People are always shocked to find out that I used to be a smoker.  But it’s actually the story about the day I quit smoking that is the most shocking!  Or most embarrassing!  Or most hilarious… I guess it’s the way you look at it.  

My boyfriend of four months, now my husband of 21 years, decided he was going to quit smoking on the same day as me. (he of course, promised this to me on the day we met and was throwing out all sorts of promises to make me say yes to a date with him).  In an effort to be extra healthy and celebrate our new found freedom from nicotine we decided to go biking in the coolies (weird desert-like hills full of snakes and stuff) just outside of our then-home, Medicine Hat, Alberta.  We hopped on our bikes and started to ride.  It soon became very clear to me that I was incredibly out of shape… Smokers lungs.  We started to bicker (scream at each other because we both needed nicotine) and on the pretense of wanting to end the argument I said we should stop and finish our “discussion”. So I threw my bike down on the edge of the coolie and angrily sat down quickly and HARD on the edge of the path. I jumped up as quickly as I sat down because I had landed on a gigantic cactus!  My shorts were completely stuck to my butt and I had hundreds of cactus needles sticking out of me.  My husband, then boyfriend, knelt down to assess the situation and I growled as I saw his shoulders shaking “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT LAUGHING”….

I rode back to our vehicle without sitting on my seat; I had to sit backwards in my truck to get home and then I spent two hours laying face down on my bed as Rob painstakingly extracted needle after needle after needle out of my butt. I was not a happy camper.

My poor butt looked like it had the measles when we were done so I went to the doctor that night… he just laughed.  I guess the moral of the story is if I can get through a day like that without a cigarette, you can get through any day without a cigarette.  That was 24 years ago!