So the big day has passed. Too much food, although most of it fantastic. The corks were popping, yet a pleasant pace set. No post-turkey naps necessary, no outbursts conjuring long ago wounds.
My traditional Thanksgiving experience is a marathon “visit”. A family spread across the fruited plane, gets together once a year, and crams in so much conversation that the brains may burst before the bellies. Although the backdrop of football and dusted-off board games offer some reprieve, they come too late in the day – a day, which often starts the day before.
What’s the best way to make a non-stop visit more palatable? Give it a break, an interlude. This is unheard of in my family. So I took up smoking.
I’ve never been a cigarette guy, although I have inhaled. I’m not from a smoking family. I did have a cigar phase, but determined they take a toll on me – either unnecessarily amplifying the buzz factor or killing my voice the next day. I reserve my cigar chomping for those truly special occasions, which are always initiated by others. It was my time to initiate. This was a “special” occasion. My sanity depended on it.
So I just belt it out, “I’m going outside for a cigar”. The heads turned in response to the abnormal declaration. I brought an extra, suspecting company may join me. After 5 seconds of furrowed brows, I stepped outside alone.
A Punch champion is a $5, medium body, medium length cigar, that takes about a half hour to smoke at a normal pace. The weather in the north was top notch this year. I brought my field coat – enough to keep warm and the smoke off my cardigan. I decided to venture on a walk. The half-hour went by quickly, but I felt great but the time I got back. The fresh air refreshed, and the exercise got the belly full of gravy and stuffing to begin the un-congealing process. I was able to reenter the visiting process revived, and eager to engage.
My only regret was not pushing for company. The 1:1 “visit” would have been more memorable (for both of us). I have a goal for next year now.
(I guess I could have just gone for a walk, sans cigar, but after all, it’s about doing everything in style!)
Also: Smoking is bad for you, as the Surgeon General will tell you. If you partake, understand and accept the risks.