Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cigar Lounge Manners: I need my space!

When the space is yours

Even though you're in a public place, there's an understanding that your cigar lounge space shan't be disturbed or infiltrated. Even if you leave your stuff and walk away from the bar or your chair, it will be exactly the same when you come back, nary an item moved, no one's ass in your seat.

Except sometimes, when no one is looking, someone new will borrow a lighter from an absent spacelord, or move the stuff aside and slip into the chair.

This has happened too. [source]
The cigar lounge is an obvious social place, where most people know or are at least familiar with the guests and feel comfortable leaving their things to chat with a friend. Keep this in mind: Even if you see a seat empty for a realllllly long time, you don't get to decide the resident won't be back and it's fine to take his chair.

Every once in a while, you'll see this: Someone pushes stuff aside and sits. When they're told, "Hey, so-and-so is sitting there," the response is "Fuck him." However, assume they are best friends and this is standard practice. Do not assume you can do this. You can't.

When space is at a premium

Oh, the busy days at the cigar lounge, when the only elbow room is the classic song in your head:

You need to remember the cigar lounge isn't your home, where you can sprawl out on the couch and make your kids/wife/dog sit on the floor. Yes, everyone here loves you, but you need to make room for them to enjoy your company.

Not you. [source]
During these times of extreme squishiness, remember to honor other people's privacy by not sticking your nose into their conversations. Even if you can hear their every word, your job as a good patron is to pretend you can't hear a word they're saying--even if it is super juicy gossip.

Valentino and I had a not-heated, but certainly lukewarm, discussion about this. He reminded me that the friendliness of the cigar lounge community means you can jump into other people's conversations. I say yes and no--and that depends on body language. If someone is chatting but making eye contact with the people around, then yes. But if you notice they're focused on each other, then maybe you shouldn't jump in. Think of it this way: Is the front door open, welcome to guests or is it shut for privacy? Same idea.

Anyway, remember to respect other patrons' eardrums by using your inside voice. People sitting tete-a-tete should not have to yell in order to hear each other.

In fact, pretend you're sitting in your own little world. Or cone of silence.

Would you believe... The Cone of Silence! [source]
Unless you just happen to sit next to your best friend, in which case all bets are off and conversation becomes a free-for-all. Wheeee!

And when you want some space.

Similarly, if there's a vacant seat on either side of someone and you come in with your best girl, no harm asking folks to slide in one direction or the other so you can sit together.

Do not not not sit across the room and give the people sitting between the empty chairs the stink eye. It's not the bar fly's fault you're chicken. And even if you are afraid, quietly ask the bartender if she'll make the request.  Remember, we're in the cigar lounge, where some of the nicest people converge.

No one is going to say, "No, I don't want to move. My assprint is fully engrained in this chair."  They're going to say "Of course" and slide over.

Unless it's your best friend, in which case, expect a cold stare and a solid "No" before the smile and slide.
One of my favorite things ever.
You're welcome.

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