Catherine is the first woman I’ve dated1 who’s not a smoker. During my time in the minor leagues of relationships in the mid- to late-1980s, I went out with a series of women who smoked — some a little, some a pack a day.
As a result, despite an unblemished record of being a non-smoker myself (well, there was that unfortunate cuckolding incident in Cuba, but we won’t count that), in addition to the whole set of “smoking kills,” “smoking is gross,” “smoking causes cancer” associations, I’ve had a latent “smoking is sexy” vibe hanging out in the deep recesses of my mind. Something about beer and cigarettes and sweltering nights and, well, you get the picture.
Today, though, I walked out of the office on the way to lunch and there was an otherwise quite striking woman catching a cigarette outside the office across the street. And I realized that I no longer find smoking sexy in any way at all. It’s a horrible habit with no allure whatsoever. Lauren Bacall be damned.
1. Catherine and I have been “dating” for 14 years next week, which makes me think we need a new word to describe our arrangement.