Why is it that cigar enthusiasts break out into a big smile, whenever you mention “cigars” to them? It’s because cigars usually mean a lot more to them than just a stick of wrapped tobacco. For his first blog post here at Cigar Choice, David Mayar takes us back to his first cigar, and shares the reasons why he likes not only cigars themselves, but what they represent to him.

I don’t remember the first cigar I smoked, although I remember the situation. It was my best friend’s high school graduation party.  His neighbor was a cigar aficionado—still is, too—and he gifted us two fine handmade cigars. He walked us through the process of cutting and lighting, and warned us not to inhale.

It was all downhill from there. In trying to be cool and hoping to impress some ladies, we probably looked like fools. Nevertheless, that party marked the beginning of an enjoyable vice.

Over the next fifteen years and up to now, I have smoked my share of cigars. While I haven’t smoked as many as a lot of guys out there, I can honestly say I have enjoyed every cigar I’ve had.

I can remember several different moments in my life that involved a cigar. They are as clear as day in my mind; for the life of me, though, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I smoked in any of those situations.

There was a touching moment with a grandparent; the interesting, yet awkward drink with an ex-girlfriend’s fiancé; the rare opportunity to smoke a Cuban cigar legally while on my honeymoon in Germany; and finally, a reunion cigar with my best friend after seven years apart.

It never mattered to me what I was smoking at those times, just that I was able to.

On a more recent note, I have had the time and money to smoke more in the last eighteen months than ever before. I have also taken to hanging out at my local brick and mortars more.  In this time, I have met some great people. Can’t say I know all their names, but we all recognize each other when we meet up at the shop.

There have also been a few that I have had the pleasure of getting to know and herfing with other cigar lovers on a semi-regular basis. It still amazes me how cigars can bring people together. When the smoke is in the air, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, where you live, or what you drive … we are all friends.

In my mind, there is more to cigar smoking than just the cigar itself. It is the appreciation of the work that went into the cigar, the people with you (or the ones who are not or cannot be there), and the situation in which you find yourself as a whole.

What’s your favorite cigar story? Do cigars evoke special memories for you? Let us know in the Comments section of this post.