When it comes to Cigar Smoking, there is one aspect of the pastime that has always left me fascinated – the social aspect. In the relatively short time that I’ve been visiting cigar shops, I’ve met people from all walks of life.
It really is amazing how simple small talk with a stranger can develop into a friendship over the span of a few months. You go from chatting about the weather one visit to asking about each other’s kids the next.
This bond between patrons was the thing that kept me coming back to my local B&M week after week. Knowing that no matter how stressful work had become or how busy family life was – I could always stop in for a quick cigar and the moment someone struck up a conversation – the stress would just melt away. Even if only for an hour.
Over the past year, something has changed in the atmosphere of my local cigar shop. I can’t tell you exactly what it is but perhaps this will make sense…
We used to go to the cigar shop to catch up and enjoy a cigar in the process. Now, we go to the cigar shop for a cigar and catch up in the process.
The difference between then and now is slight, but there is a distinction. Around this time last year, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to meet up with the guys and smoke two or three cigars while we talked and laughed. These days, I barely make it through one cigar before I’m thinking about heading out.
A couple of weeks ago I met up with a former regular from the shop. We sat down to catch up and in the process had a cigar and a beer. It was like old times again and the subject of conversation went much deeper than the weather.
It was a much-needed change of pace from sitting in a smoke filled room with six other people as we all stared at the screens on our phones. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always like that. It is, however, becoming a more regular occurrence.
Perhaps the change in atmosphere has something to do with the For Sale sign out on the front walk. Maybe we’re all inadvertently in a holding pattern until there is some finality to the situation. If and when a new owner comes along – is there going to be a cigar shop to hang out in or are we all going to have to find a new place to go?
If there is one thing you can take away from the situation in my little town, maybe it is this – Appreciate your local Mom & Pop Cigar Shops and enjoy them while you can.