I’m going to go out on a limb here and declare that embarrassing moments happen to everyone. If you get lucky it really is a moment and it passes quickly and only a few people witness it and hopefully they are equally embarrassed to the point that they will keep it on the DL. Sometimes people are not that lucky.
And by people I mean me.
The thing is this. After a certain age one is no longer supposed to behave in certain ways. Apparently. And this means that one must be a little more careful if one is thinking that they may end up behaving in those ways. It has been suggested that when someone faces one of the Big Three Catastrophes in life (loss of a partner, job, home) they get quite a bit of slack. Like, histrionics and mood swings and being generally irrational and bitchy are okay. Suddenly, behaving in ways that are no longer age-appropriate also get a pass.
Like much of life, this is good and bad.
As has been well documented, I had an unplanned professional change this summer. Of the tumultuous and devastating twelve days in which I was unhinged about work, the first few were logically the worst. The first two days I went into total shut-down. Day three I decided I would venture out with a now-former coworker and drown my sorrows. Or something.
And out we went. I was supposed to treat him, but for reasons mostly out of my control (and budget) he paid. The evening was funny and enlightening, and then quickly moved into the phase I would call “¿Quién sabe?” for obvious reasons. However, there were some people who did “sabe”.
Piecing the evening together the next day, a couple of events stood out. Most of the details I won’t bore you with in order to protect the innocent. (Who are we kidding, it is to protect me.) One event that did stand out was the fact that we had dined-drank-and-dashed from a bar that I frequent quite regularly. And is across the street from my house. On arriving at this insight, I knew I had to remedy this ASAP. Through a swift series of assisted machinations, the situation was sorted out. Paid in full with cold hard cash money and a significant amount of my remaining self-respect.
Fast forward a few weeks. I am crossing the street and I hear someone yell, “You really shouldn’t run out on your bar tabs in a town this small!” Not even clocking that this was aimed at me initially, I turned to look. Several people looked around wondering who the kid was yelling at. Absent my glasses, it was not clear who had said it but as I scanned the possibilities it was clear. I recognized Gabe immediately and only shock prevented me from yelling something back. Clearly, he is unaware of the actual facts of the situation. Or maybe he is just immature.
(415) Maturity can suck my dick.*
As I was filling up with self-righteous indignation, I considered my options. Was I going to have to go into this place and explain to every single person who worked there that, yes, I had done something stupid, and that yes, I had been horrified by it the next day, but that OBVIOUSLY I had taken care of it? Should I run after the little shit and explain it to him and also mention that being a really loud jackass when you are an easily recognized local bartender is also not that smart in a town this small? What to do, what to do…
Maturity won out this time, or perhaps it was my inability to see where he went… The reality is I am going to have to face this kid again at some point. And I am going to have to be all mature about it. Especially because the antics I pulled were totally inappropriate for someone of my “maturity,” regardless of a whole truckload of circumstances that all my friends used to justify/rationalize/excuse/ameliorate my behavior and he is nowhere near deserving enough to know. But I am not happy about it and it is going to take a tremendous amount of personal restraint. I am going to have to act my bloody age.
Until then, I am just gonna bitch about it on my blog.
And stick to the Latin American Club.
*This is an actual text I received last night. I am saving it FOREVER.