I was in the basement of Saint Ex last night. I used to avoid it because it used to be so smoky. Now it's great. Your eyes don't hurt from the smoke when you walk down there.
DC enacted a smoking ban on January 2nd. I know a lot of people who are social smokers, and they feel mildly inconvenienced but are supportive of the idea. For the most part, people seem to be delighted.
Recently, I was at a party talking to this guy who asked me if I'd ever smoked.
Now, I grew up with everyone around me smoking. ALL of my high school friends smoked. I have always liked how smoking looks, honestly. Women who smoke gracefully I think are super sexy. It just wasn't something I ever wanted to do.
So I said, "Yes, but only once. I was eight, and..."
"You were eight???"
"Well, we were visiting family friends in Tunisia, and their maid took Maude and me into the bathroom and lit us each a cigarette. I thought I was going to die. And that was my smoking experience."
"Wow. I was in high school."
"Oh, in high school all my friends smoked."
"Oh, and you?"
"I never did. It just didn't appeal."
Someone made a joke about all of us spontaneously doing Ecstasy. If you knew the group I was with, you'd understand how funny this idea was. And so he asked me if I'd ever tried that.
"Would you if it were legal?"
"I guess maybe if I knew it were just going to last for 10 minutes or something. But something that goes on and on, and that I have no control over, no, I would hate it."
"So it's a control thing?"
"Yah, maybe. And that's what's so nice about chewing tobacco."
"Have you ever dipped?"
"Nooo...well, once, and I threw up. Also in high school. And you?"
"Like, when you were eight? In Tunisia?
"No. But every once in a while for fun..."
"You do not!"
"Well, okay, I haven't done it that many times. And pretty much only with my friend Maude. Who now lives in England. Plus mouth cancer is scary. So I might never again."
"So the dipping...What's good about it?"
"Well, it's this fun little buzz, apparently like the buzz you get from a cigarette if you aren't a regular smoker."
"And it's also kind of fun to get to spit, because it's just so disgusting. But anyway, the good part is you get this little buzz, but when you've had enough, you just spit it out, and that's that."
Because I have to talk with my hands, I of course had pantomimed all of this during our conversation. At the end I made a motion of pulling the tobacco out of my lip.
A guy across the room caught my eye and said, "You're totally talking about dipping, aren't you?"
Ablaze with femininity.