Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Failure at Smoking

I promised I’d tell the cigarettes story (see 8/4/08 post), so here it is.

On Father’s Day Aron had to leave at 5 p.m. for the airport (did I mention his company couldn’t care less about holidays, birthdays, anniversaries?). We had been on a weekend vacation, so by the time we got back in town, there was no time for Aron to see his dad. I decided to pack up the kids and take them over to see my father-in-law. They were tired and Callie had a massive fit (think Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” … what was her name in that movie?) as we were leaving. I was already stressed, and this pushed me over some imaginary edge.

I stopped at a gas station on the way home and (yes, on a Sunday … gasp!) bought Marlboro Ultra Lights 100s in a box. I hadn’t smoked in about 10 years. I went home and had 2 drags out on the deck, thinking it would make me suddenly stress-free. Instead I felt like a fugitive … if you smoke these days you are a social pariah. ESPECIALLY if you have kids.

I tried again a few days later, but it just made me stinky and tasted disgusting. Oh, and the kids gave me a whole rash of crap about it. This is why I love the show “Madmen” … back in the 60s it was okay for a mom to be on Valium and smokes to get through her day! These days I’d give my left boob for a simple Prozac, except I’m not truly depressed.

The cigs were still in the van when we took our last-minute 3-week trip to Phoenix BY VAN. In Albuquerque we came upon a homeless woman, and the kids were fascinated. We chatted and I asked her if she needed anything (besides a HOME, duh). She (Vicki) said she’d love 3 bucks for some cigarettes. I asked if she’d smoke my Ultra Lights with 2 missing from the pack and she was thrilled. We also gave her some money and a bottled water. She told me how neat it was to have so many kids these days and to keep having them if they brought me so much joy (my mom probably wants to hunt this woman down and shoot her right now!).

So here’s the way I see it: When I was at a low point, I bought something that I thought might help me. It didn’t. But it did give SOMEONE a little bit of happiness (and I hope to God no cancer).

P.S. Also … in a rest stop bathroom on our way to Phoenix I spotted a magazine face-down on the sink. There was no one around, so I picked it up and it was the current People Magazine. I LOVE this magazine and someday when I am rich I will get a subscription. The Universe gave ME a magazine. Then it gave Vicki some cigarettes.


  1. you are so brave to write this story.

    next time save a smoke for me before you go giving them away :P

  2. LMAO as I read the part about getting crap from your children re:smoking. When Thomas and Amelia were little, you would have thought I commited a federal crime when I lit up with friends...Please!
    BTW--I just ordered "People" from our neighbor's child (Cure's magazine drive...they get me every time!). So as I read them, I will pass them over to you.
    Jacqueline Elbert

  3. omg this was so frickin funny. I cant believe you smoked! You had better stick with Pepperidge Farm cakes my friend. Just love how you pay it forward, Nice. very touching story. To whom much is given, much is required.

  4. Linda Blair's character's name in the Exorcist is Regan.


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