Monday, June 30, 2008


Ah, the 60s. You could smoke in hospitals, doctor's offices, at your desk. Everyone smoked on TV shows, and they advertised cigarettes in commercials. Apparently, in my family, you could offer cigarettes to 2-year-olds and let infants play with cigars.

first smokes

The above pictures are of me. The first two were taken around my first Christmas; the third was taken when I was two (also at Christmas). As far as I can tell, my uncle Chuck is actually lighting that cigarette in the end picture. Fun times!

One of my fondest memories was of our neighbors, Bill and Maggie, who always made sure that there was a box of chocolate cigarettes on hand for me. They'd even light the end with a match, so I could smoke like everyone else.

Before you get all excited and point at how all this exposure to tobacco - real and fake - led to my downfall: Guess what? None of this made me want to smoke, which is why I still love candy cigarettes - chocolate, bubble gum and those weird white chalky ones. From the time I was three, I begged my mom to quit, and she finally did. Most of my friends smoked when I was a teen, but it never occurred to me.*

*Okay, I did attempt smoking twice: the earliest was during college. I made it through half of one of the long brown ones ("More"?). We bought them because it seemed to make economic sense (we didn't realize they were thinner). Another time, in my late 20s, I was in a very, very stressful job and started taking "smoke breaks" with the smokers. I smoked as an act of rebellion, but wasn't very good at it: I couldn't inhale and cigarette smoke gave me terrible headaches. It had an interesting effect: my boss's boss saw me and expressed his shock/horror. I told him that it was that or kill someone. He started to realize how bad morale was, but really didn't do anything about it. I ended up quitting instead. (ETA: Over the few weeks that I attempted smoking, I didn't finish a pack.)

Knitting fills that void now. Not that my rage is as severe or my morale as low as it was in that job. I think it's a pretty decent sign that you need to get the hell out of a job when it leads you to such dramatic ends.

Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of cigarettes, actually. The smoke does make me quite ill, and I have real issues with people who insist on smoking in vestibules. I love restaurants that are - voluntarily - no smoking. However, I don't support bans on it. Let people make up their own minds. I might avoid a place that allows smoking, but I'm all for them having the right to allow it.

Speaking of knitting
Sock #2 continues to grow. I'm past the cuff into the heel flap now. I can't wait to wear my first socks!

I design ads for a handful of advertisers on Ravelry, usually getting paid in yarn; sometimes in cash or Amazon gift certificates. Over the weekend, I did a print ad that will be in an upcoming issue of Interweave Knits. How exciting!

1 comment:

LiLi M. said...

Hahaha that cigar smoking baby! Our teachers even smoked. I begged my father to stop smoking in the car (yes a very small european car with no air refreshmentsystems at that time. You could open the window, nothing else. My father smoked and opened his window very little so that the smoke was better blown into the car). Finally I started smoking myself so that the smoke of others didn't bother me, but in the end...I'l be honest, you always make up your own mind. I quit smoking about 3 years ago.
Your post is very up to date for us Dutch, tomorrow July 1st smoking will be prohibited in restaurants and bars. My my discussions are going on for months, but I am happy!