I don’t get every Martin Luther King Day off work at my job but on January 19, 2015, I did. I had a few errands to run in the afternoon and headed to my usual grocery store to pick up a few things. I pulled into a parking stall upon arrival and took an immediate mental note of the silver car in front of me. The interior seemed to have girlish touches to it and there were beads hanging from the rearview mirror. There was zero question in my mind that this car was driven by a young female. She wasn’t in her car but I was very much hoping I’d get a chance to see the occupant of that car. I went in the store and bought my groceries, probably in there for all of 10 minutes before making my exit. As I approached the car, I noticed the same car with all the girlish baubles when I pulled in now had two occupants inside, and both had cracked windows. A 30-something guy was in the passenger seat…..but the driver was an attractive early-to-mid-20s long-haired blond. I didn’t see her smoking immediately but her left hand was sticking out the open window and knew exactly what she was doing. I quickly loaded my car up with the grocery bags, wheeled the cart to the cart bay, and got back into my car for a front row seat to what would become a lengthy smoking show…..
The blond’s cigarette was about halfway through and I quickly figured out why she was holding the cigarette out the window between drags…..her male passenger was a nonsmoker. His window was halfway down simply to spare him the offensive odors coming from her respiratory system and the cigarette that it was consuming. When she brought the cigarette into the car, she did quick no-handlebars drags for 2-3 seconds each before quickly removing the cigarette from her mouth and holding it back outside. It was really cute to see the extent she was trying to spare him from her smoke. I was pretending to be waiting for someone to exit the grocery store but she definitely noticed me watching when that cigarette went into her mouth. She made pretty quick work of the cigarette and flung the butt out the window. I looked at the cork filter smoldering on the ground and hoping I’d get my chance to ID the butt before it burned down to the filter. No such luck though as the car wasn’t going anywhere. I had assumed she was smoking her cigarette before the two of them took off, but they still weren’t leaving. At first this was an annoyance….until about 30 seconds later when another unlit cigarette was placed into her mouth….
The cigarette was lit and once again I think I was looking at a 100 as the cigarette looked unusually long after her light-up. I got a front-row seat to the entire cigarette even though I had to be careful while watching so as not to get busted leering for too long. The entire cigarette was smoked in the same way as the previous one, with her cigarette hand held out the window and brought inside for only a few moments to ingest a no-handlebars dangling drag before she quickly put the cigarette back outside. It was hard to see her exhales given my angle, and it may well have been because her exhales were of the thin variety because most of the smoke was clinging to her lung tissue. Otherwise it didn’t really make much sense that I wasn’t seeing them. The guy sat there in the passenger seat, continually leaving his lungs pink, or at least attempting to as I was sure at least some of her carcinogens were flowing his direction. It was one of the cutest attempts by a smoker girl to spare a nonsmoking guy in her presence in recent memory though, and particularly adorable since the girl was so cute and looked at least 10 years younger than the very plain-looking nonsmoking guy. After about five more minutes, she finished the cigarette and tossed the second butt out the window where it fell to the pavement only a few inches from the first butt.
But they still didn’t leave. I was gonna wait this sighting out no matter what but was really starting to wonder why they were still sitting in this car and how long they’d make me wait here with grocery bags in my car containing some items that needed to be refrigerated. Finally the stasis broke when the guy got out of the car. I was struck by how plain he was, skinny as a rail and wearing a pair of jeans that barely held up around his scrawny waist. He went inside the grocery store and I was wondering if he was an employee who was for whatever reason getting a ride from this blond smoker girl who I was now seriously questioning as to whether she was even his girlfriend.
And she saved her best for last as what happened in the final two minutes before she drove away was spectacular. The power windows went all the way up on the passenger side and she left her driver’s side window open only a crack…..and then pulled out a third cigarette. She lit it up and and was now holding the cigarette inside the car on the top of her steering wheel in the moments before she pulled out. No longer did she have to concern herself with sparing this guy from her smoke, so she was gonna by God stink up her car and marinate in her own toxic fumes without shame. She started the car and pulled out of the lot, ashing her third cigarette of the last 20 minutes one last time before driving out of view. The only downside is that I quickly got out of my car after she left to check out those discarded cork filter butts, which had unfortunately burned to the filter and denied me a butt ID. From the markings, I suspect they may have been Marlboro 27s but that’s just a guess.