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For those of you who don’t know, I’m from Louisiana.  I never have been a big football fan.  If I watched the Super Bowl I’d mute the game and watch the commercials!  But the Saints are our team and we stand behind them win or lose and lose and lose and lose.  The only time I turned on the Saints was when it was rumored they might be moved to San Antonio after Hurricane Katrina.  Otherwise I kind of listen to how the LSU Tigers and the Saints are doing on the news reports and altho I root for them I didn’t care enough to watch the games.  Then we got Brees and the tide turned.  And the Saints winning came up time after time on the news.  When they won the championship to head to the Super Bowl I thought Louisiana was going to flip itself right off the map! 

Now down here we’ve got Mardi Gras.  People think Mardi Gras is just in New Orleans.  That’s not true.  I’m in northwest Louisiana but Mardi Gras starts at the end of January or the beginning of February and goes til Fat Tuesday and the start of Lent.  That means parties and balls and drinking and king cakes and parades, and, oh, you just wouldn’t believe the festive atmosphere.  People bundling up and standing out in the freezing, rainy weather to have masked people on floats throw beads and cups at you.  Fighting with grannies and kids over that throw you know that cute guy aimed right YOU!

Now you take our Saints.  And all of a sudden after 47 years they are going to the Super Bowl for the first time!  Louisiana just EXPLODED with WHO DAT fever!!!  And then the Super Bowl fell on the same weekend as the first weekend of Mardi Gras!  It was absolutely CRAZY here!  I don’t think you could’ve whipped anyone into more of a frenzy than the Louisiana citizens were this past weekend. 

I desperately wanted to go to one of the many Super Bowl parties going on but I didn’t dare.  Why?  Because I’ve been quit smoking for a little over seven months now.  Most days I feel strong but sometimes ole Nic sneaks up and tries to bite me in the butt.  I dig my heels in and I say NOPE (Not One Puff Ever), NOPE, NOPE.  But I’ve lost LOTS of quits in the past.  And I knew with emotions in such a fever pitch here and everyone drinking and smoking, it was too dangerous for me to go to one of the parties.  It would’ve been too easy for me to get caught up in the frenzy of the moment and do something really stupid that would’ve cost me my quit.  So…..  I missed out.  I stayed at home and I watched the game with hubby.  I yelled at the TV and I texted WHO DAT? to every Louisianian I knew. (Hey, we shut down AT&T’s network here if that tells you anything!)  I jumped around in glee and then I jumped on FB to celebrate with friends from all over the country who were rooting for my team.  But I wasn’t at any of the big parties going on here!  I didn’t get to share Louisiana’s big historical moment with any of the groups of people that were going wild.  And you know why?  Because my quit was more important!!! 

As the dust settles here (kinda, Super Bowl is over but Mardi Gras goes on!) I’m sorry that I wasn’t at any of the parties.  I’m sorry that I missed out on the big events.  But I’m awfully glad that I am still SMOKEFREE!!!  I’m glad that I chose to protect my quit!  My quit is the most important thing in my life!  Even more important than the Saints winning the Super Bowl!  Ack!  WHO DAT????

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