Let’s toast to…The Only Thing You Don’t Get Back

 

As a bartender not only do you start to get “regulars,” you’d be surprised how you know what kind of mood your “regular” is in as soon as they walk in the door.

I didn’t see when she came in and when I looked up she was sitting in the corner, head down, with all black on.  I instantly tried to cheer her up and said…”HEY! What’s the matter?” “Is everything okay?”

She said, “No. My friend died.” “And I can’t get, I mean….. go to his funeral.” I immediately grabbed a Corona and started making her a Long Island Iced Tea, (those were her usuals) but out of confusion I asked, “WHY you can’t go?” “You need a ride?”

She shook her head and the tears started streaming down her face. I gave her a minute, walked away, and came back over when she waved me towards her direction.

She said, “My friend hadn’t been over my house for 3 days.”
“I kept calling and calling him, but he would not answer.” “Finally his daughter picked up the phone and told me he had a heart attack.” “The funeral is…was today.”

I was lost. I couldn’t follow her at all. And I didn’t want to keep prying, but my curiousity forced me to ask her AGAIN, ” So why you ain’t go?”

Still crying, she said…..”Because his daughter never called me back with the information.” “And his friend, who I knew longer than him gonna tell ME he don’t think it’s a good idea that I go.”

I guess my face said everything. Something else was going on, but before I could ask she started rambling: “25 years.” “Yeah, I knew he was married….but he wasn’t staying with his wife.” “I even met his daughter.” “He was my friend.” “How she just gonna lock me out like that?”

GOD forgive me, but I wanted to ask this woman (who is 66) ARE YOU CRAZY? WHY do you think his daughter would give you the information to her dad’s funeral to come sit with her, her mother, and the rest of his FAMILY?

Instead, I just kept listening. But my “about to lose it” clock was ticking and I felt myself counting down….5.

She spoke about how much they loved each other. How good of a man he was. How much they used to talk. And how they used to have a great time together……4 AND 3.

I just shook my head. I didn’t shake it like I understood though, it was more of a “You was buggin” shake; And I guess she sensed that because she asked me how old I was.

I told her, then she said….”You don’t understand.”

She went on about how when you’re lonely. And how when you spend so much time with a person yall understand one another…etc., And all I kept saying was Lord, please don’t let this lady say nothing else cause I’m at 2; And then BOOM! She said it…

“And then you start to understand a man BETTER than HIS WIFE.”

BETTER THAN HIS WIFE? Okay ONE!!!!!

I knew it wasn’t the thing for me to say BEFORE I said it…but I couldn’t help it. I was like my brain couldn’t tell my mouth to stop until after I blurted out:

“No disrespect, but I don’t like women who see married men.”

She stared at me as if she saw a ghost. I couldn’t take it back. Honestly, I didn’t want to. And I’m not cold hearted, but I was angry at the way she tried to validate her relationship with him.

After about 10 seconds of silence, she just looked at me again and said…”You don’t understand.”  She asked for her bill, paid it, left me a tip, and I haven’t seen her since.

Maybe I didn’t understand. But what I felt I needed to understand was sitting right in front me. A 66 year old woman, crying her eyes out over another woman’s HUSBAND…and 25 years out of her life GONE; with nothing to show for it. She couldn’t even go to his FUNERAL!!!!

You know, women always talk about men who cheat, but what about women who cheat? Women that mess with married men do the worse kind of cheating too, because ultimately she cheats HERSELF!

And YES! I’ll be the first to say…there are some fun, fine azz, easy to talk to, married men out there, but NO THANK YOU! And not because I’m married….but because I refuse to give undeserving people the one thing in life you can’t get back: TIME!

Cheers!
HB

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