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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's so wrong with putting THAT in your pipe and smoking it?

Written by Karen, a mom without a blog

Society puts a lot of expectations on mothers.  But most of the heaviest burdens to shoulder are the ones we put upon ourselves as the nurturing leaders of our households and neighborhoods. But, I was speculating recently…can mothers have fun doing something unusual – something un-motherly – without GUILT

I mean, don't we all need a little something that gives us a much needed break from the stressful daily routine of keeping our household afloat?

I have to confess, my friends old and new, that there is something that in a few blissful hours last summer, provided me such absolute and unexpected pleasure that I truly have to share.

I am in love with the hookah…


Yes, it is true, this suburban housewife and mother of three growing daughters LOVES the hookah – a truly wonderful way to shed (or share) my worries and allow myself to revel in the moment and completely be myself!

As you know, there are not many things that we can experience in our 40s when we’re moms with little ones running around that is out of our comfort zone. We are all about the kids and the occasional date and/or getaway (if we’re lucky enough to get a tax refund check!) with the hubby. The craziest I usually get is paying money for someone to scrub and rub my feet and paint my toenails! I mean that is WACKY, isn’t it?

I’m hoping right about now that you are not all worried about my psyche or my spirituality or anything (you know who you are)… I’m admitting this not to give my family members reading heart attacks or anything. I’m just going to try to EXPLAIN something about me.

This is about me. Me. Me. Me. Not my cute kids. Not my wonderful husband. Not my life in Salt Lake City. No – just me. And one teeny-weeny, little dirty secret…

Which is truly not all that dirty…

Here’s the scoop. The Hookah - The wikipedia definition is: “a single or multi-stemmed, often glass-bottomed, water pipe for smoking.”  Smoking? Gasp! I’ve never been a smoker AT ALL folks, just FYI… Anyway, here’s the link for more info:

I had a moment last summer of me just being me. And it involved the use of the hookah. I was with a diverse group of seven – two who were old friends, the rest were new to me. We varied in age from 20 to 42 (not me thankfully, I was only 41 back then). We varied in profession, education, accomplishments, aspirations, sexual preferences, cultural backgrounds, politics, religion, personality, living situations, etc. etc. etc. You name it and we were DIFFERENT in every way.

What did we have in common? Open-mindedness, the feeling of comfort, the need to feel safe in the telling of our worries, the desire to just EXIST in the moment, and… the willingness to break out the hookah!

Picture this large water pipe - looks very much like a colored vase, very artistic… add water, charcoal (the igniter), flavored tobacco (or tobacco-free herbal fruit) and voila! A “peace pipe” in every sense of the word. The “arm” attachments are passed around to partake of the tasty substance. Because of the water, the smoke does not burn. The hookah has been around for at least 1200 years and goes by many different names. Hookahs currently are a welcome part of cafes around the globe and have been the center of gatherings of folks in countless countries as a way to come together, to ponder life, to discuss issues, to solidify friendships…

It has been about so much more than the SMOKING.

Now, I’m not an idiot, I do know that some folks have been known to add some illegal substances to the hookah… but that is not the issue here either. The issue is ME. And I don’t think I want to judge what people add to their hookahs in the privacy of their own homes. I just totally like the idea of people coming together in such a manner that is almost MANDATORY to get along and respect each other.

This is the part of me that NEEDS to be nurtured – the part that digs on meeting new people and getting to know the old people even better and deeper. I don’t care if we are like-minded, I just want a safe place to be myself and hear what you have to say. And feel like there’s no judgement or tension brewing in the air. The hookah absolutely did that for me in those too-brief summer moments on my girlfriend’s back porch.

Now, in the time I’ve been back to reality, I haven’t been brave enough to purchase a hookah myself (what’s that about!). I guess I still am about what the neighbors will think in a certain fashion. And it’s not something I want my kids to learn about quite yet.

But the idea still lingers in my head…what a welcome addition a few hookahs could be to the next heated council or school board meeting, what do you think? ☺

Seriously though, folks, what is not to LOVE about all of us coming together around the hookah to just be, to just BE -

What could be bad about this?

