The wife and I don't get out much. At least not with each other. Our lack of babysitters and the cost associated with them have conspired to keep us socially irrelevant.
But when our good friend invited us to the opening of his new bar, we made a thrice-annual night out of it. Not only did we want to support our friend, this particular bar opening was slated to be a real big deal, based on said friend's past endeavors (I'd mention the friend and the bar, but we have a very strict, no real names policy here at Look Lefty).
Parking was a challenge and we found ourselves walking, hand-in-hand through a bizarre stretch of road framed by Dennys restaurants and cheap convention center hotels.
About a block away, my wife quickly veered off the sidewalk and through some bushes into a random parking lot, pulling me with her. "What's going on?" I asked, only with a super annoyed tone. Disgusted, she replied, "smokers!"
I hadn't even noticed, but sure enough, right in our path was a plume of hot, steamy carcinogens. I acquiesced and joined her through the bushes.
I think it's important to note here, that this woman who claims to experience such volatile reactions to all things chemical, was actually a smoker herself when we first met. And the really weird part - while many people claim to be social smokers, only opting for the fashionable little cancer wands when out with friends, my dear sweet wife, was a closeted smoker. She would only puff in the privacy of her own home (where she all but chain-smoked), extinguishing any sign of them when people (including myself) came around. Nowadays, she can't lick a stamp without getting chest pains.
Now back to the bar.
As we rounded the corner, we ran into two more smokers standing right outside the door. There was no getting inside without walking right past them. And the best part was, one of the two smokers was a partner in the bar. The wife had never met him, but I had on several occasions, so an introduction was not only in order, it would have been terribly rude to enter his bar without doing so.
The wife extended a tentative hand like a little mouse about to get batted around by feral cat. The friend took her hand and smiled graciously, not knowing anything of my wife's afflictions, all while his cigarette continued to burn just inches away.
I reveled in the moment, watching my wife squirm before finally entering the bar. Not nice, but that was my only entertainment for the evening.
As expected, the place was incredible and packed to the gills. The food looked amazing and the space was styled out beautifully. Surely, a place I will frequent.
And like any new establishment, the air was thick with the lingering aroma of fresh paint and toxic adhesives.
We said hello to our friend, congratulated him on the opening and promptly left.
All in all, a night to remember.