You know how some peoples parents turn their old rooms into a gym? When we moved to Raleigh in January, and I stepped into my old room for the first time, I thought for a moment that my Dad was running an undercover drug operation.
There was a huge structure in the middle of the floor, so large only a 2-foot perimeter around the edge of the room was navigable. The giant box, constructed of 2x4s, was wrapped in several layers of industrial plastic wrap and surrounded by sundry tools all over the floor. You know, hammers, staple guns, nail guns, the like.
It looked like a scene out of Dexter, STRAIGHT UP.
"Let's be reasonable," I told myself. Maybe it's something less severe. Like maybe he's a real life Walter White and this is just the secret place he makes his drugs.
Me: "Um, Dad."
Dad: "Did you see your room?"
Me: "Yes. What....is it?"
Dad: "It's a humidor."
Me: " Ooohhhhhhh. Wait, what?"
Apparently a friend of Dad's had some cigar-store inventory he needed to store, so Dad kindly offered my childhood bedroom. Some homemade shelves, plastic wrap, and 3 large humidifiers later - voilà! Humidor.
Me: "Pretty resourceful."
Dad: "Yeah, but he found a warehouse and the Yeasty Boys are coming to take it down next week."
Me: "YOU KNOW THE BEASTIE BOYS!?!?!?"
Dad: "No, the Yeasty Boys."
My dad is part of a collective of men called The Yeasty Boys. They come over every Thursday night to smoke cigars and drink beer and espresso. The whole neighboohod smells like cigar smoke on Thursday nights, and it's easy to trace the sweet, smoky smell to Dad's man-cave: 15 cars in the driveway, windows open, kerosene heater glowing, men laughing. It's a pretty sweet brotherhood they have going on.
And that's what it is: a brotherhood. It's an eclectic one, without any real unifying characteristic among its members. They're all of different ages, religions, political affinities, ethnicities. The thing they have in common is that they like cigars and each other. The Yeasty Boys helped us move into our townhouse, they take hunting trips, vacations to Florida, day trips to seafood festivals on the coast. They brew their own beer. They do BBQs and low country boils and state fairs. They show up for one another.
After living in Raleigh for a few months, and watching this fraternity in action, I told Dad, "I wish I could be a fly on the wall down there. I love the Yeasty Boys. Everyone should have a group of friends like that."
Well, ask and ye shall receive, y'all.
Last Thursday night Dad texted me and said, "Why don't you come on down for a drink?"
I felt like a fawn tip-toeing down the basement stairs. Nothing can make a girl feel dainty like walking into a den of giant leather chairs and giant men smoking giant cigars. Wear skinny jeans and a chiffon shirt for bonus points. It could make the coarsest women feel like a fairy.
And here is what I learned from my evening with the Yeasty Boys.
I watch really girly television.
Yeasty Boy: Do you watch Game of Thrones?
YB: The Walking Dead?
YB: Sons of Anarchy?
Me: Um, I watch Scandal. And New Girl.
So, here's to friendship.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go catch up on Parenthood on Hulu.