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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Pierce Brosnan, Nov/Dec 97

Dear Marvin,

My husband, Tim, and I were married after knowing each other only six days, and we come from two completely different worlds. He was born and raised on a farm in Duluth, Minnesota, and I am from Chicago. I love the city, he loves the country. While he loves to hunt and fish, I love books and poetry and am content to be indoors. While he loves to go camping, my idea of "roughing it" is when a hotel has no room service. We are complete opposites.

Ever since we wed 14 years ago, I have tried to find ways to delve into his world of interests and make those interests my own so as to find more in common with my husband. A few years ago, Tim would go out every Monday night to play cards with the guys and watch ABC's "Monday Night Football."

So I began to watch "Monday Night Football" myself, learn about the plays, the players, the teams, etc., so that when he came home I'd be able to talk over the game with him. He was amazed when I would say, "Hey, did you see when so-and-so did such-and-such?" or "How 'bout those Bears!" It didn't take long before the guys were coming over to our house on Mondays, and I became an even bigger fan than Tim. Now, football is something we both love and, more than that, it's something we share.

I also did the same with golf (which is Tim's first love). I sat through endless hours of tournaments, again got to know who the players were, etc. I even learned to play a little, and now it's an annual event on Tim's birthday that we go golfing together.

This now brings me to the final frontier: cigars. Tim loves cigars. We live on a somewhat modest income, but he has always loved the finer things in life--fine dining (he used to be a chef), golf and, of course, cigars. A few years ago, Tim discovered what he considers the ultimate pleasure--a fine smoke. He also discovered Cigar Aficionado. It takes him a month to get through one issue, as he reads it cover to cover. This newfound interest of Tim's did not please me in the least. Cigars were stinky, an unnecessary indulgence and a bad habit, as far as I was concerned. He has smoked cigars for a few years now, and I have been adamantly opposed as well as extremely uninterested in the whole thing (although it did make it easier to shop for Tim for Christmas and birthdays). This was one of Tim's pastimes I could not, would not attempt to share with Tim.

One day last summer I got up early and sat on our deck soaking up the peace and quiet of the morning. I felt like reading and found a Cigar Aficionado Tim had been absorbing the night before. I brought it outside and, alas, I was enthralled with the articles and everything else behind the glossy cover. I was hooked. Since then, I too am an avid reader and the first to purchase the magazine off the newsstand. I usually place the new edition on Tim's pillow, and he's always surprised and grateful that I had thought of him (he just doesn't know that when he's asleep I grab it and read it, too). But there was still the matter of my negative feelings toward the cigar smoking itself.

About a month ago, Tim and I went out to a nice pool hall. I love to play pool, but I soon realized there was an ulterior motive in his choice of places to play pool. This particular place has a huge cigar selection, and everyone can enjoy a good smoke without the usual stares and comments from non-cigar smokers. When Tim perused the display case of cigars for what seemed like forever, then picked one, I was very disappointed. He was actually going to puff on that reeking tube while we shot pool! But my enthusiasm for the game outweighed my disgust, and we went to pick a table and (finally) started to shoot. We played game after game while he took puff after puff. Would that darn cigar ever end, I asked myself?

I still cannot believe what happened next. When Tim went to get us something to drink, I took my shot, missed, then sat and waited for him to come back. So there I was, waiting. Then I looked at the cigar. I looked again. "No, I shouldn't," I thought. "I can't," I thought. "It would be really disgusting to take a puff of that tobacco sausage they call a cigar," I said to myself. Tim had been after me for so long to just try it, but I had always refused, no matter how long he extolled the virtues of cigars, no matter how endlessly he described the variety of tastes that could be enjoyed in just one smoke. I never believed a word of it. But that cigar beckoned me.

I walked over to it. I looked at it. I touched it. Then I picked it up. It felt good between my fingers. I then did what I had always considered the unthinkable. I lit it. I took a puff. I took another, this time a little longer. I savored the flavor of it. I sat on a chair and I found that I enjoyed each puff more than the last. So this is what all the talk is about! Why didn't I listen? I realized then how much pleasure I had missed out on.

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