Lessons learned at the bar today.
1. Man up. If you messed up, let people effected by and concerned with your behavior know that you realize you screwed up and that you apologize for your behavior. Don’t wait around. Talk to everyone you think might have been effected.
2. We all have a responsibility to check each other at the bar. It does not matter that some or most of us have gone on drunken benders in the past. It does not matter if we're all friends with an otherwise high tolerance for drunken shenanigans. If one of our number is out of line, regardless of who that person is and regardless of our own past nutty drunk actions, it's the responsibility of those of us "still in line" to check that person. A good rule of thumb is this: if the action would get you tossed out of any other bar, then the person in question needs to be checked. This does not automatically mean a confrontation; a request for help from the bartender or door person works just fine.
3. Speak your mind. If someone wrongs you or wrongs someone you care about, speak up. It does not matter if they're drunk, belligerent or sure to respond negatively: speak your mind without delay. However, don't sweat the small stuff; only something that well and truly bothers you requires the effort to speak your peace. And when you do speak your mind, be simple, direct and honest. Don't look to start a fight—instead state the facts and your feelings. Don't fear consequences. Get it off your chest and be clear about it. The bar will support you in the long run.
I'm glad I learned these lessons and I'm thankful to the people who taught them to me tonight. To tell you the truth I'd pretty much determined I wasn't going on the Flugtag trip later this month, but now I'm feeling enthused again. Because of tonight I'm not turned off on the idea of going on the trip like I'd felt the past couple days.
As for the particulars of why these lessons were learned: no need to discuss that. I'd very much like to give you the reader some context—and in just about any other bar situation I would—but not this time because it's too close to me and others. Thus, there's no need for names.
You know who you are and you both mean a lot to me. Thanks.
Other random thoughts and notes in no particular order:
Thanks to Devito for coming down to see if I was at the bar today. I'm sorry I all but abandoned you like as soon as I got in the door and that I couldn't make time tonight to do some serious foosball training (you really need to level that table anyway -- it totally favors the home team in my not so humble opinion) but we can make up for lost time in the near future.
I'm looking forward to George Clinton this Friday and possibly a room with a view just prior to the show. Thanks you-know-who (no, not Voldermort) for the Friday invite.
Thanks to Christian for squaring away the Flugtag trip plans.
@Erin A.: On Sunday you told me that you read my blog and really enjoy what I write. I responded that I hadn't written in awhile and my tone came off somewhat accusatory, as though I were implying you actually hadn't read the blog recently because that would not have been possible due to the scarcity of posts.
You paused, then said you did in fact like the stuff of mine I had written.
I'd like to take this chance to apologize. When I said I hadn't written much of late, I meant it as more of an apology/excuse and not as a "Aha! Caught you!" type of accusation. You see I felt bad for not writing regular, consistent posts to the blog after having earned the privilege of good people like you taking the time to read what I write.
Your praise means all the world to me and I really do appreciate your taking the time to check in on the blog.
One last thing: Tanisha, thank you very much for poring a beer and handing it to me in person. I hope you know it's a real privilege to receive that kind of service and I don't take it for granted.