(Me and JD, Summer 2001.)
I used to smoke. I started in my early teens. I'd steal a Marlboro Light out of my dad's pack and sneak it into my Stone Temple Pilots cassette case (because I WAS that cool and I AM that old) so it wouldn't get squished in transit to my friend's house/cow pasture/abandoned barn where I was going to smoke the thing. By the time I was in high school, I was smoking for real. I remember giving a senior $2 to buy me a pack of Camel Lights and I let him keep the change. And there was enough change, apparently, to make it worth his while.
I went to college in Boston, so if I didn't want to spend $6 a pack, I'd sneak cartons of Camel Turkish Golds into my luggage when I was home. But even at $6/pack, the cigarettes were still well worth it. I loved smoking. I remember walking down Comm Ave, trying to pull a Joe Christmas from A Light in August--because there was this one LOOONG description (duh, Faulkner) of Christmas smoking an entire cigarette without touching it and then spitting out the filter. It was really gross and just made my mouth full of tobacco spit, but I did it.
And then I met Jonathan Dennis and he ruined everything.
We started dating at the end of my sophomore year. I smoked, he didn't. And that never works. So I tried to bully him into starting to smoke, but he ended up winning out, so by the end of the summer, I quit.
That was almost 12 years ago, and I still (mostly) am thankful that he won. For all the regular reasons (health, money, smell), but also because since I quit smoking, Diet Coke has never had the same appeal. I used to drink it by the gallons until my chest hurt, but then I quit smoking and it just didn't taste the same without a Camel Light finish.
But here's the thing: it turns out that Diet Coke may be just as bad for you as cigarettes! Here's one example of how it's horrible, but honestly, it is probably killing you in a million different ways.
So now I'm one of those annoying people who drinks mineral water and pretends that it's just as good as soda.
No, not really. We have a Soda Stream and it's awesome, but I could basically drink regular Coke all day long and I have to physically restrain myself from doing so.