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The Smoking Tampon

When I was a child, I loved going to my grandmother’s home. She let me do about anything short of setting it on fire. Fire was nothing to her since my mother had accidentally accomplished lighting the place up as a child. But still, that was probably the one rule of her house: Don’t set it on fire.

My grandmother didn’t drive. So we would walk to this tiny store near her house called Jack’s. When entering Jack’s, it was as if the strangest combination of York Peppermint Patties and cigarette smoke had filled the air and teased my olfactory nerves. Yet somehow the odor was pleasant and memorable. Since Jack’s was the size of a toddler’s shoebox, it was always filled with people. I usually raided the candy section for candy cigarettes.

(Second time this week that candy cigarettes have gotten props from me, just if you were questioning my love for them. Do tell if you’re unfamiliar with them.)

The whole walk home I would mimic my grandmother’s smoking habit by doing my interpretation of glamorous smoking with the candy cigarettes. Eventually the candy part would get quite soggy and I’d have to eat it. But that was totally okay, because they came in a pack similar to those of real cigarettes. So there were always more.

My mother was quite the nonsmoking advocate and disapproved of this behavior. So both my grandmother and I caught worlds of hell for it. But my sweet grandmother, with her elderly, shar-pei-like skin, let me anyway.

And I loved every minute of it …

But I have finally been gotten back for all of the behind-my-mother’s-back candy cigarette smoking in which I participated.

In a recent trip to the grocery store, I was perusing the produce aisle while silently bitching to myself about how expensive even the most mundane of vegetables (cabbage) had become. Allie was sitting in the cart behaving and/or singing that Leona Lewis song that says “keep bleeding” nonstop very loudly. I suppose while going down my list and finding things, I had stopped paying much attention to her.

In that short amount of time, she dug into my purse to search for a toy and became quiet. And boy, did she find one.

With her, quiet is always a bad sign. Quiet is foreshadowing that doom has or is about to occur.

So finally, after digging through watermelons, I turned back around to the buggy to talk to her. (Because she’s generally my grocery-store confidant.)

And she was smoking a tampon. She had taken a tampon out of the packaging, was holding the applicator between her index and middle fingers, and bringing it to her lips in a graceful attempt at smoking. She even had an audience of two women pointing and giggling at her.

She, of course, was taking this all in, smiling, and preening—all while continuing to “puff” the tampon.

Smoking a freaking tampon applicator. I’ve seen it all now.

Her grandmother smokes, and I suppose this karma’s way of getting me back for annoying the shebang out of my mother with my own candy-cigarette-smoking tendencies. Or for the short time in my teens when I took up smoking. Who knows.

Either way, my kid smoked a tampon in the grocery store with an audience. What has yours done lately?

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