“I hope that there is no one in the waiting room who smells of smoke this time,” I said to my son as we walked towards the building.
Is it too much to ask? Really? I mean, the sign on the door says that it is a low scent building, and asks people not to wear perfume, or strong scented products. This makes sense. Lots of people have struggles with such smells. But what about smoke?
And then two people walked in, and I almost threw up right there. They must have just tossed their cigarettes as they walked into the building, and it was so bad! Much worse than perfume, in my opinion.
I pulled out my handkerchief, and covered my nose. Will they think I am being rude? I wondered – but it really was making me feel sick. Yes, I struggle with dizziness and nausea already – but I was doing okay until they walked in, and then I really wasn’t.
Sickness, nausea, dizziness… and they didn’t seem to think their was a problem. I felt trapped. And then in walked two more people, also smelling strongly of stale smoke. It was horrible.
They planted themselves in that waiting room, and were there with me for more than half an hour. During that time, two of them went back out to smoke again. Why must I suffer for their choices? I wondered, as I tried to breath… tried to settle the dizziness in my head… tried not to throw up all over them.
Perhaps it is a personal choice, and even legal at that – but then so is perfume, and that smell was banned. But it isn’t like that choice that they made stayed with them. Today, it strongly affected me, and I am still sick from it nearly 4 hours later. I am sure I am not the only one.
And still I feared they would think I was rude, for covering my face like that.
It isn’t the first time. My father was a chain smoker, and smoked in the car, in the house, all the time as I was growing up. His choice, but I was sick all the time. My throat, my ears, my stomach, my head… always, always sick. His choice, but…
Or the time I was in line at an amusement park (waiting to get in) with my children, and people in line in front of us were smoking. One of my children had breathing issues, and another… whenever someone smoked around her – inside, outside, anywhere – it was like she sweated the toxins out of her system. She would smell so bad, even from standing behind someone who was smoking outside in a line. We even had to throw out a pair of her shoes for that reason on at least one occasion. It was horrible.
At that point, we had to ask them to move out of line, for my youngest daughter’s sake. They did, but it was awkward, and I worried what they would think of me.
I guess that people who smoke get used to the smell. I am sure when I smoked, it was as bad – and that when I was a child, always around someone who smoked, it was that bad, too. But people should be told that if they smoke, they will smell… bad! And it isn’t fair to subject other people to suffer for your choice.
It was my son’s appointment, and it went well – but I guess that is a post for another day.