud of vapor billows out their open window. You hurriedly grab your mod and blow your own cloud, hoping to catch their attention and enjoy a moment of camaraderie and solidarity with the vaper in front of you.
Before: You stumble out of bed, using a clumsy palm to smack the coffee machine, which you forgot to put on auto last night. You catch your breath as you open the front door. You stand huddled in your robe on the porch for your morning cigarette, offering a half-hearted wave to Mrs Jones next door. Her only response is a glowering look of displeasure, and you wonder if it is because of the cigarette, or because she’s subjected to you in various states of undress on any given morning.
After: You roll over and hit the alarm with a yawn and a stretch. You reach for your mod and take a delightful, deep inhale of your favorite morning e-liquid, right in your bed, and take a few minutes to compose yourself over a few more happy puffs. You realize you forgot to set your coffee machine, but it’s okay because you can vape at the kitchen table while you wait. Mrs. Jones is happy, you’re happy, and all is right with the world.
Before: You show up to (insert obligatory family gathering here) and exchange hugs with (insert touchy-feely family members here) and are at once greeted with a cascade of disapproving comments about how you smell like an ashtray. Your significant other is bombarded with questions of how they can kiss you when you smell like that. You step outside, because really, now you need a smoke. Or, if you are a closet smoker, you arrive a few minutes late, having stepped out at a nearby convenience store for a quick cig, then hastily changed your jacket and slathered on some hand lotion to cover the scent. You spend the entire day tapping your foot, anxious for your next cigarette once you can leave.
After: You show up to (insert obligatory family gathering here) and exchange hugs with (insert touchy-feely family members here) and they don’t complain about how you smell. Instead they congratulate you on kicking your smoking habit. Five minutes later, they have found something else to complain about (Why aren’t you married yet? Whatever happened to that nice girl you met in California? When are you going to get a real job?) You excuse yourself to the restroom, vape out the window like we vaper’s must do, and return refreshed and ready for battle. Er, I mean dinner.
Before: Everything in your bachelor pad is covered in a thin film, and the off-white walls are a familiar shade of “smoker’s yellow”. Yankee Candles do little to nothing to hide your smoking habit from your guests. Everything you own smells like smoke.
After: You don’t feel guilty vaping even though your grandmother is on her way. The house smells of strawberries and cream, and you saved $25 by not having to buy a candle to make it smell that way!
Before: You know you’re down to your last cigarette, and when you go to get it you find that the box got crushed in your pocket and it’s snapped in half. You make a feeble attempt to repair it, going over in your mind how much worse it would be to smoke it if you used some tape to hold it together. You don’t actually have any tape, though, so you stop at the nearest gas station to buy a new pack. You exchange a curt nod with the cashier, end up buying a pack of gum and a Gatorade, and leave.
After: You’re running low on your favorite e-juice, so you hop in the car and head for your local vape shop. The people are friendly and you sample a few new flavors before settling on a couple of bottles. A new vaper comes in and you excitedly share your experience with them and watch with nostalgia as they pick out their first setup. You watch that one guy who always seems to be there blow rings and jellyfish, and mentally make a commitment to practice your own vape tricks with more frequency, because they’re really quite impressive.
Before: You anxiously run outside, conscious that your 15 minute break from college/work is ticking by. You huddle, 25 feet from the building, in the designated smoking section, perhaps exchanging small talk with your fellow smokers. Someone inevitably asks if they can bum a smoke off of you. You oblige, for the hundredth time.
After: You anxiously run outside, excited for a vape. Even though vaping is nothing like smoking, you’re consigned to the smoking area all the same. You blow a few sweet smelling clouds, which attracts the attention of the smokers, and begin to evangelize about how vaping has changed your life. You go back to work feeling good about having positively impacted their lives.
The new year is upon us, and thousands of smokers are going to, once again, resolve to kick their habit. Perhaps you’ve been there, I know I have. I hope that, if that smoker is you, you will honestly consider giving vaping a chance to be a positive change in your life towards harm reduction. And if it’s your friends or family, I hope that you take the time to encourage them in their journey.
I wish you a happy New Year, my friend! And all the best in your vaping adventures.
Renee is a painter of words, sharing the thoughts of an eliquid artist as she makes her way through the many paths life presents. As co-owner of Sarcastic Fringehead Vapery, Renee knows a thing or two about her art, her craft, and life, or the vaper’s soul. Renee is a regular contributor to Spinfuel eMagazine with her esoteric and eclectic column, Just Clouding Around™.