Holy Smokes, Batman!


One thousand Americans stop smoking every day – by dying.
~Author Unknown

My daughter picked up a rather unsavory habit while in Europe.

She started smoking.

This amused me at first because a few years back she made a big ta-doo to me about not being a smoker, disliking it, etc. I figured it was the environment, maybe it was cool to do, she was trying to fit in with the Europeans, trying to keep thin,  whatever.

However, it appears as though she has continued.

This makes me feel, well, ucky.

I don’t smoke. I don’t like smokers. I don’t mean I don’t like them as people, I don’t like the habit of smoking. I don’t have any friends who smoke. I prefer not to be around people who smoke. I am very sensitive to the smell. I detest having my clothing smell like smoke, my hair, my things.  I did a happy dance when they prohibited smoking in public places in my state.

My mother was a smoker my entire childhood. She quit about 5 years ago after smoking for over 50 years. I am proud of her. I am not so proud of my daughter for picking up the habit.

I don’t like seeing pictures of her with cigarettes in her hand or mouth. I think it looks trashy and low class. Let’s just put aside the obvious health concerns, I just don’t like it. I mean I REALLY don’t like her smoking.

As always, I was intrigued with why I get so riled up at seeing smoking pictures of her. I mean, I don’t get like this around smokers. I just make a mental note of their smoking status and make adjustments when I am in their company. I don’t get all riled and vile and angry.  I am not one of those rude people who lecture smokers. I just stand a distance away, upwind from them, or go out of the room until they have finished. No one smokes in my house and if you visit and you are a smoker, you are asked to smoke outside.

As I told a friend about this today, he started laughing at me. I mean hysterically, belly laughing. 

He says:

“You seriously don’t know why this bothers you so much?”.

I am like, no asshole, I don’t. If I did, would I be discussing it with you? Would I be all bent about it if I knew?

“You are her MOTHER, for god sakes. Mothers never want to their children to do something that is bad for them, unhealthy or socially unacceptable. Like, um, DUH.”

“Oh, yeah, huh?” I thought.

I realized he was right. That is exactly the issue. If she was with me, raised by me, smoking would be a big no no. I would be upset if I found out she was, I would discuss it with her and express my concern. But I cannot do that. If I tell her I don’t like her smoking, she would likely tell me to piss off.  Perhaps she would say "Well, I don’t like that you left me with strangers at 3 days old. So there"

That’s exactly it. It’s the mama bear in me wanting to protect and counsel my child but since the laws of man took that away from me I am left feeling all twisted and confused and left with the laws of nature.

How do I manage the mothering protective feelings for a child you were not deemed worthy enough to mother and protect?

3 Thoughts.

  1. Quitting smoking is rough stuff. College brought it upon me, even though I was a double major in voice but I thought, “Hey, I need to get some lower notes so this should work.” Oh, the dumb college brain.
    That said: from things you’ve written in the past, she seems smart enough to eventually figure out that not only does smoking do bad things to your body but it TASTES BAD. (That’s when I quit for good. I was smoking a cigarette and I thought, “Wow, this tastes AWFUL!”)
    And yes, it is the Mama bear in you. (Though, my own Mother (biological and raised me) was anti-smoking. Since it was SUCH a big no-no in our house, I did it also just to piss her off. 😉 )

  2. Ew yeah I feel for you.
    When I first met my boyfriend, we didn’t date right away. We were just acquaintances for a while, but I was really attracted to him. Even though he didn’t smoke around me, the first time he asked me out, I refused and told him that I couldn’t date him because he was a smoker. I wasn’t trying to be an a@@, I just didn’t see the point in wasting an otherwise good evening with someone that I wouldn’t want to kiss me goodnight! I think it was about 2 weeks later that he called me and told me he quit smoking and asked me out again. The rest is history!
    My mother smoked and my dad drank whiskey. My mom would smoke in the house and in the car (with windows up). She also used to attend school activities and smell so strongly of smoke. I can actually remember cringing when giving my mom a kiss. I developed a repulsion for smoking. My dad used to come home completely wasted and try to give me hugs and kisses with the smell of whiskey all over him. I have the same repulsion for the smell of whiskey.

  3. Funny… I didn’t like finding out my birthmother is/was a smoker. And I was even more peeved when I found out that she smoked when she was pregnant with me. Fuckin’ 15 year olds think they know fuck all. What’s wrong with people?

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