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 Of course, as she has prematurely withdrawn from the fire, the man follows the tip of the cigarette with his eyes to see if it was indeed lit.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.
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