My Virgin Lungs

This is not a post about marijuana.  Though, it could be.  I've tried it...


This is a post about good ol' fashioned cigarettes.  And me.

My daughter, Hana, started smelling like cigarette smoke from time to time.  Could she be smoking?

I decided, yes, she was, after going through this process of elimination:

1)  She's hanging out with smokers.

2)  She's wearing cigarette scented perfume.

3)  She's smoking.

I spoke to her about it.  Several times.  She'd change the subject each time.

I'd say things like:

1)  I know you're smoking.

2)  Stop smoking.

3)  Please, stop smoking.

4)  It's against the law.

5)  Smoking is the dumbest thing anyone could ever do.

When she changed the subject, she give me a blank look for around 4 seconds and then say any of the following:

1)  When am I getting my cell phone?

2)  Can 'So&So' move in with us?

3)  So...'What's-His-Name' came over today.

So finally, after this bullshit, I pulled out the big guns and started saying things, like:

1) Knock it off, or you can forget getting your learner's permit (she'll be 15 this month)

2) Quit it or forget ever getting a cell phone.

3)  I will sew up your vagina.

Then last week, I came over to Matt's place to steal his internet.  Timothy was here watching TV.  Upon my walking in to the house, Timmy says, "Oh, mom.  Gotta show you something."

I followed him into Hana's room where he pointed to an open dresser drawer and, lo and behold, there was a half-empty pack of ciggies.  And a lighter.

I know what you're all thinking.  "Jeez, Hana!  Hide your contraband better!"

Bless her little heart.

(I say little, because the girl is tiny.  She's 15.  She's done growing, and she's like 5'2".)

So I immediately, without needing to think twice, or 1 1/8 times, confiscated the paraphernalia.  It went into my purse.  Where it stayed.  Until...

...I was at karaoke a few nights later.

Call it whatever you will, but I smoked one.  First time ever (see title of post).

I wanted to see what it was like.  My 14 year old baby was smoking this shit.  What was she getting out of it?

I went outside to the patio of the bar and lit up.  Well, first, after realizing I didn't know what the hell I was doing, I opened the door to the bar, made eye contact with my sister, and waved her down.

She joined me outside.  I said, "How do you do it?"  Holding up the the unlit cigarette and lighter.

She got it going for me, and because of all the practice I've had smoking pens and pencils over the years, I was a natural.

After a few puffs, I looked at Carrie and asked, "What's the big deal?  What's the appeal?"

"It relaxes you,"  she replied.


I wasn't getting it.


So, okay, the next day:





Oh Em Jee!!

It was like all my organs were only functioning at 50%.  I had a headache.  A neck-ache.  A toothache.  A gum-ache. A knee-ache.  I felt like walking dead.

Then I remembered something.  I'd felt like this before.  Often.

My first job ever was working as a receptionist at a mobile home dealership in Tulsa when I was 16.  The salesmen smoked up in there all day long.  And there I'd be...breathing it in, all day long.  Breathin' it in all up in my Mormon lungs!

And the next day, guess what?  I'd ALWAYS feel like CRAP-O-LA!  The organ thing, the head, neck, tooth, gum, knee-ache thing.  And exhaustion!  Oh my gosh, the exhaustion!

So back to my point... amazing what a little bit of nicotine can do.

...well, I did finish the pack.  I'm sure that didn't help.


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