Back in December 2008, I stumbled upon an adorable 19-year-old smoker on an online dating site who I would end up chatting on the phone with regularly. We had a date planned for the Saturday before Christmas, but it didn’t happen. I could sense she was getting cold feet for the past few days and decided against the meeting “for now”. We stayed in contact for months to come but never did meet, as bad weather that winter, two hours of distance between us, and continued cold feet on her part kept her at a distance. But I would end up getting a consolation prize for the broken plans that day that may very well have bested the date with the 19-year-old.
I drove to my favorite shopping mall on the busiest shopping weekend of the year as I do every year, hoping the higher volume of mall traffic would translate to some quality sightings at entrances. My mall sightings safaris are generally feast or famine, but that day was undeniably a feast! There were a handful of cute college-age mall workers stepping out into the bitter below-zero cold for their nicotine fix, as well as nicotine-thirsty young ladies who’ve spent hours in the mall sparking up at the first opportunity after climbing inside their car with bags o’ gifts a plenty. But there was one sighting that was hands-down my best sighting of 2008 that didn’t take place on a fairgrounds…
I was looping around the west side of the mall near the parking lot of the anchor store Kohl’s when I saw from behind a cute early teen backside in tight blue jeans. She had the passenger side of a minivan open and was ushering in two younger kids into the backseat. For whatever reason, the girl fascinated me and I had a nagging suspicion that maybe, just maybe, she was a teen smoker. Her image had something to do with it. She was cute as a button with a white parka and her hair in a tight ponytail, looking to be about 14, maybe 15, but almost certainly no older. There was just a hint of “white trash” in her appearance that led me to believe this girl probably wasn’t as innocent as one may first assume.
Now 95 times out of 100, when you take a special interest in an unlikely girl who you hope is a smoker, it doesn’t pan out and you’ve just wasted quite a bit of time, but I nonetheless had to follow my gut with this one. I stood there under the Kohl’s canopy in front of the entrance, sheltered from the brutal wind and perfectly positioned to observe this girl about 20 yards in front of me while appearing to be waiting for someone else. At first, she was eating something. I couldn’t tell what, but I almost gave up watching as she licked her fingers after snacking on something in the car and swapped a few words with the little ones in the backseat. Just as I was about to throw in the towel, I saw something appear in her right hand that strangely–stunningly–resembled an unlit cigarette…
But then her right hand faded from sight and she was again eating something. I must have been mistaken, I thought to myself, yet still fixating my eyes on her like a laser in case what I thought I saw was in fact what I did see. It was another 60-90 seconds before my suspicion was validated. An all-white was inserted into her fresh young lips where it dangled for a good 10 seconds before she lit up. It was one of those increasingly rare moments that occur when hard-sought sightings are favorably confirmed as I could feel the rush of blood throbbing towards my nether regions.
I got to see a good 90 seconds worth of drags that were very impressive. Most impressive of all….the window never came down. She was sitting in that minivan (with two kids) marinating in her own secondhand smoke, and apparently using an ashtray inside the car for her tobacco debris.
The sighting took a turn at that point when two middle-aged ladies that had exited the Kohl’s next to me walked up to the minivan and opened the doors. I didn’t get a good look at them and couldn’t discern the ages, but at least one of the women looked older. This led me to believe it could be the girl’s mother and grandmother. Or perhaps it was just a mother and a friend from work. Whatever the case, the one older woman was seizing control of the passenger seat from the teen smoker. The girl stepped out of the minivan, cigarette in hand, and climbed into the backseat with the young ones.
This was a mostly negative turn of events as the back door of the minivan was tinted and I could no longer see the girl as she continued precociously smoking her cigarette. Within seconds, the middle-aged female passenger sparked up a cigarette of her own. The driver was apparently going through the bags of recently purchased merchandise as they sat idle for the next 2-3 minutes. Then, however, the driver (who I could barely see) fired up a cigarette of her own.
It was quite possible that I was witnessing a three-generation matriarchy of tobacco consumption. Talk about the Gift of the Maji! And most amazingly of all, not a single window was cracked. These gals weren’t gonna let any of that cold air into their van!!! I felt a little sorry for the two young kids in the backseat being exposed to such dense secondhand smoke being spewed by these addicted females, but on the other hand, what a perfect fetish fantasy. If either of the kids were little boys, is there any hope at all that they won’t have the smoking fetish one day?!?!
Moral of the story….thank God that 19-year-old smoker hottie stood me up so I could be at the right place at the right time for this sighting!