Friday, June 12, 2015

Cigar Lounge Manners: Can't we all just get along?

We can't get along with everyone, even if we try really, really, really hard. You're inevitably going to clash with someone, even if you are the nicest person on earth--sadly, a fact of life,* even in the cigar lounge.

Me.

Could be Bitchy McJealousy who doesn't like you talking to her boyfriend/ husband/ secret lover**/ whatever.

Or Drunky von Loudmouth who makes obnoxious statements--and then you realize he isn't drunk--just an asshole.

Or even the Pesky O'shitishehereagain, who you know is probably a nice guy, but he illogically bugs you.

These folks infiltrate your cigar clubhouse and, unless you own the place, you can't grab them by the scruff and heave them over the threshold, directly into traffic.



Unlike middle school, where you get your BFFs to talk trash about that person and make them cry during recess, you have to be a little more diplomatic as an adult, unfortunately. At least in the cigar lounge. (What you do during recess outside of the lounge is totally up to you.)

Besides leaving upon their arrival, how do you handle this most uncomfortable situation (assuming you don't want to spend the night in the pokey)?

DO
  • Smile when they come in, even if it kills you.***

  • Slide over if they'd like to sit together and you're between two empty seats. Or move to a comfy chair if you don't want to be in the vicinity.
  • Kill them with kindness, which gives you the upper hand. Buy a drink or a cigar. Then they have to thank you. A little passive aggressive, but sometimes that's all the power you have.
  • Keep your seething inside. 
  • Make sure you're not being oversensitive or that your first meeting centered around another issue that caused you distress.
  • Make sure you're not the asshole in this non-relationship. Did you maybe do something that offended the person without realizing it?
  • Hate to say it, but perhaps chatting with the person might help the situation and make you both more comfortable in the other person's airspace. Be assertive, but not aggressive during the chat.

DON'T
  • Mumble under your breath when the other person speaks; this may be the hardest thing you do all year, but you'll thank me. (You're welcome.)
  • Roll your eyes. Even if you don't think they can see you, getting caught acting like a teenager doesn't help your cause. (You can, however, do the hard, unblinking stare to your partner or partner-in-crime, and that stare means a lot. Valentino and I have entire conversations this way.)

  • Engage. If he's one of those people who wants to argue about anything and everything, redirect his attention  ("Is that Kate Upton over there?") or chat with someone else.
  • Mock their cigar choice. That's bad form all the way around.  You're better than that. (Although if he or she chooses...nevermind.)
  • Badmouth the person to others. If you want to bitch, do it in the company of your BFF, not in a lounge social group. And make sure, if you're going to tell your pals, make the story a good one; pay attention to details.
Naturally, every situation is different and we all handle difficult times uniquely. Valentino will confront an issue head on, asking, "What do you think caused us to butt heads? Let's get past this." I, however, will seethe, creating serious internal combustion, which can only be soothed with Hostess snack cakes. In fact, I may or may not be doing that very exercise at this moment.


*Not The Facts of Life.

**You're welcome for the earworm.

***And if you die, you don't have to be nice any more.

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