Let me begin by saying that I really miss being a smoker. Before you freak out, I’m not saying that I miss it enough to go back to doing it, but I do miss it, mostly in a nostalgic sort of way. I miss that community that it oddly creates, where you’re walking down the street and suddenly you have something in common with the scraggly bum you pass, because you’ve got a spare cigarette and a light. I plan on buying a lighter to carry in my purse, just so I can light the cigarettes of passing strangers. This may sound odd, but it’s something that makes me feel good, like I’m doing some small something for my fellow man.
I think that knitting has filled that space for me. Now, instead of that smokers’ community, I am part of a knitting community. Even if, like right now, I’m too tired and stressed out to knit (heaven forbid), I can still have a conversation with someone about knitting, which is a fabulous relief to me. I don’t do small talk easily, so the fact that I have some ready-made conversation is a great blessing. It also gives me that feeling that I remember having when I saw Star Wars (after I was old enough not to be afraid of Chewbacca), that feeling of wonder and amazement (which I suppose is really the same feeling) and spontaneous creativity, which is the same feeling that learning new knitting gives me. I’m not prompted to write fanfiction about it (I totally did that with Star Wars), but I dream about it sometimes, and I get great joy out of having a conversation that involves the line, “oh, so you added the steek stitches in addition to the cast on!” This gives me more joy than is probably appropriate, and annoys my husband, but he has similar conversations about wrestling and seafloor hydrothermal systems, so I think we’re even. And I’ve got a Chibi and a crochet hook and a pair of scissors and a stitch counter in my bag for the scraggly knitter who has forgotten her own [insert item here].
And sometimes some cookies.
(Incidentally, this post was more coherent when I started it, but then I got some coffee and the guy at the coffee shop gave me regular instead of decaf, so now I’m all jittery and mostly incoherent, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.)
I am a former smoker as well ( I quit when I found out I was pregnant.. otherwise I’d probably STILL smoke) and it makes total sense to me. I LOVED to smoke.. I still miss it actually. I liked the ritual of it, the fact that it gave me an excuse to go outside while working, and I still get nostalgic when I smell clove cigarettes.