I have to announce it. I have broken up with my boyfriend. I know, I know. He is one amongst many and there are likely more to come if this relationship is any indication. I haven’t been doing that well in the love department and my reputation is going to follow me everywhere; but this time it is not my fault. I should have known that he was wrong for me because he smokes when he drinks coffee, which is all the time. Oh, lord, he does it in bed. The mattress is a smelly mess, a receptacle for his evil habit. It is permanently ingrained with stale odor. Those darn cigarettes are potent. As a nonsmoker, I probably am more sensitive to it, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I have to find a way to get rid of that smoke smell from my mattress just like I got rid of that guy! Ha. Frankly, the smoking made us incompatible. I know that there are more serious reasons to split, like taste in music and food, but this one was top on my list. I hate the stink in the bedroom. The odor clings to the bedding and the quilt. I am going to wash it all first with extra soap powder. I want to believe what the TV commercials say about Tide. Is it really the best? As for the quit, I made a beeline to the dry cleaners. They had a special on comforters—a flat $20. It is well worth it to get rid of any remembrance of the human chimney.

A few days later, everything was neatly back on the bed, but there was a lingering scent of smoke. I couldn’t believe it after all of my effort. I washed the sheets and pillowcases in eucalyptus oil mixed with liquid soap. It helped a lot to mask the smoke residue. I didn’t want to do it again and wear out the cotton. These used to be nice sheets. Not anymore. I may have to give in and buy new ones. I know that there is no future smoker in my life after this fiasco. Honestly, how can you even taste coffee after smoking like a haystack?

My friends are proud of me that I sacrificed romance for health. It is a no-brainer to stop subjecting myself to second-hand smoke. My family agreed and confessed that they didn’t want to invite him over and pollute their environment. What were you thinking? Was on everyone’s lips. I never smoked a day in my life, not in high school or college. This wasn’t my form of rebellion. That will be revealed in a later blog.

My ex called me after a few weeks and begged for a meeting. Why bother, I thought. He said he would quit smoking if I would take him back. These are empty words. Few men his age willingly change their ways. He should have thought of this before.