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Woman with asthma skips BF's play because of smoke, he says 'this means a lot to me.'

Woman with asthma skips BF's play because of smoke, he says 'this means a lot to me.'


Supporting your partner in their creative endeavors is a crucial part of a loving relationship. But with the complications of life, it doesn't always work out as simply as you'd like. Missing a partner's important performance can create disappointment and drive an emotional wedge, but sometimes, it's a fact of life.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for skipping her boyfriend's play because there's smoking in it.

She wrote:

AITA for not attending a play that my BF is in because there is smoking in it?

My BF (27M) and I (26F) have been dating for 2 years. He works full time but he's also an amateur actor, which is his true passion. I've seen him in a couple small community plays since we've been dating, but he's always had smaller parts. Recently, he landed a leading role in a play put on by a much larger local production company and I couldn't be happier or more proud of him.

He's very excited about it too, obviously. They've been rehearsing 3-4 nights a week for almost a month now and opening night is set for 3 weeks from this coming Friday. He's been working his butt off and I can tell how much this means to him. But I started noticing that he was coming home from rehearsals reeking of cigarette smoke.

Now, my BF doesn't smoke and if he did we wouldn't be together because I have severe asthma and smoking is a huge trigger. So, I asked him about it and he said that some of his cast mates smoke, but that there is also smoking in the play. He said the director wants to be as authentic to the source material as possible and some of the characters smoke cigarettes throughout the play.

I honestly didn't even think that sort of thing was allowed anymore, but apparently our state allows indoor smoking if it's part of a play or performance as long as there are written statements on any advertising and promotions. I asked my BF how much smoking is in the play and he said it's not constant, but it's quite prevalent.

I asked him if they plan to have any performances that are smoke-free and he said not that he's aware of. I asked him if that's something he could talk to the director about and he said it's not his place to question the creative vision of a director. I told him if that's the case, I won't be able to come watch it because of my asthma.

He immediately got defensive and started trying to reason with me by saying that the theatre is pretty big and well-ventilated and he doesn't care if I sit way in the back as far from the stage as possible, he just wants me to be there. I told him I can't risk jeopardizing my health and that it's not my fault that his director is so behind the times that they are putting on a play that allows for indoor smoking.

It's 2023, why is that even a thing anymore? I told him that I would obviously come support him if there wasn't smoking involved, but I can't risk damaging my lungs.

I told him that I would of course come and watch the next play he's in and he snapped 'But what if there isn't another play? What if this is the last leading role I get? Tomorrow is promised to nobody and this means a lot to me and it would mean even more for you to be there.'

I told him he's being dramatic and that my long-term health is more important to me than a play. I do feel bad that I won't be able to see him act in his first leading role, but it's not worth it to me to be around indoor smoking for 2 hours.

The post received a lot of responses.

AbroadAgitated2740 wrote:

Honestly, I struggle to imagine a situation where a few people smoking on stage would create enough smoke that it could trigger someone's asthma in the back row. I'm not saying its impossible, but if you can walk around in public without constant asthma attacks, you can tolerate a freaking theater production like this.

'I told him he's being dramatic and that my long-term health is more important to me than a play.'

It's sad that you think so little of your BF's weeks of hard work.

YTA. I mean, at least try to go. Bring a bunch of preparations and if you start to get seriously worried then step out.

QuinGood wrote:

YTA. Get a mask, N95 and wear it to the performance. Sit in the back. During intermission, go outside away from other people, take off the mask & breathe fresh air. Good luck.

badgerux wrote:

Am I high? Have people voting Y T A never met asthmatics? Is this director coked out of his mind? As an asthmatic AND someone who’s done lots of community theatre, NTA.

Formerretailmom wrote:

NTA: Stage cigarettes do exist. I’m honestly surprised this is allowed. I don’t have asthma, but I’m extremely sensitive to smells. I don’t think I could watch performance there. Even if it’s not that performance. Even with good ventilation, cigarette smell lingers.

springanixi wrote:

Smoking indoors is wildly unhealthy and everyone saying Y T A can go suck on a muffler. Do the people coming to this play know indoor smoking will be happening? And N95 masks ARE NOT EFFECTIVE against smoke or gases (takes about 5s on google to find THAT).

'It is more authentic'... Yes well, it is a play, and if you cannot manage to suspend the audience's disbelief for the amount of time it takes to perform, then the production crew isn't doing it right.

Clearly, the internet is divided.

Sources: Reddit
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