My Weekend at Auntie Anne's, Part 1

(by anonymous, 19 June 2001)

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	After discovering ASFS on the Internet and reading all the "How I
started" stories, my husband suggested that I should write down my first
smoking experience and share it with everyone.  I have been a cigarette lover
ever since I can remember. At twenty-three, I have already been smoking for
fifteen years.  Yes, I had my first cigarette at eight and have been smoking
ever since. 

	There are normally very few childhood memories that we carry forth
into adulthood.  The ones we do however, tend to be our fondest and most
cherished.  Such is the memory I'm going to share with you now.  Having
already committed most of it to my diary, I can remember every detail as if it
were yesterday, and whenever I want to feel good all over, I just think back
to "My weekend at Auntie Anne's".    

My Weekend at Auntie Anne's  (Part 1)

	Friday morning dawned bright and clear, just like a late June morning
should.  With school out for the summer, mom was already up and sitting in the
den having her coffee, reading the newspaper and smoking one of her Marlboro
Light 100's.  My mom always looked so nice and relaxed when she was smoking
and watching her smoke a cigarette always made me want to have one right along
with her.  

Just three months past my eighth birthday, and already it seemed that I was
thinking about cigarettes all the time now, and I wanted desperately to try
one.  Unlike some children, I was never repulsed by the sight or smell of a
cigarette, but rather I liked it.  All of the adults in my little world always
seemed to have a cigarette going at one time or another, and I always knew
that I would someday smoke cigarettes too.  Of course, I wanted that someday
to come pretty soon, and I had made up my mind that someday was going to be

"Good morning, Hon".

"How did you sleep"?  "Can I get you a bowl of cereal or
some chocolate and toast for breakfast?"  

"Chocolate and toast, mommy".  

"OK Hon, coming right up".  

She took one last puff on her cigarette and reached over to put it out in the
ashtray before getting up and going in the kitchen to make my breakfast.  

	Mom's pack of cigarettes laying on the end table was just too much of
a temptation for me.  As soon as I heard her busy herself in the kitchen, I
quickly grabbed her pack of cigarettes and took one out, being careful to put
it back in the same place.  "I'm going up to get dressed now, mom, and I'll be
right down".  

"OK, Honey.  The chocolate will take a few minutes anyway."  

My heart was pounding from the excitement I felt from sneaking one of mom's
cigarettes, and once in my room, I carefully hid my treasure in the back of my
bureau drawer under my sweaters.  Having changed out of my pajamas into my
play clothes, I went back down stairs.  Mom had just finishing cleaning up the
kitchen and poured another cup of coffee and went back to the den.  I watched
her as she lit up another cigarette, wanting so bad to ask her if I could try
a puff, but knowing that she would probably yell at me for asking.  Instead, I
stayed in the kitchen so I could look in the "junk" drawer for a lighter or
some matches.  Once again, my heart was pounding as I found an old Bic lighter
and took it up to my room and hid it alongside my other treasure.  Now all I
had to do was find an opportunity to try it.

	I knew that if I didn't find a place to try my cigarette this morning
before Auntie Anne came over with Grandma, I would have to wait at least three
more days before I could try it.  All morning I tried to think of a place I
could try it without getting caught, but no place in the house seemed safe
enough, not my room, the bathroom, nor the garage.  We had a big house, but
today it seemed awfully small.  It was getting later and later and my heart
sank as I realized that I would not be trying my cigarette today, so I just
lay down on my bed with my treasure and pretended.

	 Mom and dad were taking Grandma to Atlantic City for the weekend, and
I was going to spend the weekend with Auntie Anne, mom's younger sister.  She
still lived at home with Grandma and would be bringing Grandma over to our
house and take me home with her.  

"Ashley!  Ashley!  Hurry up Hon, Auntie Anne is here".  

I had barely heard mom's calls because of my "smoking" daydream.  

"Coming, mom".  

I quickly replaced the cigarette in my hiding place and ran down stairs to see
Grandma and Auntie Anne.  With everyone going away this weekend, I was really
hoping that I would get a chance to try my cigarette, but Auntie Anne arrived
earlier than expected and things weren't looking too promising.

