Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, May 22, 2017

The Cigar of Vengeance (#BOTB Results)


        It always seems a bit weird to try to hurt someone else by hurting ourselves.   But sometimes what hurts us seems to hurt so good.



Have a Cigar
Have a Cigar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cigar of Vengeance

        In my previous post I told the story about how my mother got revenge on my father by smoking a cigar.  The irony to the story is that my father wouldn't have known that she was smoking the cigar at the time and likely never knew it happened.  My mother was angry at my father and did something that she knew he wouldn't have liked even though he had no idea that she was doing it.  Unless she told him later, it's likely that my father never knew that my mother had smoked that cigar.

         Years later I asked my mother about the incident.  She told me that my father had gone to Las Vegas with a friend of his who she didn't like because she thought he was a bad influence.  Besides, my mother didn't like the idea of being left at home with two young children when he was out having a fun trip.  They were both fairly young at the time having been only married about five years.  Bottom line though is that she was jealous.

          When my parents were still dating my mother was a cigarette smoker.  My father abhorred that practice and made it clear that he would not marry my mother as long as she was a cigarette smoker.  She quit and they got married.  When the Las Vegas incident came about, my mother found a cigar that had been given to my father in celebration of a baby's birth.   To her, smoking that cigar would have pissed my father off though it was not an act that she wanted to blatantly flaunt in front of him.  So I guess she smoked it in some sort of clandestine retribution for his leaving.

           In some ways this does seem a bit odd, but many years later it was something to which I could somewhat relate.  Perhaps taking after my father, I entered adulthood with an abhorrence of tobacco smoke.  Many of my friends smoked and though I tolerated it, I hated it and often let my feelings be known.  Then I met my first wife who was--at least in my view--a rather heavy smoker.  I begrudgingly accepted her habit because, well, because I loved her.  But her smoking was often a source of contention between us.

          Eventually there were so many differences between us that we parted ways--an idea that was more hers than mine.  Strangely, and perhaps not so coincidentally, one of her best friends had split with her husband shortly before our split.  They also had the problem of her being a smoker and her husband being an anti-smoker like myself.  After my wife and I split, I moved in with this guy and to my shock I discovered that he had taken up the habit of smoking.  Soon I too was smoking right along with him, acquiring a two pack a day habit in the process.  I guess our vengeance on our exes was taking up the vice that we disliked most about them.

          Sometimes smoking that big old fat smelly cigar of vengeance is just what it takes to prove a point.   What that point is I don't really know.   I'm not sure about my old roommate, but I took my cigarette habit into my next marriage to another woman who smoked and we both remained heavy smokers for a couple years into our marriage until she became pregnant and we both quit. Both of us quit cold turkey and that was it.  At least until another bout of vengeance reared it's ugly butt.  But that's another story for another day.  So have a cigar, cigarette, or whatever it is you're smoking.


Battle of the Bands Results


       My vote in this Battle between two versions of "Have a Cigar" by Pink Floyd goes to the disco psychedelic take by Little Virgin Experience.  Even though I'm a big fan of acoustic versions of big rock songs, the drive of the pulsating rhythm of Little Virgin captured my heart and I'm almost always a sucker for psychedelic music.   Acoustic jams take me back to the days when my friends would gather with their instruments and play a song into oblivion.  Fun, but no cigar after about fifteen minutes of riffing on the same song.

       The voters had a different opinion as they bestowed an early lead on Atlantis Becoming keeping them in an ever rapidly growing lead to which Little Virgin could never catch up with.  The outcome was very decisive giving the acoustic jam boys a victory in this Battle.

Final Vote Tally

Atlantis Becoming              20 votes

Little Virgin Experience      8 votes


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday June 1st

       I'll likely have one or two posts prior to the June 1st Battle, but that Thursday Battle is a cinch to happen.  This upcoming Battle will begin my summer posting schedule and the song I'll be choosing will be a older popular standard that is about a beginning.   And though the song might be old, I'll be using versions by more contemporary artists that all of you should know.  These performances might even surprise some of you.  Stay tuned!

        Have you ever tried to get revenge on someone by doing something that was harmful to yourself?   Have you ever been a smoker?    What was it that caused you to first start a bad habit?        






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46 comments:

  1. Great post, I never have smoked but I suppose it's up to the individual person.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I wouldn't encourage anyone to smoke and I'm glad less people smoke in public now.

