“Why do men smoke”, was popular question with all my girlfriends when I used to be on a date. Most of us would have laughed it off, or at the most cleverly changed the topic to something else something more interesting as her dad’s daily routine (yeah, only, it remains interesting until the day of your engagement!!!). But me, being the old warhorse, chose to answer a question with another question… “Why do women cry?”
Not to be put off by such a deterrent, my date asked me back, “Why, men don’t cry?”
So she wanted a war of wits… I was game, but I admit, I had to go on a back foot…
“They do, but not as much as women… Women have the tendency to cry for anything and everything, as if their tear glands were constructed for that very purpose!! Why, you would cry even if you saw a puppy injured in the middle of the road!!”
” Yes we would! Because we care. We care more than any living being on this earth! And that is why we feel compassion for those poor little creatures. After all we are not heartless like you men… All you guys can think of is sex and nothing but sex…”
I saw that this conversation was treading into dangerous areas. Had it been any other person I would have launched into a barrage of points and defenses and offenses and so on and so forth… But this being a date I had to show resilence and patience ( a quality I rarely show except when called for, which is most of the times usually!) And so I said…
“Fine…fine!! Shall I order for you or would you want to do it yourself?” Amazingly, as an excellent example of the invisible male bonding that does exist, the waiter seemed to sense the tense nature of the moment and came over to ask, “What will it be sir? The usual?”
Funnily, I had never been in that hotel more than twice and every time I had been there I had ordered something different. I wondered what the hell he meant by the usual… And then when I saw the admiring glance on my beau’s face, I decided to play the game and said, “Yes please, the usual for me and for madame…” I left the words hanging in mid-air so as to indicate that she would be ordering for herself. Taking the cue he turned to her and took the lead, ” May I recommend the very excellent, ____________, our chef’s speciality, I am told he makes it excellently. Would you like to try it out?”
Women have this something (which is so stupid according to me), which forbids them from thinking rationally in times of grave danger. As if, not wanting to be outdone, not wanting to show she had no idea of what the damned waiter was tallking about, she said, “Oh that? I thought you didn’t serve it here!! Well go ahead, and tell him to make it a little spicy.”
The waiter looked at her as if to say ‘That preparation has no spice at all’ when I said, “Could you make it a little fast please? I am running a little short of time, I have a meeting to catch up with.” He gave me a look, the one which conveys I-am-sorry-you-got-stuck-with-such-a-dumb-bitch’ kind of and proceeded to do his job.
As soon as he had left I pulled out my cigarette case in style and flicked it open, pulled a ciggy out and lit it. One look at my date and I was about to go in splits… She had a horrified look on her face which seemed to say, “What the F@^K are you doing!!” I turned to her and said, “Hey doll, Relax!! This is a smoking section. Take a look around!”
She leant over. I thought she was gonna kiss me, so I did the same. She yanked the cigarette out of my fingers and stubbed it out.
“The next time you do that I am never gonna eat out with you again..”
“Hey doll, I didn’t know you hated smoking!!”
” Oh!! So I was arguing with you a couple of moments ago just for the sake of it? Huh??”
“That? I thought that was just to tease my brain cells?”
“Tease? You’re probably gonna fry them with this thing”
“Aw c’mon!! What’s it with you women! Can’t a guy guy even smoke in peace? Do I have to carry one of those ‘Do not disturb’ things round my neck?”
“Yeah!! And if you keep up with it, you’re probably gonna end up with one of those ‘Rest in Peace’ signs around you..”
Then I saw something glisten in her eyes that explained why guys smoke and why women cry..
A tear slipped out of her left eye and slid down her cheek…