Grown Ups Only

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As you may know, the Mad Men TV show is ending. As you may also know, it is a favorite of mine. Having watched the first of the concluding episodes, and also having this week rewatched on DVD some from the first season/ series as well (how young they were!), led me to reflecting on just how much drinking and smoking they did.

That also got me thinking about my own books.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a waiter with wine glasses.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a waiter with wine glasses.

I have some drinking:

Spotting Jim across the room drinking with Sean, and noticing Joanne’s alcohol intake, Bill, who was staying over in the hotel, questioned suddenly and sharply, “Speaking of travel, who’s driving you Prenderville drunks home?”

I’ve got smoking, too. How could I not? I felt not to include any would have been to create too artificial an impression (even false) of its time and place:

Béatrice reached into her pocketbook for a cigarette pack. As she pulled it out, she asked, “You don’t mind?”

James indicated he did not. “By the way, I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lighter,” he joked.

She smiled. “Anyway, I did not expect you would.” She lit the cigarette herself….

I’ve never smoked. However, I’m old enough to remember (I was a child!) smoking still being common nearly everywhere much as in Mad Men. It was routine in restaurants, on airliners, and even in the doctor’s office.

I came from perhaps the last U.S. generation when aunties gathered around the newborn’s crib holding cigarettes and lovingly exhaled smoke down at us: “He’s so adorable, isn’t he?”

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a no smoking warning sign
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a no smoking warning sign

There is an ongoing science debate about positive vs. negative health impacts of moderate red wine drinking in particular. But smoking tobacco is now so socially unacceptable based on a universally agreed acceptance of it as causing early death, that there have even been efforts to curb its visibility in films. The Guardian, September 2011:

Screen capture of the Guardian, September 2011.
Screen capture of the Guardian, September 2011.

Which perhaps begs this question: If smoking in films automatically should draw an “R”/ “18” rating, what should we do about its portrayal in novels that under-18s might read as well?

Lastly, there is unsurprisingly romance in my novels too:

Realizing where he was, and unable to take his eyes off her, he watched her walk across the hotel room.

“Although you are tired, you slept okay?” she inquired.

“Shall we discuss the obvious?”

“There is nothing to discuss, is there?” she replied.

That works for us also. We’ll leave matters here, too. That’s enough for one post. 😉

Have a good weekend! 🙂

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