      Lee

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  2. Well done to you both for quitting when a baby was involved. Very responsible. Have a great week and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Nicola, my wife at the time made the logical choice to quit and since she was quitting I felt that I should too.

      Lee

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  3. I think it's a disgusting habit.
    Not sure who I voted for - will go back and look.

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    1. Alex, nothing worse than an ashtray filled with nasty butts and a room smelling of stale tobacco smoke.

      You went with the majority in your vote.

      Lee

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  4. That is an extremely interesting post about your mother and the cigar. She showed him!

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    1. Pop Tart, my mother may have showed my father in her mind, but I doubt that he ever knew the story.

      Lee

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  5. Everyone in my family smoked when I was a kid and I couldn't stand the smell. If they were in our livingroom, I could smell the smoke upstairs in my bedroom with my door closed. And they wondered why I was always sick with bronchitus. I never picked it up and I couldn't stand kissing boys that smoked. It was like kissing an ashtray.

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    1. JoJo, tobacco smoke can permeate everything. I used to hate staying in motel rooms with stale smoke smells and where smoke from other rooms wafted in. Thank goodness for non-smoking policies in hotels now.

      Lee

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  6. I don't blame your mother for feeling badly about your dad going to Vegas and assuming she would take care of the kids while he had fun!!! This does however remind me of the saying, cutting off your nose to spite your face. Smoking, of course, was not good for her. :)

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    1. Teresa, that was the only time I can recall my father going off on a fun trip without my mother. I think he was well aware that it was not very fair and they liked going on trips together.

      Lee

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  7. I've never had any interest in smoking cigarettes or cigars. The only thing I've ever smoked is hookah. That has a sweet, smooth taste, and didn't need at least three times to get used to the taste and start liking it, as I'm told it takes for cigarettes. With my asthmatic lungs and sensitive allergies, I often can't help but automatically cough when I smell cigarette smoke. It's not trying to be rude, but a reaction to something irritating my sinuses.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, when I took up smoking all of my friends were very shocked as they had known me as a militant anti-tobacco advocate. Now I am far more tolerant of smoking than I used to be, but it's also rare that I'm around smokers.

      Lee

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    2. OMG, me, too! I've probably developed sensitive allergy. Sometimes, I COULD be rude to rude smokers and let them know. But sometimes, I try not to especially if they're smoking in designated areas, but I often can't stifle a little cough.

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  8. Living the day I do now, or even how I was raised, I couldn't imagine your mom's shoes. Or, someone saying if I didn't stop smoking no marriage. That's alien to me but not to many from the past, and you told the story well.

    Thanks for commenting about deluttering today, on Alex's blog. Neighborhood yard sale sounds like a great way to unload stuff.

    What are you most looking forward to getting rid of?

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    1. Happy, those were different times indeed. I often suggested that my first wife quit or cut back, but I did marry her despite my knowledge that she smoked. It was often problematic though.

      I'm going to have to explore my house to see what might be worth getting rid of at a yard sale. We have a lot of books in Spanish that I'll never read and my wife doesn't want around so I'd like to get rid of those even though they have to go at a really cheap price and even then books can be difficult to move. We also have some furniture that getting rid of would definitely free up some space.

      Lee

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    2. It would be difficult for me to live with a smoker, as well. I hate the smell and the health damage.

      Understandable about the books. We had books, DVDs, CDs and I think that's it for media. Stuff like you said, that we never read/used. Or did but won't read/use again.

      Here's to you tossing it out (no pun intended).

      Delete
  9. Smoking that cigar undoubtedly gave your mother some satisfaction and eased her anger at your father. Good for you and your wife, quitting smoking when she got pregnant! I starting at 12, because I wanted to fit in with older friends. Joke was on me, because I got hooked and kept it up for 37 years! Now, the very smell nauseates me. Thankfully, more and more people are quitting.

    Like you, I preferred The Little Virgin Experience but I guess they're an acquired taste. Can't win 'em all!

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    1. Debbie D, it was probably very easy for me to quit the two times that I did because I was about 30 the first time I started. It was always a give or take habit for me and the expense was a big factor in the second and last time I quit. It's been over 20 years now since I last smoked.

      I was actually surprised that Atlantis Becoming had so much of a larger lead in votes.

      Lee

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  10. But if your father never knew, was it effective? Or did it just make her feel defiant?

