I chew tobacco on occasion. Yes, I realize it’s not the most ladylike thing to do, and yes, I realize it is bad for you, but I like it. Everyone has their own vices, this is mine. But what makes me laugh more than anything else is people’s reaction when they find out I dip.

I remember the day I told my dad, who is one of those men with the Skoal imprint in his pants. At one point in his life it was imprinted into his construction worker pants. He has since graduated to slacks, but the circle remains. We were having lunch near my apartment. I said, “So, dad, I started chewing tobacco.” I expected the typical parental response where you get chastized for something they do too. But instead, my dad looked at me with pride in his eyes and said, “Do you want some of my apple Skoal?” as he reached in his pocket. It was an endearing moment to say the least.

Then, I went to my corner gas station to pick up some Snus. I only chew Snus because you don’t have to spit. Camel is wayyyy better than Marlboro, so I’m constantly on a quest to find a place with it. So I walk inside. I ask the attendant if they have any Camel frost Snus. He says no but they have the Marlboro. I take it. He the proceeds to tell me in broken English, “You know, you really should stop using that stuff and start smoking cigarettes. It’s going to rot your lips off.” So, what you’re telling me sir, is I should swap gum disease for lung cancer? And in case you didn’t know, cigarettes touch the lips as well, just saying.

I go into the same gas station a week later to see if they had gotten any of my Camel Snus. It is the 40-something attendant that has asked to be my boyfriend every time he sees me. He is mortified that they still don’t have any and rush orders the stuff for me.

The reaction from my smoker friends is classic as well. They realize they have no room to judge, yet dip just seems more destructive to them, and gross. But let me tell you something, when we are on planes or at sporting events, and they get that craving, they are beyond stoked that I have my tobacco with me.

The reason I’m writing all this is because we all just really need to back off. Everything is bad for us nowadays. Breathing smoggy air will give you asthma. Don’t eat fish because there is Mercury. Not working out will atrophy your muscles. Running too much will wear down your joints. Eating fast food will stop your heart in a million different ways. Margarine is worse than straight plastic. Using hairspray and refrigerators is killing the ozone which is the reason you will have skin cancer in ten years. Alcohol will destroy your liver, unless it is wine in which case it will help your heart. Come on people, we’re all going to die. Live your life, enjoy the things you like to do, and let other people enjoy theirs too.


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