h2>Dating : The Little Events and Experiences That Subconsciously Make Us Who We Are
Some time ago, I was sitting in a bar when a man walked in with a boy of about five years old. He firmly told him to have a seat on one of the chairs just off to the side of the main bar, where he was ordering a shot and a beer.
This was the bar I wasted the better part of my twenties in, a neighborhood dive where I knew practically everyone, bartenders included.
I say this, not to convince you of my popularity but to let you know this wasn’t the first time I had seen this man bring this kid in the bar and make him sit there silent and bored while he drank shots and beers.
Initially, I wasn’t completely bothered by the fact he brought a kid in the bar but the half scared half sad look in the innocent kid’s eyes compelled me to act — even if only in a small way.
I gave him a big friendly smile and hello, as to try and make him more at ease. It worked, he smiled. The bar had arcade games and a candy machine, I gave him a dollar so he could go play a game or get a snack while the man drank.
His old man who was paying the kid no attention prior to me giving him the dollar, by the way, immediately got his attention and demanded he “put the money away, to save”. You could visually see the joy and excitement leave this kid’s face as the man said it — and this infuriated me beyond belief.
However, rather than react and give the man a piece of my complex and over opinionated mind, I figured the solution was to simply give the kid another buck for games or a treat. Or really anything that didn’t involve him putting a single dollar away “for his future”.
The kid thanked me with a huge smile and scurried in the direction of the machines — as we both feared what may happen next. And we were right, the man snagged the kid on his way and told him to put that dollar away too.
The kid listened without hesitation. As unfair as it was, the kid did what he was told in a manner so adherent, it was as if he knew what would happen when they left if he didn’t.
Now, I was legitimately mad and I’m almost positive the only thing that stopped me from saying something to the man was the kid’s presence.
As badly as I wanted to, it could have potentially turned ugly quickly and with the kid there I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I also considered the possibility the man would just take it out on the kid somehow someway later, as many abusive alcoholics do. It was just the vibe I got.
After I gave him the second dollar, the man quickly finished his drink, gathered the kid and made his exit. He looked like he was in a hurry, all of a sudden.
It was right then I was certain, the kid wasn’t going to get to spend a single cent of the two dollars I gave him. His old man was going to spend it on beer or liquor — and there was nothing within reason and civil legal bounds I could do about it.
They returned about fifteen minutes later — and I knew precisely what had to be done. I made my way down to the snack machine myself, bought a king-sized Twix and a bag of Cheetos. I made my way towards the man and kid and whether coincidental or not, they made their way out the door.
Oh no you don’t, old man. Not today, not on my watch.
I followed them out the door like a man on a mission and got the kid’s attention to give him his well-deserved snack.
They thanked me, I looked the man in the eye, as to let him know, I knew. I shook his hand, said bye to the boy and made my way back inside. I guess I just felt like the good guys needed a win that day. The innocent and voiceless needed someone to stand up for them and I tasked myself with it, happily.