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    1. L.Diane, as an act of vengeance against my father I think the cigar smoking was totally ineffective, but for a housewife in the fifties I think it made my mother feel rather defiant. But she was often a rebel when she wanted to make a statement.

      Lee

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  11. My grandmother always quoted sayings that made no sense when she told them and I was five. But they pop up as nuggets of truth now that I'm in my advanced age. "Never cut off your nose to spite your face" was one, and it seems to apply to your mom's story. Still, I bet she felt a great deal of satisfaction lighting that puppy up!

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    1. C.Lee, my mom's cigar smoking was a spontaneous act of defiance that gave us a fun story to reflect on over the years.

      Lee

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  12. One cigar wasn't the same as say, eating an entire chocolate cake. But the torment was real. She gave up smoking for him, while he did as he pleased. At least she got it out of her system. In a nod to cleemckenzie, a nugget from my grandma was that "holding on to anger was like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." I probably would have allowed him to share in my discomfort by giving his favorite chair to charity ;-)
    Smoking cessation was the single hardest thing I've ever done. Folks were diving out of my way for nearly a week. Now I can say that it was also the best thing I could have done. You just always hope that it's not too late.
    Yay, Atlantis Becoming!

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    1. Diedre, giving away furniture was not an option at that time since in those early years my parents were renting a furnished house. I would have been glad to help her eat a box of chocolates.

      I've heard tough tales of trying to quit smoking. I guess if you've been smoking a while from a young age you're basically addicted which I was not.

      Lee

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  13. That's a funny story about how you ended up taking up smoking! haha. The hypocrisy! :)
    I started smoking back when I was 11. I was at my cousin's house and very innocent back then. But they (2 boys and a girl) were all smokers and I overheard the boys plotting to play a trick on me; they knew I didn't smoke but they said they were going to tease me that they knew I was smoking to see how I'd react. So when we all trekked into the woods and everyone started smoking, I surprised them by bumming a cigarette and proceeding to smoke it. Their eyes lit up, they couldn't believe that their sweet innocent "Shell"was actually smoking. Well, it was kinda smoking because naturally I had to be taught how to inhale. :) But that was the beginning of a long relationship with cigarettes. I continued to smoke from that day on and for 26 years after that. Back in '96, I too quit cold-turkey and haven't looked back once! (except for the occasional puffs on a cigar).
    So yeah, in a real sense, I harmed myself getting revenge on my cousins' plan to freak me out.
    Ah, those were the days... all those days in the woods, smoking and drinking~!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, amazing that you were able to quit so easily after having smoked so long. My smoking years weren't anywhere near as long as yours, but still I wish I could have the money back for all those cigarettes that went up in smoke.

      Lee

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  14. I smoked pretty heavily, first cigarettes, then cigars and a pipe, until I learned I had high blood pressure, when I quit smoking and drinking. I started when I was 14, out of curiosity and boredom, really.

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    1. John, a lot of kids at my high school smoked. They had a special smoking area set up for students who wanted to partake. I was never tempted in the least in those days.

      Lee

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  15. I never smoked - tried it one time when I was a kid and it made me sick. One of my "rules" was to never even date a smoker. So I met and married my first husband, who was a non-smoker for years. Then, he started smoking and hiding it. He wasn't hiding a thing, I could totally smell it. It was awful. Well there were other things going on as well, and we ended up divorcing after 24 years and 3 children.

    Happily I have been married 15 + years to a very content non-smoker. Yea for me!

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    1. Debby, I stopped my most recent bout of smoking over 20 years ago after I met my present wife. I knew she didn't care for it and I was getting tired of wasting so much money on cigarettes.

      Lee

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  16. I've dabbled with cigarettes bummed from friends but never really got it. Legend says that my uncle quit one day when the vending machine at work was out of his brand.

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    1. CW, whatever it takes, quitting is the best route to go if for no other reason than it saves money.

      Lee

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  17. My father was a smoker. I grew up with him smoking, but the idea of us (my mother, my sister and me smoking was something he hated, mainly because he knew it was bad and, well, society being as it was/is, he believed it did not look good if women smoked). Weeks before his mild stroke, I noticed that his already kind of heavy smoking was escalating to more packs a day. In later years, one of his lungs was already failing big time. In later years, too, I noticed my mother trying out a cig or two. I told her to stop because it's not good and she was sickly anyway. Of course, I was told, in a manner of speaking, to leave her alone: "It's just one." "Just tasting it." Or whatever reason she could tell me. I let her to keep the peace, but she knew I didn't approve of it at all.

