Smoking a cigar is so much more than simply the mechanics of drawing smoke into your mouth, savoring the flavors and aromas and exhaling. Everyone has their own reasons for enjoying their favorite stick and those reasons may even vary from day to day.
In addition to the fact that cigars are consumable art, I personally see cigar smoking as a bonding experience and a way to relax and let all the nonsense disappear for a brief time. When I was in my late teens I was introduced to the splendor of cigars by my cousin who was over a decade older than me. Since I was raised by a single mother, he was a sort of father figure to me and I reveled in the ability to spend time with him enjoying a good cigar. Some of my fondest memories of that time are of us sitting in his garage joking around with a group of guys or spending time talking with him one-on-one while fragrant smoke filled the room.
Now, in my early 30’s, cigars provide an outlet for the trials and tribulations of the day to fall by the wayside. First and foremost I’m a husband and father, but when I’m smoking a cigar I do my best to be nothing more than a guy smoking a cigar…focusing on the complex flavors and marveling at the craftsmanship I’m holding in my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I still love getting together with a group of guys and cracking jokes over a stogie, whether it’s on the golf course, in the local tobacco shop or in someone’s backyard. But for me, cigars really do provide a few minutes of Zen in a world that is increasingly devoid of that opportunity.
Rarely, if ever, do you see someone smoking a cigar with a frown on their face or a tear of sadness in their eye. Cigars are an accompaniment to celebrations (cue the Forrest Gump “peas and carrots” clip). Think about it…weddings, the birth of children, job promotions, winning the big game. These are all momentous and joyous occasions in our lives. When we think about these times it also conjures up images of someone with a cigar in their mouth, grinning from ear to ear behind a haze of thick smoke.
The bottom line is that no matter what the reason for lighting up your favorite cigar, the only thing that matters is that you make time to do it and you enjoy the experience in the manner you see fit.
So let’s hear it. What does smoking a cigar mean to you?