Quitting smoking is a home-wrecker.
Until I quit in mid-February, I frequently visited my parents.
(They live in the midtown house where I grew up. I now live with my wife in the east end.)
There were many benefits to making the 20-minute drive:
Coffee is always on.
Since I don't know how to cook, and because the Star doesn't pay me enough for a full, balanced diet, I appreciate that their fridge is usually full. Sometimes they have those prepared finger sandwiches - tuna or salmon or egg or cream cheese - you can get at fancy food stores. I can eat a whole package in about five minutes.
There's good bagels.
A wickedly sharp big screen TV perfect for watching football or basketball.
And packs of cigarettes lying all over the place.
Both my parents smoke.
My father now smokes those long, white, tasteless, light Benson & Hedges cigarettes. You can pull a neck muscle just trying to suck the nicotine out.
But my mother smokes a stronger brand that I like.
Which would come in handy when I had no cigarettes of my own due to my low salary.
I would wait until she left the pack unattended, quietly move in, slide a cigarette out, then head out on the porch to light up.
But visiting now is excruciating.
Both my parents light up inside, then take their sweet time sauntering to the front or back porch, the delicious contrails slowly moving under my nose.
I have been to their house only two or three times since I quit. It's just too difficult.
But I think I'll be okay.
Without dropping $10 a day on smokes, I can now afford finger sandwiches of my own.