Besides a small, smoke-induced cough now and then.


  1. oh girlfriend, you don't know how perfect this post is for today. there was (and maybe still is) a provocative discussion on the blog scene about what we as mothers are "allowed" to do, once we have kids and they become our first priority. it was suggested that we are to put our egos, interests, risky behaviors aside for the safety and care of our kids.

    don't get me wrong... i don't think you engaged in any risky behavior WHATSOEVER (unless you smoked the hookah in N. Korea), but you touch on something important... if we DO find ourselves giving up all the "me" for the kids (and a lot of us do), we need to occasionally figure out how to get back in touch with ourselves, purely FOR ourselves.

    am i making sense or do i sound like i am stuffing my hookah with some of that illegal stuff you referenced?

    i say bring on the hookahs!

    ps: i am totally digging that you threw me a major curveball. this post completely up-ends the way i picture you.

  2. "can mothers have fun doing something unusual – something un-motherly – without GUILT?" Such a great question. I often wonder about this myself.

    When I first met my husband, he brought me to a hookah bar. It was a tiny, obscure establishment, but I LOVED it!

  3. I'm guessing you're associating the feelings of camaraderie and relaxation of that holiday with the hookah. I'm not sure you'd get the same experience having one at home. But hey, go for it, if you think you might.

  4. Never would have pictured you with a hookah, but totally agree that the no judgement, coming together and just getting to know one another feeling is great! (and if it works with a hookah, more power to it!)
    Moms need some ME time,without guilt!! (whatever it is that brings that relaxation)

  5. It sounds divine, just wonderful to do something completely just for you... I'd never even heard of a hookah before, it somehow gives it more of zen/hip quality ;). I'm sure if I showed up with one my husband would think I was totally losing it (just because I've always been so straight LOL!)

  6. Unfortunately I'm like Bill CLinton......I can't inhale. I stink at smoking. I'm a smoking flunkee all around. Dang it.

  7. "I just want a safe place to be myself and hear what you have to say. And feel like there’s no judgement or tension brewing in the air."

    Kind of sounds like MWOB, no?

    Maybe Lee should change the name to MWOH?

    I'd embrace it :-) Peace.

  8. you lil hippy chick...I love it! But then again my picture kinda looks like I might own one myself! lol :) Smoke On girl!

  9. Hookah is precisely what moms everwhere need... There is a hookah and pizza lounge by my house. Fun for the whole family.

  10. oh how very true... i've had my moments with a hookah and your right... it was good... no it was GREAT!

  11. Oh dude. What I would give to have you, a back porch, and a hookah all at the same time in my life!!!! This post is so friggin' spot on - on sooooo many levels but mainly the one that everyone else has mentioned....that us moms need to let of the guilt when it comes to a litlle "ME" time most however we choose to spend it.

    Keep up the inhaling!!


  12. With that kind of attitude, I'll come share a hookah with you anytime!

  13. You all know I usually don't comment on the comments (I'm truly not organized enough), but this one calls for it I think...

    Deb - we truly need to hang out sometime - too bad I'm not going to Chicago...sigh... I need to figure out what you saw me as before this post!
    pearatty - I'm sure you're right that some of the feelings were from being away from every day life... but most of the way people opened up was because we were "all in this together" around the hookah. The addition of the hookah was an instant relaxation technique! :)
    Anonymous - what gives? who are you?
    Em - if we ever all get together in person it will have to be MWAH! I'll bring the H!
    Everyone else - YES! ME time is ESSENTIAL even if it includes something a little unconventional. It keeps us among the LIVING, right, we are not mama robots, we are not mama robots, we are not... :)

    Thanks for the comments, folks, you are all terrific for reading, thinking about and commenting on the crazy musings of this Utah mommy.

  14. I admit that I was little disappointed that you were smoking a legal substance out of the Hookah... now you've got me all nostalgic for my college days....I wonder where my old Hookah ended up anyway...

    No worries... I've traded all those illegal things for wine... lots o' wine...

  15. What a good article.

    You should contact the bizymoms Salt Lake City community to get your article featured to their large mom community.


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