Vape Bros, Misconceptions and Life Lessons
I can’t really talk about why I started vaping, but I’m pretty sure I can talk about when I bought my first vape, why I didn’t start sooner and one life lesson I’ve remembered since I took it up.
Before I started vaping, I had an image in my head… I’d seen it on the internet, around campus and, I think, on TV as well. It was your stereotypical vape bro. Black flat brim, black t-shirt, ear gauges, tattoos all over the place, blowing fat clouds and drinking a monster while sitting lazily on a couch in their mom’s cloud filled basement. Every vaper I’d ever come across, except that one kid in class who’d occasionally envelope me in blueberry muffin clouds while I tried to take notes, fit this description. At least that’s how it seemed at the time.
The more people I saw vaping around town, the less I actually wanted to vape. I knew that if I was ever caught with a vape in my hand, a normal person was sure to say, “Do you even vape, bro?” and probably high five a friend then walk away from me while laughing. I had no interest in being made fun of, chucking clouds, being in (or even around) vape competitions, spending money on mods and E-Liquid or being a vape bro. Vapers were obnoxious and lame. I hadn’t ever actually talked to any, but I could tell. There was more to life, to me at least, than #vapelyfe. It wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t happen. Not for a while at least… until a close friend of mine approached me with something in his hand.
What was in his hand? Well, the one hand didn’t have anything in it at all.
His other hand though… his other hand was holding what looked to be a strange little laser pointer or something. Except, it wasn’t a laser pointer – it was a vape. Wait… a WHAT?? A friend of mine? A vaper??! Yep, it was a vape. An eGo-C Twist to be exact. I asked him about it and he said it was the “first and last mod” I’d ever need. At least I think that’s what he said… I was so confused as to how my flat brim-less, gauge-less, tattoo-less, khaki and polo shirt wearing friend was a vaper, that I don’t remember the exact conversation. What I do remember thinking is that if he was a vaper, I could be too.
Just a few days later, I was in my local vape shop having real conversation with real vapers – and not even just about vaping. It turned out that I actually had a few things in common with just about everybody who was in the store. I even bought an eGo-C Twist which, by the way, was not the last mod I’d purchase. Anyway, I now owned a vape, was in a vape shop and I was talking to vapers… was I one of them now? I wasn’t. It took me months to figure out how to replace cartridges and get my vape up and running. Thinking about it now, it also definitely took me a while to get all the juice out of my clothes that I’d spilled/leaked while trying to teach myself how to vape.
Embarrassing first-few-vape-month-experiences aside, I’m now officially a vaper. I’ve been vaping for a few years and looking back, I wish I’d started sooner! (My car always smells like either a psychedelic fruit blend or a fresh box of sweet, sugary cereal now.) I also wish I hadn’t based my opinions, on what is now such a huge part of my life; off of such a small group of people that I’d never even talked to. Yes, there are some people who are fanatical about vaping and dedicate most of their lives to it, but that can happen with anything (examples – sports, music, cars, shoes, video games, food etc.) I’ve realized that the vaping community isn’t just full of tatted up bros in their mom’s basement, it’s actually far from it.
There are tons of people who vape, who aren’t fanatics – they’re just people. I personally know lawyers, chefs, musicians, doctors, dentists, writers, business owners, artists and many more walks of life that are happy vapers. Turns out that a whole bunch of the “vape bros” (I don’t like that term now) that I thought I knew, fit into this category too. The fact that I had such strong feelings toward this community, industry and lifestyle, without ever knowing anything about it, seems idiotic to me now! I guess just like with anything in life, what you see on the surface isn’t necessarily what you’re gonna get. In this case, for me at least, it’s been better, more diverse and more accepting than I ever could’ve imagined.