I smoked my first cigarette ever on my 48th birthday this week. Boy, did I feel cool. And sexy.
My friend Rock Star had to light it for me, because I had no idea how to do it. I sucked on it a teensy bit, and coughed like a 12-year-old sneaking one of mom's smokes behind the garage for the first time. Even though I watch lots of TV shows where people smoke, I still had to be reminded to tap the ash off before I set myself on fire.
I wasn't planning to acquire a new noxious habit on my birthday; it just sort of happened. We were celebrating Dr. Vespinator's upcoming nuptials with a surprise shower. J. Cool hosted what was supposed to be a "godden potty" on the verandah, but of course this is June in Chicago, so with the wind chill in the 20s, we took it indoors.
At one one point, Rock Star, our resident bad girl and the most fun pastor's wife you will ever hang out with, went outside to smoke. We all decided to go out and smoke with her, sort of as a joke and sort of as a sign of solidarity. ("Smokers are one of the few groups left that it's OK to malign," Rock Star had said. "Yeah," I added knowingly, "Smokers and fat people.") So I grabbed her cigs from her purse and handed them around to the rest of the gang.
We all went outside with a cigarette hanging from our lips or dangling casually between two fingers like Marlene Dietrich. Rock Star was touched, I think; or maybe she was annoyed that we had just wasted an entire pack of cigarettes.
With our cigarettes in one hand, and our glasses of champagne in the other, we went around the circle making toasts to the guest of honor.
"To 50 years of uninterrupted wedded bliss!" I said, and we all clinked our glasses boisterously.
"Move over, Brangelina," toasted Queenie, "Make room for Mixie!" We giggled, clinked, drank and smoked. (BTW, that's funnier if you know Dr. Vespinator and her fiance's real names.)
I got better and cooler with the smoking with every puff; and I even tried to smoke out of my dwindling surgical neck hole* like a tracheotomy patient. But I'm happy to say, for the benefit of the youngsters out there, it was not enjoyable at all. I'll stick to my many, many other vices, thank you very much.
*NOTE: I can't believe I never told you the story of my gigantic surgical neck hole. I'm sure you'll want to hear it, and see pictures. Maybe later, kids. Try to keep yourselves calm while you're waiting.