A Tribute To Secrets

Secrets.

We all have them.

What are they really but moments full of regret, otherwise we’d all be bragging, right?

I have a few.

Most will go with me to the grave. No one knows everything. Thank God.

But when you’re blogging, and you realize that the uniweb LOVES a secret, you tend to reconsider the value of a secret- like, is it something you can reveal that you won’t regret? What will be the reaction? Should it be told? Who will it hurt? Can it get you traction? (let’s be serious- that’s the real question)

The hell with all that- I smoke.

As a matter of fact, I’m smoking right now! And I’m loving it!

puffpuffpuff

I may be the last person on Earth. Certainly the last highly educated 21st century American left with a death wish.

I know. I know. It’s bad for me.

Like overloading on Cable News and drinking too much wine (oops- other secrets).

How I miss the days of olde when my doctor actually fired-up a cowboy whilst examining my bone x-ray and offered up a lady-like menthol as a congratulatory measure for only a fracture instead of a break. 

puffpuffpuff

How I miss those shiny brass ashtrays in elevators when the lift operator offered to take your coat and light your Chesterfield as the door retracted and you exited in a fog machine of your own making- like a music video- but before music videos. 

How I miss the soft blue plum of exhale after a fine meal where the ashtrays were heavy Baccarat and emptied on cue. I always felt better in blue light and heavy perfume.

True Story: I actually lobbied my High School Board and the Principal into allowing us students a special place to smoke- in school. How I did this, I don’t have a God damn clue, but I did it. It was the 70′s, and I clearly should be negotiating for peace in the Middle East. 

So you can imagine my delight, when upon a stroll down Royal St. in the French Quarter, I happened upon an artist’s studio where he had paid homage to the glorious days of rugged Vice Admiral Marlboro and his Camel non-filters. 

I dropped to my knees and spoke to the Lucky God’s of Strike for not forgetting me and my lot.

“We Love The Virginians and we like ‘em Slim“, I cried.

“All Hail the great leaders of our time, for it is the Winston Churchill’s and Clark Kent‘s that have saved us from tyranny and the people who feel the need to save us from ourselves,”shouted another.

And the crowd, that was building with each strike of sand upon sulfur, bellowed, “We demand a new seating of Parliament, to be held in Newport Beach, to show our American Spirit and preview Ralph Lauren’s Fall collection!”

What? We’re a bit off track here.

At this point, I knew I had incited a riot of Bourbon Faced on Shit Street leftovers that did not hold in high esteem, or personal sobriety, the gravity of the artists statement and the forgotten meaning it conveyed. I suddenly wanted the Kool quiet space of my oak paneled library with a scotch rocks and the soft feel of my jacket- my smoking jacket.  

Finding a group of like minded compatriots has always been… a Lark.

Ya gotta love NOLA!



  • Dana Hemelt - So in that photo of you up top…are the flowers hiding a cigarette? Is that why you look a bit mischievous?ReplyCancel

  • Sue - I think we should talk. Seriously good play on words too. You’ve come a long way baby….remember that playing over and over again because we had… Gloria Steinman and our own cigarette.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Sprenger - Thanks for sharing your secret with us! ;) I have fond memories of smoking my after-dinner and before-bed cigarettes in college. I don’t miss the smoking, per se, but I do miss those days intensely sometimes.ReplyCancel

  • Cary - You have given me the courage to admit my secret (one that some would say is more socially unacceptable): candy corn. I. Love. Candy corn.
    There. It’s out in the open. That’s the first step. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.
    Thank you for that (and PS – the paragraph about negotiating peace for the Middle East made me laugh out loud).ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Hahahaaaaa. I’m laughing at your comment. Thank you for that. Candy Corn. Yes. A wonderful addiction. And I’m not kidding about the Middle East.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie DeYoung - Ha! I like what you did there, with the word play. Terribly clever.
    I only smoked for a week in rehab. I much preferred sloshing my glass of wine around…ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Ah smoking. What a lovely and awesome tribute to those beguiling frienemies – ciggies. Ahhhh. Really clever post!ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - A habit I never got into, really. Aside from the occasional cigar at poker games, but I stopped that years ago after seeing an old guy (might not have been that old), outside a hospital, smoking through a trachea hole.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Wallace - You are too cute!
    Thanks for the laugh!
    Question? If you had to choose, would you rather be a healthy-looking corpse or a happy-looking corpse?
    ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Happy. And with a gloved hand delicately holding a Martini glass- shaken not stirred. And so nice to see a new face here! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Caro Ness - This made me laugh! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Petra - I just loved the “puffpuffpuff”! Well, I do smoke – but I neither like the taste nor the smell and always have to drink something with it (mostly water), because the smoke itches my throat otherwise…isn’t that hilarious? You should pass by France: I hear the smoking is even more popular in Spain, but you’d definitively go unnoticed in Paris, as it almost is a ‘facon de vivre’ here…..ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Oh yes. I travel to Paris JUST TO SMOKE! They are my people! Puffpuffpuff ps: I’m always drinking an iced tea.ReplyCancel

  • Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design - Thanks for the laughs! I have nominated you for a Liebster Award for bloggers. Please see my post at http://www.homeandlifestyledesign.com/2013/09/i-won-liebster-award.html for more details. Congrats and keep up the great work.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle DesignReplyCancel

  • elizabeth_bradt - This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyCancel

  • elizabeth_bradt - Girl, you crack me up! Congrats on outing your secret into the blogosphere. Among the one you’ve listed here, there are many reasons to love NOLA! That city could be the setting of a post for me about my secret love of binge-eating! YummyyyReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I tried it in college, but it made me sick, like wanting-to-puke sick! :( ReplyCancel

  • Ida Chiavaro - Many small pubs in Denmark still allow smoking. My only rule is I never go to one when I have just washed my hair :) Here’s an article you might like – that encourages smoking… http://www.sott.net/article/226999-Smoking-Helps-Protect-Against-Lung-CancerReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I don’t want to encourage smoking- I’m just saying that I do and I wish I wasn’t made to feel like such a loser in public. Can’t wait to read the article.ReplyCancel

  • House Crazy Sarah - I did not know that about you Cheryl – but now it all makes sense. Our subversive vixen flaming through the garden of good and evil. Yes, I’m getting a MUCH fuller picture now of my red-hatted idol down in NOLA.ReplyCancel

  • MetryChick - I smoked for about 15 years and I LOVED IT! I loved everything about it! I do miss it, but not that much. I met some really really awesome people through smoking. When I worked for big companies smoking was the one thing that linked us all. I would find myself standing in the cold with the VP or COO and we were friends. I kind of miss the smoking days.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - You’re right! I hadn’t even mentioned all the people I’ve suddenly found myself ‘secret friends’ with. Or those I lost….ReplyCancel

  • donofalltrades.com - Found this post on the Blogger-Idol page.

    It’s probably hard for the under 30 crowd to believe that people used to smoke EVERYwhere! It wasn’t uncommon to see women leaning over the produce with a cigarette dangling between her lips, ash ready to fall on the carrots. Hell, there were ashtrays in most public bathrooms and airplanes.

    I miss the days of the ashtray. I’m not a smoker and I could care less if other people do outside of those butts. Oh how I loathe seeing the butts being thrown all over the place, especially from the car window. Buy a damn car with an ashtray you vile smoker!! Not you though, you’re sweet. Lol.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - You can’t buy a car with an ashtray anymore! I’d pay good money for one. I have one of those bean-bag things on the center dash. I remember doctors smoking in the hallways of hospitals! Amazing. And as for Blogger Idol- I’m a bit confused. There have been a few eliminated that shouldn’t have been and at least one terrible writer that’s still there. Go figure. Glad you stopped by Don. Hope to see you more.ReplyCancel

  • Julie DeNeen - LOL. This was great. Though I’ve never smoked, I almost wanted to after reading it!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Hey you! And I’m worse when accompanied by a glass of the bubbly. How does one quit I wonder? This is a mystery to me. XXOOReplyCancel

  • Debra Amantea - Barbie and I are with you, Sister!!!ReplyCancel

  • Angela Ryan - Really, I am just amazed that you lobbied the principal for a special place to smoke. That’s skills right there.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I told the school board that the student body was going to smoke on campus no matter what the penalty was, so they should just provide a smoking area, and we, the students, would keep it clean- and we did! HahahaaaaReplyCancel

  • Mary Johnson - I still love the look of a man as he lights his cigarette, head bowed, hand gently cuffing the flame… swoonReplyCancel

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