When I was a little kid, my mother and step-father were hippies -leather headband wearing, peace marching, “down with bombs” sign carrying, tie dyed hippies. From what I recall, I liked the free-for-all attitude that permeated be-ins, music festivals and crafts fairs which were sort of the staples of our family time. The only part of the scene I vividly recall disliking was my parents’ love of weed.
From my memory, step-dad was a pretty daily toker and looking back I can see it was a lot about checking out. He smoked and worked for hours in his darkroom every day and would emerge with blood shot eyes and a shitty attitude. Other times, when he was pissed (which was a lot) he’d just disappear downstairs to get away and come back with that same look and a mad hunger for pound cake.
My parents’ favorite time to get high was on road trips. Our little French Renaults ( my parents went through series of these cars when I was young) always reeked of marijuana although my step-father tried to cover the smell with Doublemint gum which didn’t work. It only made me despise the smell of Doublemint gum (note to Juicyfruit: we are still friends). There’s nothing like two high as a kite parents driving up the California coast over winding cliffs to leave you car sick and fearing for your life. I can remember cowering in the backseat with no seat belt on just hoping with all my might that I would make it to our campsite alive and not end up a burning ember on the beach 80 feet below.
Fast forward to junior high. My seventh and eighth grade years predated Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign but there was still a lot of anti drug speeches and pamphlets handed out among students. One day I placed an anti-marijuana leaflet on my parent’s bed. They were not amused, more like completely pissed off.
At maybe thirteen, I decided that if I was to stand in judgment of their habit, I should at least know what they were doing so I stole some pot from step-dad’s stash which he craftily kept unwell hidden in a film canister above their bed. My friend and I rolled a joint which I’d learned to do from watching and we proceeded to smoke the entire thing while hiding in the backyard. I didn’t get buzzed but I did get a really bad headache. Turns out, it was some bad homegrown shit. Later I found that ragweed is only good for baking into brownies but not suitable for actual inhalation. I’ve since smoked plenty of good pot and to this day, I don’t know how he managed to get high off of it. Looking back, a bag of good bud would’ve made a perfect Hanukkah gift. He always was hard to shop for.
But I’ve never really liked pot too much or people who smoke it a lot. I don’t appreciate the movies that glorify pot smoking like every Seth Rogan vehicle. When I saw Knocked Up, I couldn’t get past how Katherine Heigl’s character could think there was any chance of a pothead being a responsible person. I also couldn’t get past Katherine Heigl in general but that’s my own prejudice. All that sitting around smoking and thinking it’s cool – I didn’t get it. At all. I once dating a pothead and he wore the same gross corduroy jacket every single fucking day of his life and it smelled like pot. I found myself actually pining for the smell of Doublemint gum.
So, people who use pot to check out? Gross. I judged. I had issues with that. But, in my mind, alcohol was totally different – cool, fun, socially acceptable, much better. Except that I was using alcohol in the same exact way I hating seeing pot used when I was a kid. And I’m glad I won’t be doing that anymore.
This is not to say that I have done a 180 and think drinking is bad. Au contraire. Normal drinking is, in my mind, a great thing to model for your kids. I wish like a bitch I was a normal drinker. I wish like hell I had a glass of wine or even two with dinner and left it at that – a couple on the weekend out with my husband – sweet. But I know I can’t.
Now Vicidon on the other hand…
And to all of you who are wondering or have asked, I’m doing this with outside support which helps tremendously. And to all of you who have suggested I take up knitting…DO YOU KNOW ME? Not going to happen. Seriously.