Thursday, June 21, 2007


Betty has started smoking again.

I hate smoking. Absolutely loathe it.

Both our parents smoked when we were kids. My mother had this very long, sleek, carved ivory cigarette holder. My earliest childhood memories involve my parents hosting preprandial cocktails on the veranda and smoking.

All the embassy parties we went to were elegant. People were always dressed up. And they always smoked. And as a result, I have always liked how smoking looks - very sophisticated. I just hate everything else about it.

My brother and I went through a period where we'd do everything possible to dissuade our parents from smoking. When we went out to restaurants and they lit cigarettes, we'd create a scene. We'd hack, we'd cough. Eventually at least one of us would fall on the floor in mock faint, having strangled on the cigarette smoke.

No exaggeration. "Cough cough! Aaaaack!" Fall off chair. Arms and legs straight up in the air.

In high school all my friends smoked, and when they came over, they'd hang out and have a cigarette with Betty. I was the only non-smoker I knew.

Eventually they both my parents did quit, though, and my dad hasn't smoked in years and years.

But recently Betty started again. She'll go out in the garden and smoke.

The other day she said, "Please don't get mad at me."

How could I be mad? She's been completely stressed out.

I said, "Mom, you could do crack and I wouldn't get mad. No, take that back. Please don't do crack. I could not handle it. But you could. . .you could get addicted to porn! That might be OK."

Betty gave me a serious look and leaned in like she was telling a secret. "Oh, sweetheart. I read an article. Those porn addicts, they have terrible sex lives. It's very sad."

Note to self: Cross porn off possible addiction list.


  1. My dad smoked when we were little in Germany, and my mother threatened to kick him out of the apartment if he didn't quit, and so he quit cold turkey...but I know that he would probably kill a man now to be able to smoke just one. So, at least your mom didn't kill a man for the cigarette! I think.

  2. I like Betty's priorities. Why risk a good sex life?

    Did I just gross you out? Sorry.

  3. Vicodin would be my addiction of choice. Clear winner now that porn is out of the question.

  4. Your mother's line was killer. I appreciate your brand of humor and its roots more and more each time out.

  5. Moosie - I think my mom's spent years feeling like your dad does. However, I'm going to doubt she's ever killed a man for one. I'll have to ask her.

    DCup - I would laugh out loud if I learned that Betty has ever seen porn.

    HKW - I had some Vicodin when I hurt my back and I liked that it took away the pain but hated how out if it I was.

    IJ - Thanks! I was really impressed with her for coming up with that.

  6. How can anyone hate smoking? It's soooooo good!

    I have to quit this year, but I'm promising myself that I will take it up again when I'm 80, along with drugs and unprotected sex. I'm going to be the wildest gal in the nursing home.

  7. I can just picture you and your brother making a scene at the restaurant!

  8. FreckledK - I really do like how it looks, just not anything else about it. And I can imagine you being the most hilarious wild woman at a nursing home - what a picture!

    G&D - We were awful. In retrospect, I'm sure not just our parents but all the diners around us just hated us.

  9. LOLOL, Betty is almost right. It's actually the spouse of the porn addict who has the positively awful sex life!

  10. Oh, god - I read that post of yours yesterday. You are NOT KIDDING.


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