    Good thing I never really loved the taste of a cig. When I was younger, he would tell me to throw away the butt. I would take one very brief, very small hit to have a taste (of course, I hid) and always, I hated the taste. Hated that after just one little hit, I would keep trying to rinse the taste off my mouth and it would just linger. I decided it was not worth it.

    I DO hate smoke and, whether it's psychological or not, I often get into a little coughing fit when exposed to cig smoke. I didn't use to. Meanwhile my husband smokes. He knows I hate it and agrees it's not good for the health, so he tries to stay away from smoking. He is also trying to quit but, as is usual with smokers, he often succumbs to the temptation. We're still working on that.

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    1. JGIF, it's odd when we know we're doing something that is unhealthy for us and yet persist even if we don't particularly like it. Smoking can be a struggle for both the smoker and those who have to deal with it.

      Lee

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  18. Lee,

    My pick did not win. Oh well...I loved your story lead in reminding me of your mother's vengeful act and then your own tale of smoking. It just occurred to me in my early teens the reason I picked up smoking and that was because of a stupid boy. He was my first serious boyfriend and looking back on it I know it wasn't true love or anything but the breakup was painful nonetheless. He was unfaithful to me seeing another girl and either didn't want to tell me or purposely put up one of his buddies to whisper this news in my ear. Whatever the reason, I dropped him like a hot potato! I lashed out in anger and began smoking. I thought, "This will show him!" I kept that nasty happen for nearly a year before I met DH and he sounds a lot like your dad in that he didn't want to court a girl who smoked. I admired that really and it forced me to give up something bad before it got really out of hand. I'm SO thankful because who knows the impact that this might have had on my life, my health. Strangely over the years I developed an allergy to cigarette smoke. Maybe it's physiological because I hate it so badly but if I don't have to be around it then I'm not placing myself in harms way. When we're out running errands and if we see someone standing around smoking then we both veer way around the smokers to avoid breathing it in and if it's unavoidable then we will forcefully clear our lungs the best we can by coughing hard. That's gotta help some, right? Thanks for sharing your BoTB outcome and stories. It's always a joy to read your posts. Have a good day, my friend!

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    1. Cathy, while often smoking is considered a rebellious act in youth somehow connected with the idea that we seem older or tougher if we smoke, in your case and mine the smoking was a rebellion against a societal situation that had been thrust upon us. Whether it be anger, hurt, or whatever it is that causes a person to smoke with the full knowledge that it is not good for them, the slow "death" is better than something like suicide or hurting someone else as their act of vengeance. Best to stay away from the smoking and find healthier alternatives to express anger or dissatisfaction.

      Lee

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  19. I was a smoker until 1/1/1982 (abt 20 years) and then quit cold turkey. Since then I've lost quite a few family members to lung cancer and/or COPD, and mostly because of cigarettes. Smoking is not a good thing to do to our bodies, that's a fact!

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    1. Patricia, sorry to hear about the losses of family members, but congratulations for keeping off the tobacco habit for so long.

      Lee

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  20. I was a heavy smoker too. I loved it. Well, still do, but I don't smoke. I quit March 20, 2004, but who's counting right? ;)

    Elsie Amata

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    1. Elsie, loved it? I'm not sure that looking back I could say that I "loved" my smoking habit, but to someone looking on they might have thought that I did. Now I wish I had invested the money I spent on smoking rather than seeing it go up in smoke.

      Lee

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  21. Well, LEE, I see by your outcome, I was voting with the great majority (pun intended) but there isn't anything particularly new about that. I've nearly always been out of step with the majority most of my life. (I think I've been permanently banned from "The In-Crowd" since 1964, but that's OK. I'm comfortable in my own skin... except when I'm hungover.)

    See ya again on the June 1st Battle. ...Unless Jesus returns first.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    [Link:) Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. STMcC, I've also marched to a different drummer--a very different one--much of my life. But I've been mostly fine with that and the older I get, the less I care how much I fit in. And the ways things have gotten with the current times I'd rather be on the outside than the in crowd. One gets a better perspective from the outside looking in and looking in hurts my eyes and my brain.

      Maranatha!

      Lee

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  22. I think really it's a disgusting habit.

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    1. Anjali, for the most part it is pretty disgusting. No matter how you see it the end result is still smoke and ash, not even to mention the damage it does to the body.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee