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There is no reverence in a bar. Some people seem to forget this fact when they step foot into an establishment that has the sole purpose of helping others lighten up. And from time to time I forget that these forgetful people exist.
The other night was a crude reminder.
I happened to be enjoying a cigarette and a beer, something that many tend to enjoy in bars — bars where both products happen to be sold for consumption. I was approached by a girl who asked if she could have a drag. Of course, I obliged. She was cute, so it was a nice starting point for at least a conversation, plus who am I to deny a cute girl if she wants to partake? I extended it to her, and the funniest thing happened. She took it from my hand, broke it in half, and dropped it in my beer.
In one act of pure audacity this girl managed to ruin my cigarette, my beer, and my fucking night. Well, not my entire night. There are twenty cigarettes in a pack, and I don’t know the exact figure on the amount of booze there is in the average dive-bar, but I think it’s somewhere close to a metric fuck-ton. However, the drink and the smoke were gone. No matter how many more I ended up having that night, the fact that I was deprived of one more of each left a sour taste in my mouth.
Her reasoning was that smoking was gross, she hated the smell, and it was bad for me. How fortunate for me that this grenadine-and-vodka-sipping saint had the coordination to drink poison from a plastic cup and wag her disapproving finger at me with the same hand. She was saving me from myself, and I didn’t even have to ask. WHAT A GAL!
It was a somber moment when I realized that one of the last bastions of rugged individualism in this country was starting to lose its luster. The place where people go to escape the helicopter soccer-moms, the agenda pushing zealots, and the over-sensitive, kale-grubbing, bleeding hearts is now tainted with the next generation of those very same people, and they want change. Imagine that.
I guess the real problem I have is not at the bar: I can drink there, so I don’t mind it much, if at all. The bigger problem, in my eyes, is that these people who are offended by some of the crasser parts of life are becoming much more prominent and increasingly tolerated.
The bigger problem, in my eyes, is that these people who are offended by some of the crasser parts of life are becoming much more prominent and increasingly tolerated.
Just look at the criticism this website in particular receives. Terms like “chauvinism,” “date-rape culture,” and “elitism” are thrown around as if we had a step-by-step manual on how to drop a Rohypnol into your date’s drink while bashing a minority and paying a cop to look the other way (dibs on that column). I really can’t fathom how people get so up in arms over jokes or even other opinions. For you to want someone to stop making words because you are offended by them is like if I decided to cut the tramp stamp off a girl because I thought it was trashy. Shit, that last sentence alone will probably piss off at least ten people and start a conversation about how we perpetuate normalizing violence against women. Last time I checked the average guy can’t even hold a door anymore, but no, men in fraternities are the pigs.
I find being offended by someone else’s opinion to be a red flag in a personality. Regardless of if it’s a joke, a differing opinion in religion, or how to raise your kids, for you to care so much about someone else’s choices that affect you in no way is near psychotic. Or, for example, if you’re like the girl who broke my cigarette, you could argue that my choices are affecting you, via second hand smoke. However, SHE chose to go to a bar she that knew allowed people to smoke inside. You made your choice, deal with it. Don’t punish me because you regret it. Your feelings are just that: yours. Keep them to yourself and your fucking therapist.
The only people who should be offended are the people who catch all the flak from the crazies whose own insecurities prevent them from questioning the validity of their own beliefs. If someone doesn’t believe in your heaven, then why the fuck would he care if he burns in your hell?
Like I said, there is no reverence in a bar, and the world isn’t much different. Opinions are like the smoke from a cigarette. You can hate the smell and ask someone to put it out, but you should probably realize that there are a hundred more to be lit, and the smell will always linger. Sack up and finish your drink, or just leave.