Choices

Posted on Monday 24 May 2010

It was his 75th birthday. His 75th birthday dinner date had cancelled on him three weeks ago. My great guy and I finally had one full day off together on his 75th birthday. We had an opportunity to go fishing on our one day off together on his 75th birthday.

“Is there a birthday boy in the house?” I asked, cake in hand, squinting as my eyes adjusted from the bright sunlight to the darkness of the local bar in which I’d never stepped foot.

He waved from one side of the bar, where he sat alone.

For the next two and a half hours, we sat, playing bar bingo and buying him drinks. We sang “Happy Birthday” to him. We cut the cake and served it to the handful of other patrons.

We’d go fishing together on another day.

***

I offered to work a double because I needed money. The second half of the double was a fundraiser for a local who needed help with medical bills.

“Buy a raffle ticket?”

“Have you signed up for anything in the silent auction?”

“How about a T-shirt for $10?”

I couldn’t mix a drink or pour a beer without one of the hundreds of people in attendance asking me for money. Every time they asked, I fretted about how much I could part with. I didn’t want to part with any of it because I wanted to make rent and my car payment next week, and pay the three overdue student loans I had ignored for 10 days.

“Here, this is for you,” he said as I handed him two drinks and he handed me two dollars.

“Thanks!” I said, folding the two bills and shoving them in my pocket instead of my tip jar at the other end of the bar, because five other people behind him needed drinks.

An hour later, as the fundraiser was winding down, I remembered the tip in my pocket. As I unfolded the bills, I noticed one was a $1 bill and the other was a $50. A gift or a mistake? Mine to keep or his to have back, if I could even find him again?

The fundraiser organizer approached the bar at that moment, asking for a glass of ice water.

“Here,” I said, giving her the $50. “For the cause.”

I think the money will ultimately get to the right person.

***

Recent, random days of seemingly mundane choices. On many such days, I am sure I ignore many opportunities to do right–not because I don’t want to, but because I feel that I simply cannot.

I’m hoping this past weekend allowed me to put some money back in my conscience account.

7 Comments for 'Choices'

  1.  
    A Texas Fan
    May 24, 2010 | 4:11 pm
     

    RG, sometimes when you cannot, it simply means that your turn comes around later because you have to take care of yourself so that you can do for others.

  2.  
    gabrielle
    May 24, 2010 | 6:52 pm
     

    Good girl!

  3.  
    Restaurant Gal
    May 25, 2010 | 8:43 am
     

    Texas Fan–I guess. But sometimes I wonder if you have to give a little, even when it hurts a little, to really, really do the right thing now and then. Good to hear from you.

    gabrielle–Thanks, but you know, I kinda wish I still had that $50. Okay, not really. Well, actually, yes. And that’s just being a dumb human, I guess. Thanks for checking in.

  4.  
    May 26, 2010 | 1:33 am
     

    But it was your tip, to make up for the rest of the world at times. But nice move.

  5.  
    mags
    May 26, 2010 | 2:12 pm
     

    nice!

  6.  
    maureen
    May 27, 2010 | 4:10 pm
     

    You know it really is true. sometimes the best way to feel better is to give to someone else.

  7.  
    May 30, 2010 | 1:50 am
     

    BIWX,
    I’m impressed. I love random acts of kindness and tip my hat to you.

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