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Well, you can say that since that first date, not only has my passion for my boyfriend gotten better but my appreciation for the cigar has, too. Few good men understand a truly great cigar, but a great woman is one who truly enjoys the atmosphere surrounding a good man and his cigar.
Thank you, Cigar Aficionado, for shedding continual light on a subject I've learned to appreciate more and more.
Suzanne C.
Newport Beach, California

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Dear Marvin,
I am one of your female readers who has enjoyed see-ing the return of the cigar. My father and uncles enjoyed their cigars when I was a child, even though we complained piteously about how bad they smelled. But we enjoyed the ritual, the sense of tradition that their cigar smoking brought to our house.
I am so happy to see men with heart enough to "come out of the closet" and smoke a cigar--of all things. I am beginning to see some of them brave a smoke in the park near my office. I now enjoy the aroma along with the wonderful look of a man bucking the trend. I think cigar smokers are our only real mavericks now; all the rest just pretend to rebel.
An admirer
Washington, D. C.

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Dear Marvin,
Most smokers have their own odd habit or two. One of mine is to empty my ashtray into the fireplace, then later carry out all the ashes when I periodically clean the fireplace.
I haven't had the need for a fire since last March, and likewise haven't given much thought about cleaning the fireplace since then.
Today, this fine October morning, I decided I should have a cup of coffee and a smoke by a warm fire. I opened the doors to the fireplace and found, after a summer of smoking, around 200 cigar remains! These old soldiers were quite dry and inoffensive, so my shock was at their multitude and nothing else.
Well, I built my fire, brewed my coffee and lit my cigar, and I write to you a happy man. I find it difficult, though, to express to you the pleasure I felt a moment ago when I stepped out to the mailbox and found that my neighborhood smells like a cigar!
Paul F. Tatum III
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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Dear Marvin,
The Friday after Thanksgiving, I took my family to dinner at Chops Steak House in Atlanta. As you probably know, Chops is rated as one of the finest steak houses in the country and according to an article in the Winter 1993/94 edition of Cigar Aficionado, welcomes smokers.
After dinner, my mother and sister encouraged me to light up a Prince Philip Vintage Macanudo Cabinet Selection. I was hesitant to do so, as I basically relegate my cigar smoking to the golf course and clubhouse. My family reminded me that my father used to enjoy his cigars, and they would enjoy it if I smoked in front of them.
As soon as I pulled out my cigar, four people at an adjoining table became incensed, and, even though they were sitting in the smoking sec-tion, demanded that I not be allowed to smoke my cigar. We were already through with dinner, and I thought I would be asked to smoke elsewhere.
To my surprise, our waiter politely informed the objectors that smoking was allowed; he had the four people moved to another table at a loss of a considerable tip to himself. Pan Karatassos (the owner), the waiter Dennis and another waiter named Angelo should all be commended for their treatment of cigar smokers.
On my way out the door, after enjoying about half of my cigar, a gentleman, obviously with his family at another table, mentioned that he enjoyed the aroma from my Macanudo, but had come to the restaurant without any cigars of his own. Without telling him, I gave Angelo some money so that the gentleman could enjoy an after-dinner cigar from the Chops Steak House humidor. I hope the stranger enjoyed it.
By the way, the food at Chops was fantastic, as was the service. I suggest that your readers try Chops the next time they are in Atlanta.
John P. Fox
Miami, Florida

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Dear Marvin,
Ever since I started smoking premium cigars two years ago, I'd always hoped I could find a special woman who would be able to tolerate my smoke. Being realistic, I realized that the rest of my life might end up being spent smoking outdoors as my girlfriend/wife sat comfortably inside our home. The prospect of finding someone special who would be willing to smoke with me seemed like nothing but a fantasy.
I was wrong. Two months ago, I met a very special woman whom I quickly found myself falling in love with. Several times I'd told her how much I loved cigars, and, from what I could tell, she never objected--that was, until one night she told me she wanted to try a cigar with me. Naturally, I couldn't believe what I'd heard. A few days later, I took her to Dunhill to purchase two Dunhill Condados for us to smoke together.
Marvin, several nights later, I knew for sure that I'd found the woman of my dreams. We smoked together on my hammock, and she enjoyed every minute of it. Every time I'd look at her, she was enjoying the cigar as much as I was. It was amazing--I was literally speechless. Well, we've been seeing each other for a while and smoke cigars whenever we get a chance. I never thought I would be able to share my cigars with anyone because I thought no one would want to. Boy, am I glad I was wrong.
Tonight I dropped her off at the airport since she was flying back home for Thanksgiving holiday. In her carry-on bag were four cigars I'd bought for her to enjoy while she was away. When I took her bag out of my car's trunk, she warned me to be careful since her cigars were packed on top. Simply amazing!
Michael E. Brichford
Houston, Texas

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Dear Marvin,
After reading Jim Belushi's comments on women and cigar smoking (Cigar Aficionado, Spring 1994), as well as one of the letters to the editor encouraging female cigar smokers (Cigar Aficionado, Summer 1994), I would like to share my perspectives as a woman who has recently taken up cigar smoking.
I was introduced to cigar smoking by a male colleague at work, but I was introduced to cigars by my father who smoked nothing but pipes and cigars when I was growing up. Belushi claims that smoking a cigar is an experience that "women can't--and shouldn't --understand." Yet, fortunately, I was exposed to the rituals and nuances of cigars and fine tobacco before I was old enough to realize that I wasn't supposed to "understand" them. Accompanying my father when he bought cigars, watching him prepare them and sharing my thoughts with him while he smoked, created a connection between us that I would hold up to any "male bonding" experience.
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