A/N: Although Doris is not seen smoking in the movie, I've assumed she is a smoker for the following reasons:
We know she's a stress/emotional/comfort eater ("I'm so depressed I could eat a cow"), so, therefore, you can reason that cigarettes, another sense-based indulgence, would have a similar comforting effect.
There wasn't a lot of anti-smoking campaigning in the forties, much less in Staten Island, Doris's home town. Furthermore, at the dance hall where she was previously employed as a bouncer, Doris would have likely been exposed to secondhand smoke on a regular basis, which "may increase vulnerability to nicotine addiction" (Moderate levels of…1).
Mae is seen smoking in several scenes, and it's clear that Doris admires Mae (She enthusiastically cheers Mae on at the Sudsbucket, and, after they're both assigned to the Peaches, she tells the reporter "This is my friend Mae, she made the team" as opposed to "My friend Mae and I made the team").
Although Doris was not seen smoking with Mae and the other girls outside the bus (after their driver, Lou, quit) it's likely that this was not on account of Doris's character, but rather a measure taken to make her lines more articulate (Dottie and her do the bulk of the speaking in that scene).
All this being said, I am in no way encouraging smoking. It causes several types of cancer and is just not good for you.
Enjoy this one shot/possibly first chapter!
It was a foreign affair indeed: Starched linens, mirror-like cutlery, and not a single condiment packet to be found atop the well-dressed table. Slithering through the polished hinges of a rather imperial-looking door, however, who's gleaming mahogany and stately plaque really make you question your belonging in such a place, was a coiling and uncoiling tendril of cigarette smog.
Once more, I found myself in the slums of Staten Island, clutching my pack of Camels as an infant holds a teddy bear, delighting in the unassuming crispness of the sturdy paper box, the smooth exterior of each slender column, and, best of all, the fine powdery crest. Their every movement whispering of family, childhood, 20 spindly fingers seem to hold my hand as I reach into the carton with a soothing rustle. All vying for the thrill of being smoked. With a cigarette at the ready, those thirty-something extra pounds, every hot dog, cookie, tall frothy beer and hearty steak dinner seem to melt away from my puckered lips and flattened cheeks. In this moment, as I prepare to inhale that first, deep, gratifying puff of burnt gray fog, I feel dignified; refined, no longer the Peaches' hollering third-basemen, nor the bouncer at a decrepit dance hall in the thick of New York City's slums. My bulging gut recedes to unearth a black leather belt, my figure elongates, and through eyes shocked awake by each drag's bitter muskiness, I relish in the waiters gliding toward our table with both the appearance and self-satisfied pomp of emperor penguins.
"Madam," a frosty voice intones, spewing from two crinkly, upturned nostrils. "There is, absolutely, no smoking in this establishment. Should you prefer, however, we have Styrofoam cartons available for home-dining in the kitchen, although, judging by your physique," here the exaggerated French accent dissipates into a sneer, "I doubt they will be significantly capacious."
I found myself outsmarted. Should I respond, allowing my mouth to droop downward into an indignant scowl, or worse yet a frown, this puffin of a waiter stands triumphantly over my lifeless body. Wins the fight. To not respond, on the other hand, paints me as dumb, a thick-headed oaf whose weighted pocket inspired a game of dress up at the fanciest restaurant in Chicago. A gelatinous simple-minded shrew. Yes indeed, to remain silent allows this tuxedoed man's snobbery to cower behind a well-thumbed thesaurus.
"That's okay, toupees are awfully flammable." He clutches blindly at the sole remaining tuft of hair atop a gleaming skull. Sniggering, a gleeful smirk crosses my face.
Across the ivory silk tablecloth, the twins, Edward and Clarence, rummage with a dogged sort of enthusiasm through the steaming crystal bowl of breads and muffins. Suddenly hungered by the whole exchange, I snatch a brioche roll from the assortment, dunking it in olive oil before taking that first, soft, doughy, bite.
Mae's dress was leaving bruises already.