“To Drink or not to drink…”

“Should I speculate on a stock, or take this windfall and put it in my kid’s college fund?”

“It’s really a great apartment but do I really want to piss away all that rent money? Shouldn’t I buy?”

“I’d definitely take a big hit in salary but this is a chance to get in on the ground floor. Isn’t it time to jump ship?”

All important questions, right? Serious questions freighted with import like many your friendly bartender has heard over the years. And will again. Ahh, but none to him carries more heady weight or serious drama in the outcome, than this exchange he’s apt to hear on a night.

“I don’t know, man, it’s up to you.”

“No, no, this is your call. You’re the one with the  curfew.”

“Hmmmmm… I don’t know… {long, long pause}… all right, how about this? How about one… more… drink. One and done! Then I gotta get home or my wife’s gonna’ have my ass. Sound good?”

Okay, okay, maybe I’ve overdone it. Maybe that doesn’t quite  measure up to the posers I stated earlier, the outcomes of which could really impact someone’s life. But believe me you’d never know it if you witnessed the depth of the furrow in curfew guy’s brow. From sheer deliberation. Why you’d think this man was the prisoner in “The Lady or the Tiger”. Which borders on the comical!

But just last week I had a similar situation with two suits talking it over, and overheard something I never thought I’d hear in my lifetime. Let alone in a bar!

Guy#1: “So whaddaya’ think? Should we have a final-final or wrap this thing up? I’m happy to have another but if I don’t get home pretty soon my wife’s gonna’ kill me.”

“Guy#2: “It’s up to you. Me I am fine with the time, the time is not important.”

Guy#1: “What… your wife doesn’t care?”

Guy#2: Of course my wife cares, in fact she rules me.”

Guy#1: “Meaning?”

Guy#2: “Meaning… (here he breaks into a smile)… she rules me with two simple things, patience and kindness.”

(It should be pointed out here that Guy #2 is from India, Guy#1 isn’t.)

Guy#1: “So what the hell does that mean, how does that work?”

Guy#2: “It means she is very aware that what I do can demand that I meet for a drink which might make me late, and that’s where her patience comes in. And because she displays that patience with such a sweet kindness, it makes me want to never abuse that privilege. It’s a very simple formula.” (Damn, I thought when I heard that, someone gimme’ a yoga mat to break my fall. This is sheer poetry!)

Guy#1: “Well, that may work for you, my friend, but my wife doesn’t have the patience part down so the kindness part doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell!”

Guy#2: “Then as I said, it’s your call.”

And the call was… they had that final-final, then each scurried off to his personal heaven or hell.

But wasn’t that something? The almost zen-like nature of that arrangement? Of those words? But then I really shouldn’t be surprised if I stop and think about it. For even though we shouldn’t make sweeping generalities in this “politically correct” society we’ve come to embrace (which I think is bullshit!), I can personally attest from personal experience, both inside the bar and out, that the people I’ve met who come from India almost without exception have been some of the sweetest, the most polite I’ve yet come across. And that’s just a fact. Like the Irish can spin a great yarn and most Italians emote more passion than fifteen of me. Which I think is great. I mean who wants to switch to homogenized milk when the world “could’a had a V-8” to soak up this life? Not me. And that said, why not that very same sweetness I mentioned alive and well and thriving in that Indian household? No surprise here!

And why not the same for Guy#1 you might ask? Well perhaps he abuses that late night privilege which kills any patience in his wife, ergo any slight chance of a kindness to follow. No surprise there!

And so it goes…

See ya’ next week-end, dear reader, and until such time let’s all try some patience and kindness. Even I might!

12 Responses to ““To Drink or not to drink…””

  1. 1 Donna B. November 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    ~~I’d like to buy the world a v-8~~

  2. 2 Pharm Sci Grad November 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    That’s just awesome. 🙂

  3. 3 scribbler50 November 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Donna B: Me too, and a giant sundae with thirty eight distinct flavors.

    Sci Grad: Hey, welcome back, we’ve missed you. And thanks!

  4. 4 Jennifer November 6, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Ahem, and what about those wives who are out for a business/stress-reducing drink? 🙂

    I’ve been on both ends of that equation. Not abusing either end is the way to go.

  5. 5 scribbler50 November 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Jennifer: Of COURSE the same thing applies, this clearly wasn’t a story about “the little woman”. Gender had nothing to do with it, this just happened to have occurred between two guys.
    So enjoy your drinks and get yourself home on time! 🙂

  6. 6 Jennifer November 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Oh I know, I just like busting your chops. 🙂

  7. 7 Anonymoustache November 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Great stuff, bro. I think that is the only way it really should/will work on any consistent or long term basis….a mature relationship wherein one does not abuse trust/promises/time and reciprocally doesn’t get undue grief for time spent away…I am reminded of Khalil Gibran on marriage in ‘The Prophet’ where he writes (and I’m just quoting snippets here) “…let there be spaces in your togetherness….the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow…”

  8. 8 scribbler50 November 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Anonymoustache: No, “great stuff” to you, you really outdid yourself this week, my friend. Thanks for that beautiful comment.

  9. 9 JSaw November 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Anonymoustache has it exactly right.

    When did the issue of togetherness and marriage come to mean that you had to spend every waking hour together? I blame reality TV and their saccharine notions of fairytale weddings… such as Kim Kardhasian’s “I didn’t get married to make $17 million” debacle.

  10. 10 scribbler50 November 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

    JSaw: Though I obviously agree with your overall point which Anonymoustache made beautifully clear, I’m not sure how to respond to your follow up point. The part about spending “every waking hour together”. Because no one’s really saying that, it’s more about respecting your spouse in the time you’re apart. That’s all.

    And as far as reality TV is concerned,.. in the immortal words of Buddy Young (Billy Crystal’s character in “Mr. Saturday Night), “Don’t get me started!”
    Thanks JSaw

  11. 11 brenda cullerton November 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    OK Scrib, I’d say that might be true for SOME indians. However, their widows were still burning themselves to death on their husband’s funeral pyres, fifty years ago. And few men in India today will marry a woman without a dowry. So, sure they respect their mates. But I’m just saying… smiley face here.

  12. 12 scribbler50 November 10, 2011 at 1:39 am

    brenda: What can I say, my friend? I can only speak for those I have met in America. From my experiences. But I appreciate you weighing in with that… er-ah… two ton truck! (Smiley face here!)

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