	It was always good though to see Auntie Anne.  She was such a kind and
loving person, more so, I thought, than mom, and she always made me feel so
very special.  If mom told me "No", Auntie Anne would find a way to make it a
"Yes".  Grandma was that way to.  Being her only grandchild, I was spoiled as
only a grandmother can.   After kissing everyone and saying our good-bye's,
Auntie Anne and I got in her car and started back to Grandma's house.  Once we
got in the car, Auntie Anne reached in her purse for her cigarette pouch.
With me watching every move she made, she pulled one out, lit it up, and took
a nice long puff before placing the cigarette pouch back in her purse.  Auntie
Anne made smoking a cigarette seem like the most wonderful thing in the world
to do, and oh how I wanted to try it then.  I made sure to glance her way each
and every time she moved her cigarette toward her lips, and I so desperately
wanted to smoke a cigarette just like her.  My heart was pounding from all the
pent up excitement inside me and I made up my mind to ask her for a puff at my
first opportunity.  The car just didn't feel like it was the right place, as I
didn't want to be seen smoking by anyone.  The right opportunity would just
have to wait for later.  On the ride over, Auntie Anne told me that we would
have a lot of fun this weekend.  She said that we could play some games, play
cards and pop some corn and watch some TV.  She said that we could go shopping
or to the zoo, or maybe the movies.  It was my weekend, and we'd do whatever I
wanted.  Little did she know (or so I thought) that what I really wanted to do
was to try smoking a cigarette.

	As Grandma's house was about thirty minutes away from our house,
Auntie Anne only smoked two cigarettes.  Since it was almost lunchtime by the
time we got there, Auntie Anne suggested that we stop at McDonalds for lunch
before going home.

	After McDonalds, we stopped at the grocery store and bought some
snacks before finally heading home.  We carried in the groceries and my
backpack and soon settled in.  Auntie Anne told me to watch some TV while she
put the things away and this I did.  I knew that if I wanted to have my
opportunity to smoke, it would have to be soon.  If the answer was "No", then
it would give me time to think of a way to maybe sneak one from her pack and
try it, but if it was "Yes", I could maybe smoke all weekend.  I thought I'd
wait and ask her for a cigarette the very next time she lit one up.  A few
minutes later, Auntie Anne came downstairs into the den, but I noticed right
away that she didn't have her cigarettes with her.  My heart had been pounding
with so much nervous anticipation, that I was really disappointed at this
setback.  My disappointment must have shown on my face because Auntie Anne
asked me if everything was all right.  Thinking fast, I said, "Sure, there was
just nothing on TV that I wanted to watch".  She then asked if I knew how to
play Rummy and if I wanted to play some cards and I said, "OK".  She then went
up to the kitchen to get the cards, and when she came back down, she still
didn't have her cigarettes.  So we sat on the floor in the den and started to
play cards.  I was beginning to think that maybe she didn't want to smoke in
front of me, but then I thought no, she smoked on the way over in the car.
Why then didn't she bring her cigarettes?

	Those thoughts were no sooner out of my head when Auntie Anne asked me
if I would mind running upstairs in the bedroom and get her cigarettes from
her purse.  Hearing this, I said, "Sure" and almost jumped out of my shoes.  I
was soon to find out that my enthusiasm wasn't lost on Auntie Anne.

	After returning with Auntie Anne's cigarette pouch and handing it to
her, she opened it, pulled one out, lit it up and then reached over and
grabbed an ashtray off the coffee table.  All the while I was watching her
intently.  I really had planned to ask her for a puff at that moment, but with
my heart pounding in my throat, somehow my courage waned and all I could do
was stare.  Having known my moment had passed, I promised myself to ask for
one the next time she lit up.

	Watching me stare at her and sensing what was going through my mind,
what happened next really caught me off guard.  Extending her cigarette pouch
to me, she offhandedly asked, 

"Oh, I'm sorry Hon.  Would you like a cigarette too?"  

I was so surprised by her question that I didn't know how to answer.  All I
could muster was, 

"Auntie Anne, you know I don't smoke".  

Where had all my courage gone?  I could just kick myself for not just saying
"Yes."  Not wanting this opportunity of a lifetime to pass me by, I said, 

"Would you really let me have a cigarette, Auntie Anne?"  

"Sure Honey, if you'd like to try one.  I noticed how intently you were
staring at me in the car when I lit up my cigarettes, and again just a few
minutes ago, and I thought that you just might like to try one to see what
it's like.  Was I right?  

"Uh, I guess so, Auntie Anne.  I have been thinking about it an awful lot."  

"Here Sweetie, go ahead and try one.  After all, I was just about your age
when I tried my first cigarette."

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