The Russian Social Club
Robert was invited to his colleague’s parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Now usually Robert would make up any excuse not to attend one of these events but this was different- it was for Gregory. Gregory and Robert started working for their law firm at the same time and quickly hit it off. They grew close because they depended on one another to get through the daily trials and tribulations. This invitation signified that Robert had earned Gregory’s trust, especially if he was the only one from the firm invited to this intimate family gathering.
The big day arrived and Robert and his girlfriend Maya made it to the location that Gregory had on the invitation. As they approached the door they walked through a narrow archway that led to a modest lobby with a patterned red carpet and vermilion painted walls. They were greeted by a rather large man asking if he could take their coats. They gave him their outerwear and the man quickly gave them each a ticket. Then the man pointed to the direction of a big hall with two big chandeliers and the decor and furnishings that you might see at a restaurant serving Russian cuisine and a sign at the entrance reading ‘Welcome to the Russian Social Club.'
Maya whispered in Robert’s ear, “I didn’t know that Greg was Russian”?
“Yeah, I didn’t know either”, he replied.
Greg approached them with arms wide open giving both of them a big hug. “Glad that you guys could make it. Let me introduce you to my parents”.
Greg took Rob and Maya across this enormous hall all the way to the head table where Greg’s parents were sitting. Greg made the introductions and pleasantries were exchanged by both couples. Maya and Rob then presented a gift to the couple and thanked them for inviting them. The happy couple seemed pleased as Greg’s father turn toward him and said aloud (in a thick Russian accent), “You should have more friends like them”, while grinning and laughing.
After the gift was presented, Greg took Rob and Maya to their appointed table. Greg said, “I’ll be checking on you guys from time to time. Enjoy the food and the drinks and most of all, have fun.”
“We will. Don’t worry about us, just go ahead and do your thing you seem to have enough on your plate," replied Rob.
“Again, thank you both for coming,” Greg said once more as he made his way around the hall being the attentive host and loyal son.
The celebration itself was quite jovial. Everyone was enjoying the Russian delicacies and wine. As with all celebrations, the customary speeches were given and the bad dancing soon commenced when Greg’s parents danced to an old melodic tune that harkened back to when they first met. Rob looked back and saw Maya’s face in admiration of a couple in love and together for that long.
“You mind if I steal him away from you for a minute Maya,” Greg said abruptly behind Rob’s back. ”Sure, just bring him back in one piece,” Maya replied smiling.
Greg escorted Rob back to the lobby area to the side where there was a bright green door. Greg gave the door a knock, an eye peered through a peephole and Rob heard an unfamiliar language, which he presumed was Russian. Greg replied in Russian and all of a sudden they walked through the door. Greg turned to Rob, saw the confusion and worry on his face and said,
“This was a speakeasy club back in the prohibition era.”
“Why still all the cloak and dagger stuff,” asked Rob.
“Because these guys wanted a place so they can hide from their wives, so they just kept the tradition going with all this speakeasy jazz.”
“Oh! I see."
“Lemme buy you a drink my friend. What’ll it be?” asked Greg
“A Courvoisier 100,” replied Rob
“Sounds good. I’ll have the same,” said Greg as he reached in his pocket to pay for the drinks. Rob saw what was happening and told Greg to put his money away because it was no good. The bartender presented the drinks to the good chums. Rob asked,
“How much sir”?
“Two dollars,” replied the bartender with the thick Russian accent.
“Wow! That’s it! Two dollars?” quizzed Rob.
“Don’t worry ‘bout it, we’re Russian,” the bartender said with a big grin on his face.
With that being said, Rob and Greg turned to one another pleasantly surprised as they toasted to their friendship and to Greg’s parents 50th wedding anniversary. However, before going back to the party, they quickly had two more Courvoisier 100’s and tipped their grinning bartender big.