One summer home from college I went on a trip through Arizona with my parents. It was the first family trip since I had moved away from home, the first trip where we were all adults (if you count being 20 an adult)Â Â and the first time I smoked weed with my parents. It was eye opening, and not only in the way being high usually is. But here’s someÂ background:
When I wasÂ 13 I found a VHS of my parents smoking weed out of a homemade pipe at a New Years party held at our house some years before. At the time I found the video our family happened to be in the middle of a hormonal tidal wave. It was meanÂ coincidenceÂ that I’d started my period the very same year my mother’s had stopped and it was my instinct as aÂ pubescentÂ girl in battle with a menopausal woman to hoard the tape as potential blackmail.
What I didn’t realize at the timeÂ was the video wasn’t blackmail material. My parents were of the hippie generation,Â rarely wore clothing and lived in a Northern California town where you could hardly go from the health food store to the medical marijuana dispensary next door without hearing a riff of Bob Marley from someÂ hackyÂ sack player’s guitar. This wasn’t Iowa, weed wasn’t a big deal. But, at the time I was still under the impression my parents where ultra-moral robots who had only discovered life once I came along. It was jarring to see them doing something so wrong so openly, and documenting their taboo behavior. But they looked cool, or at least cooler than I was, since I couldn’t get weed andÂ definitelyÂ had no understanding of how to turn it into ‘the smoke that goes in your body and makes you feel happy.’ Now I realize how amateur they looked in that video, trying to hit a toilet paper roll with a faucet filter taped on the end; it was almost as if they were kids my age, trying to keep a jerry-rigged highlighter pipe from melting on their parent’s carpet.
As I went through high school I was a pretty good kid, I hardly drank or did drugs, but I started to realize that my parents where different. They had been rebels at my age, they had experienced things I was scared to even think about doing.Â My dad onceÂ nonchalantlyÂ asked me: “So Kate, what kind of stuff do people your age smoke? Maui Wowi? Purple Haze?” I had no idea what these things were so I just said, “…Yes.”
Another time my mom sniffed a dollar bill and sighed,”…reminds me of the 80′s.” I could guess what that meant but I didn’t really want to know if I was right.