Most smokers wish they didn't smoke. I am a non-smoker and I wish I did. It's a dirty habit, of course.. We've all seen the super hip ads starring irascible teens intent on sticking it to tobacco companies. Smoking blackens lungs, causes cancer, makes folks stink.. But most importantly it's oh-so-handy during a night at a bar.
I notice that brother-in-law Dave can inhale great quantities of cigarettes, all the while staring into space. While this smoking festival is underway he appears to be occupied with solving the riddles of the universe and, of course, he always looks super cool. C'mon. Smoking just plain looks cool. If you didn't know what it's doing to their insides it looks sexy.. anything involving lips, sucking and blowing is pretty hot, right? Blame it on James Dean or Katharine Hepburn and all the rest of those sexy smoke sucker stars from back in the day. Point is, Dave looks busy AND COOL.
Me, I try to stare into space whilst wiling away a night at the bar and a strange man will skooch over and say 'you look like you've got a lot on your mind' and attempt to buy me a drink. It's not the buying me a drink part I mind so much as the fact that now I have to make small talk with a strange man.
THEORY: If I had a cigarette clamped between my fingers one would never mistake my staring into space for me 'needing to talk' or being moody. I'd just be enjoying my cigarette, see? Similarly, if I happened to find myself being chatted up by an Undesirable (read: Close Talkers, Low Talkers, Strange Men, Never Shut Uppers etc..) I'd simply excuse myself for a smoke outside.
Smoking lends you the excuse to step away from a boring conversation, light up and ponder the night air. Under the generous guise of not wanting to blow smoke in the faces of others.. you can pull out that Virginia Slim and step away in an attempt to light up and voila! You've extricated yourself from a snoozer of a conversation.. Without that cigarette I'm just the creepy girl standing by herself outside the bar.
In short.. I wish I smoked... but seeing how it kills you.. I guess I'll stick to feeling awkward at bars when everyone heads outside for a smoke break in winter's deep freeze and I sit there twiddling my thumbs, trying to avoid catching the eye of the serial killer eyeballing me from two stools down.