Everyone Who Smokes Virginia Slims Is Dead Except Me. Apparently.
I can’t believe I paid $14 dollars for this nonsense for five months.
I can’t say I’ve ever had my finger on the pulse of “cool.”
For example, I have owned multiple leather jackets and not a single motorcycle; I got frosted tips six months after NSYNC broke up; the only commentary I have on an MMA fight is, “Why can’t I have arms like that?”
I’ve always wanted to be cool but couldn’t puzzle it out. I thought my mom was cool, which probably explains a lot. But when I turned eighteen, I was able to do the one thing that is objectively cool.
Then, fifteen years later, outside a bar in Hyannis, the man who bummed a Virginia Slim off me frowned and asked, “Your grandmother teach you to smoke?”
And I tried to tell him, “Oh, no — I live out of the country mostly and slim cigarettes are more common abroad; these are the only ones that are slim like that, so when I’m in the States I smoke these.” But I could tell by the look on his face, that it was too late to salvage my cool, so I let him show me a time-lapsed video of him putting in a window and tried not to wince when he walked off saying, “Thanks for the slim.”
I thought that was it. Nobody saw. And — as all cool folk know — if nobody saw who knows anything about anything, it doesn’t count against you.
Back in my hometown, after visiting the Exxon three days in a row for a pack of Slims, the man behind the counter asked, “Buying these for your mom?” I told him, “No, they’re for me.”
“Really?” he said, ringing them up, then asked, “Sure they’re not for your wife or something?” And before I could respond, he continued, “I just never seen a man smoke these before. They any good?” I nodded, acknowledging, as we do, an end-note that said, I recognize I was being rude, so let’s move on. And so I moved on and thought he did, too.
But the next time I was in there while being rung up by a leathery, grumpy woman, he came around a corner and called to her, “THEY’RE NOT FOR HIS WIFE.” The woman looked at me, then at the Virginia Slims. “Really?” She asked.