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) 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 some background:
When I was 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 mean coincidence that I’d started my period the very same year my mother’s had stopped and it was my instinct as a pubescent girl in battle with a menopausal woman to hoard the tape as potential blackmail.
What I didn’t realize at the time was the video wasn’t blackmail material. My parents were of the hippie generation, 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 some hacky 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 and definitely 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. My dad once nonchalantly 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.