A Single Southern Guy In America

July 07, 2003

The Proper Way To Light A Lady's Cigarette

It has occurred to me for some time that most people do not know the proper etiquette when a man lights a womanís cigarette. Iíve let it pass with the local girls. Iíve let it slide in Little Rock. However, when Paris Hilton id not perform the proper etiquette I figured the code may be lost. Alternatively, perhaps with the massive anti-smoking culture push these days, someone decided to delete the section that details the proper way for a man and woman to act when he lights her cigarette.

What, you ask, is the right way then?

It is a very simple task indeed. When a woman accepts a manís offer to light her cigarette, she should place the smoke in her mouth and look into his eyes. She should steady the cigarette with one hand and place the other hand gently on the manís hands to steady his lighting. The man should approach with lit match or lighter and look directly at the tip of the cigarette until lit. If lighting from a match the man should light his cigarette first to prevent the woman being exposed to the noxious sulfur taste when first struck. When lit, his eyes should shift and meet her eyes. This signifies that the cigarette is lit.

These days you find both man and woman staring intensely at the tip of the cigarette (sometimes giving the woman an ever so slight cross-eyed effect) and at the slightest hint of a glow, the woman pulls her head back. Thus resulting in a partially lit cigarette because she did not wait for the man's signal that the cigarette was indeed lit. Of course, as she has prematurely withdrawn from the fire, the man follows the tip of the cigarette with his eyes to see if it was indeed lit. If not, he often clumsily begins to pursue the tip of the cigarette to finish the job. If on a slippery surface this can be rather dangerous as man could slip into woman with lit match or lighter encountering chemical enhancement laden hair that ignites like a sparkler on the Fourth of July. We wouldnít want that now would we?

Even if he doesnít light the hair, the clumsy pursuit to finish the job of lighting the cigarette communicates an unfortunate message to the woman: this guy canít even light a cigarette! What a goofball! Thatís not the image we want to convey and that is why Iím writing this rantóIím tired of poor etiquette women jerking the head back at the slightest glow from the tip of a cigarette making men look like yahoos who canít even perform a simple task of lighting a cigarette. If the woman would act like a lady and engage in proper etiquette, she could be certain that her cigarette is lit properly in the first place.

Besides the proper method also allows a very brief and fleeting intimacy of communicating with the eyes. In my opinion, the eyes are the most expressive part of any human. If you know what to look for in them, you can know how they are feeling, what is the general path of their thoughts, and whether you just did a good deed or if there are more deeds to be. If you look just close enough, you will glimpse a piece of their soul.

So women of the world, if you are a smoker, be a lady, place your hand on mine, gaze into my green eyes. Iíll let you know when it is lit.

Posted by Adam H at July 7, 2003 10:21 AM ~ Link Cosmos | Trackbacks (1)
Winds of Change.NET linked with Carnival of the Vanities #42

Adam - thanks for the info! Too bad I don't smoke...and great new site! I've updated my links accordingly. Glad you had a nice July 4 weekend.

Posted by: lotus at July 7, 2003 10:33 AM

So many of the finer points of etiquette have gone by the wayside in recent years. It's kind of sad, actually.

I like the new digs, Adam.

Posted by: Alex at July 7, 2003 10:50 AM

Oh, now that really is sexy.

Posted by: Glovia at July 8, 2003 11:01 AM

Right on, brother.

Nothing like that sparkle in the eyes caused by the flaring of the cigarette.

I think I'll start reminding women of this when I go out.

Excellent. I can see the possibilites already.

Posted by: TheYeti at July 8, 2003 11:02 AM

I was lighting my date's cigarette the other day when she started coughing uncontrollably and all of a sudden she collapsed and died. Lung Cancer.

Posted by: David Melle at July 9, 2003 01:36 AM

I think that is the sweetest thing I have read in a while...... but then again, I am a smoker. I always put my hand on 'his'........

Posted by: holly at July 11, 2003 04:00 PM

Adam, I am sorry to tell you that this is not the Southern Way... You have the hand placing, eye locking thing right, however there is a step that you forgot. The man gazes at the woman.... the woman between the man and the flame (to steady his hand) and once the cigarette is lit, the woman gently taps the mans hand to let him know to pull away.This is Old School South though..... xoxo Mrs Robinson

Posted by: Mrs Robinson at August 19, 2003 06:25 PM
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The epic ramblings of a young professional in the South in his Quixote-like quest to find ''the One.''


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