Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not Stupid

There is a vent between the living room, right where my favorite chair is, and Brian's bedroom where Olivia is currently staying. Last night, as I sat here working on a sudoku puzzle, I smelled cigarette smoke coming through the vent.

So I knocked on Olivia's door and opened it fairly quickly. I asked if she had been smoking. She said no, while sitting on the floor, next to the cracked window. "Funny, I could have sworn that I smelled smoke." "It must just be on my clothes. The girls at Mandy's smoke."

I have her my patented "I'm not stupid look" and said, "Okay. Well, if you did smoke, I would prefer for you to do it outside. And do shut that window before you go to sleep; it is below freezing outside." "Oh, yeah, I will!"

So I went to the bathroom to get ready for bed and she came out of her room. "Yondalla?"


She trots up to me. "I hate lying to people. I just feel so guilty. I was smoking. I'm sorry."

"I figured it out."

"So you don't mind? I mean, if I smoke outside?"

"Well, I mind. I don't think you should smoke, but I have a pretty good understanding about what I can control and what I can't."

She nods, knowing herself how unsuccessful I would be at getting her to stop smoking. She laughed and told me how she burned her fingers putting out the cigarette when I came in. She told me that Mandy accepted that the other girls smoke but since she is Mandy's niece it bothers her more. "So it is okay if I just go outside?"

"Go outside, don't leave any butts lying around, and I would prefer that Brian not see you smoking."

"Okay." Pause... "Will you not tell Mandy?"

"Not unless she asks."

I didn't add, "But, you know, she's not stupid either."


  1. That is funny! The part that impresses me is that she confessed. Good for her.

  2. I like how you handled that tricky situation! It sounds like she already feels guilty about smoking. Maybe since she knows you disapprove but are leaving the choice up to her, she'll make the right choice for herself! (Eventually?)


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