The Woman Behind The (Dutch) Pipe Smoker




It is Valentine’s Day. Not that I have much with the whole commerce behind it, but it reminds me that regarding the female species I am a very lucky man.


Hat, ankh-embroidered scarf, leather jacket.. Yup, that’s me!

I met my girlfriend when I visited a friend who held a dinner party. I was just passing by, saying hello to him and his guests. I did not notice my later girlfriend (her name is Ellen) then but she noticed me. As usual I was wearing my hat, my ankh embroidered scarf and my leather motor jacket. Not that I have a motor, it just looks cool I keep saying to myself. Both my friend and Ellen were on a social media site called Hyves (something like Facebook). So when my friend uploaded a picture both I and Ellen could react to it. Later we became friends on Hyves and Ellen began to respond more and more on updates and pictures from me. I liked her very much and we send daily mails to each other. “So let’s date!” I said one day. And so we did. But the first date was kind of a turn-off.. We both were very nervous and at the end of the evening I was glad to put her on the train home. “Well, so much for her”, I thought.

The morning after the first night together..

Big smile, the morning after the first night together..

Despite we kept on mailing each other. As a result a couple of months later we had our second date. This time at her place. It was a warm spring day so we could eat outside. She had a plate on which you could grill meat. Just my thing! And what on the first date did not happen, happened on the second one: a few sparks flew over. Some time later I had to go on a holiday which I booked several months before. The day after I came back I took Ellen out for a movie and dinner and we ended up at my place. She stayed that night and not much later we got a relationship.

Ellen in Ethiopia

Ellen in Ethiopia

Unfortunately for me after a month together Ellen had to go to Ethiopia to work as a volunteer in an orphanage. Something she had arranged before we got together. In those 2 months that she was away I started smoking pipe. So when she came back I had something to say to her: “Ehm, darling, I have a confession to make.. I started smoking pipe.” She looked at me with a face of amazement. “You did what??” “Ehrr.. I started smoking pipe.” “Ok… Well.. Ok.” And that was that. She just accepted the fact without arguing or making a fuzz out of it. I still love her for that. The next year and a half I was at her place (actually her father’s place) in the weekends and during the week I was at home. Luckily I was allowed to smoke a bit in her father’s house.

Ellen in front of our house

Ellen in front of our house

Almost a year ago we decided to live together. Best move I ever made. She could get a rental house and I was able to sell the apartment I was living in. So new smoking rules had to be made. And once again I was lucky. I was allowed to smoke in the living room and in my little office upstairs. Ellen tolerates my smoking. She does not particularly like it. Our couch stands in one corner of the living room and my smoking chair stands in the other one. And that really is necessary. Especially when I smoke my beloved latakia blends which she can barely stand. But still, I am allowed to smoke indoors and I absolutely love her for that. Also when friends of her are in our house she says “I rather have you not smoking now” than “you are not allowed to smoke now”. The only time she snuggles up to me when I am smoking is in the summer when we sit outside late at night. Latakia fumes are an excellent mosquito repellent.

Metsu27ManSmokingWomanWithJugThe text below comes from the old Dutch “Pijpenbrevier” (“Pipe breviary” is the best translation I could make):
Many women and girlfriends of pipe smokers have a suspicion that their husbands/friends rather have a relationship with a pipe then with them. Which is totally absurd! How can I smoke year in year out from exactly the same pipe? No seriously, of course we have to hold women in much higher regard then pipes. The best thing is to have a good wife/girlfriend and to have good pipes. And keep them carefully separated.
Whether it is the fault of the need of tidiness or the jealousy of the wife/girlfriend; there are lots of pipe smoking men who live a life of misery. They are banned to smoke on balconies, are send away from the house to lurk on their pipes or are forced to build a so called “man-cave”. Or they have to smoke a neutral or terribly aromatic tobacco to appease the female. I have some advice for these men:
– Take the pipe out of your mouth when speaking to your wife/girlfriend (but don’t talk so much that the pipes goes out).
– Never thoroughly clean your pipes in her direct presence. She gets jealous of the attention you give to the pipe in stead of her.
– Once in a while put your pipe away with a despondent look on your face and say the damned thing did not taste good at all again. This of course after you happily smoked it.
In short: treat your pipe like it is a secret love. Your wife/girlfriend reached the opposite of what she wants, but her suspicion will be lessened.

man woman pipeWomen should be glad their husbands/friends smoke pipe! When a man in the flesh or in thoughts is not with his wife/girlfriend, he is with his pipe. Is there a more comforting certainty? A man, a sensible woman, a couple of good pipes. How would there be space for another woman? Now and then the man changes pipes and with that vents off his desire for renewal which is present in even the most reliable pipe smoker.

So darling (I know you read this), happy Valentine’s Day. I love you <3

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