Friday, August 8, 2014

You knew it was inevitable: Multitudes of Sopranos references

Before I met Valentino, I'd seen maybe half a dozen episodes of The Sopranos, not in any kind of order.

Then somewhere along the line, after we'd begun living in sin (wheee!), HBO replayed the series every weeknight at 8:00. After the first episode, I was hooked. By the fifth episode, we made sure we were home by 8:00 or didn't go out until after 9:00 because the show was on. (Yes, we have the magical DVR; no, that wasn't good enough.) Also, yes, he'd already seen the whole series, because he was required to by law to view the entire series or lose his Italian status.

Even after the series concluded,* we started watching it again--although this time we could leave the house and watch it another day.  I feel sorry for the folks who had to wait months and eons between seasons. I had a hard enough time getting through the weekends Soprano-less. Plus, James Gandolfini was my hall pass,** so, yeah...

Duuuuude... RIP
Keep in mind that even though Valentino had been smoking cigars long before I met him, and has been smoking in my vicinity lo these many years, not until recently did I realize, "Hey, this stuff is both cool and interesting! Does everyone realize how cool and interesting this is?" I know: exactly like deciding The Sopranos is the coolest new show ever--long after its conclusion. (By the way, here's an interesting article about the show from Cigar Aficionado.)

And then! One day not too long ago, the planets aligned. I was roaming around eBay trying to think of good ideas for his upcoming birthday and I saw this:

I wanted this on his behalf. Not for me. Nope. Not at all.

I got excited. I bid on it and kept it a secret, which I am very, very bad at. But we were visiting his family in Pittsburgh and family stuff means no phones and no monitoring of eBay bids and I lost out. By an effing dollar.  Granted, these are obviously not for smoking, but they have an outrageous coolness factor. I had the sad.

I got over the sad, because that's how things work in Penny World.  Then! Then we saw one in the Cigars International Bethlehem store and I told him about how I almost bought it and lost out and he talked me out of buying the one right before us. For some reason, he was all, "We don't really need that..."

I shall regret this until the end of time.

I'll admit I am a sucker for limited edition anything or items with a Coolness Factor of +11.*** Right after IPCPR in Las Vegas, I started drooling at all the nifty new cigars making their way into the public eye. How do you decide whether to get all the cool new stuff or get the stuff that you know you already love? I've come up with a solution:
  1. Win the lottery.
  2. Convert an entire room into a humidor.
I've just been told that my goals are unrealistic.****

I was thinking about getting him this, which I saw somewhere and have to start my internet search all over again because I can't remember who had it in stock:

Now he owns this, which seems like a terrible consolation prize:
My girlfriend went to the internet and all I got was this stupid hat.
I'm writing this, sitting out in the garden, where his crop of tomatoes and basil and Italian parsley are just waaaaiting to become tomato salad and tomato sauce and caprese...but not tomato soup. That comes from Campbell's. Anyway, Valentino comes out to check his bounty***** with cigar in one hand, cutter and lighter in the other.

"What do you have there?" I ask, as I frequently do.

He shows me this:
He had them all along!! ::facepalm::
I almost don't want him to light it for two reasons:
  1. Don't waste it! Except then he quotes Tony Soprano, "What use is an unloaded gun?" Or an unlit cigar. Touche.
  2. The smell of basil is a serious aphrodisiac. If I keep sitting here, he's going to need to leave the cigar behind, only partially smoked.  I know you're dying to know how this scene ends, but I'll leave you with this:


*And I know the series ending is polarizing. you either love it or hate it. I love it, especially considering the episode title: "Made in America."

**He has not yet been replaced. Also, is it bad that I mourned him more than an acquaintance who passed at about the same time?

***Obvs out of 10. Although to be completely honest, I'd really start making choices at Coolness Factor +6.

****Not the first time I've been told that. Not even the first time this week.

*****Interpret that as you will.

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