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Today one of my students noticed my weird "play-smoking" thing I do sometimes and commented on it. I was really embarrassed.

I've done it ever since I was a little kid. Like, had an urge to act out the motions of smoking while holding an object that was not a cigarette. It's not on purpose, really. Sometimes I don't notice I'm doing it right away. But I do it all the time, and I have no idea why.

If I have a pen in my hand, and I am not actively writing with it, I usually end up holding it like a cigarette and putting it in and out of my mouth. I find myself timing my breathing with it, not quite puffing but close. I'm not sure what I get out of it. I like chewing on things, I guess. I find chewing on things to be comforting, so I destroy things like pen caps. I suppose I like holding something delicately between two fingers in that way. But the breathing thing I have no explanation for. I'm not actually inhaling anything, obviously; I just for some reason like drawing in the air with my teeth clamped on it. As I type this, that description reminds me of cribbing-- a bad habit horses can develop where they brace their teeth against wood and inhale. I rode a horse for years who did that. We're not totally sure what they get out of it, but endorphin release is one possibility. I don't think I really get an endorphin response, but clearly there is something I like about it, or I wouldn't do it all the time.

I've never smoked anything in my entire life. I think it's gross and have zero desire to ever try it. My mom and my grandma got cancer and died of cigarettes, so genetics are against me on that. But something in me likes the motions of it, the thing to handle, to hold in my teeth and breathe around. I guess I definitely better never try the real thing, as I'd probably love it and never be able to stop.

I don't know why I do this. It's weird. I'm weird.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2016 10:30 pm (UTC)
I think it's truly a form of copying your mom, albeit, subconsciously. Try to break that habit. I don't think you want to glamorize the look of smoking in front of your children one day.
Sep. 27th, 2016 10:32 pm (UTC)
Pardon my vehemence, but it is definitely not. I was not even AWARE that my mom smoked until I was twenty years old because she COMPLETELY hid it from me. I only found out she did because she was sick, and she stopped at that point. I never, not once in my life, ever saw her smoke with my own eyes.

It's definitely a habit worth breaking for that reason, but I am absolutely not copying my mom.
Sep. 28th, 2016 03:34 am (UTC)
You're not copying your mom.

You're copying Audrey Hepburn.
Sep. 28th, 2016 03:23 pm (UTC)
She does make it look so glamorous...
Sep. 28th, 2016 01:00 pm (UTC)
Oral fixation is legitimate. I tend to chew shirt sleeves, t-shirt collars, pen caps, blankets, even napkins (why?).

When I was younger I smoked, and while the substance itself was certainly part of the joy, the tactile sense of cigarette use may have been more important to me.

It is okay to be weird, I think, especially if you are aware of it and venting it in a way that won't harm you or others.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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