Dear White Sweater Man,
When you danced on stage by yourself, shaking your money maker in your faded acid wash jeans and red underwear showing it was as if you were the showboating hockey player that skates by the opposition’s bench, shooting your stick in the air after a goal. You needed to be put on your assets and I sincerely wanted to do this.
You buzzed around the room, touching members of my cohort, attempting to engage them in conversation. You were the hockey player that swats & blocks the goalie during and after the face off in the defensive zone. I wanted to sweater you, several times. It was only my sense of decorum and decency that stopped me.
Walking past me, I caught your eye. It was then that I saw you as the washed up hockey player attempting to grasp onto the fleeting final minutes of the final game of your career. You scanned the room as you ordered another drink, looking for something. I spoke to the bartender and asked about you. You are a regular, you often drink alone and you are a “friendly drunk”. As a former bartender & bouncer, I wanted to help you leave the bar with your dignity rather than have you escorted out by a 40 something woman.
Asking “when does he normally leave”, the bartender answered with “whenever you want him gone” and suddenly he was gone. Like a referee ejecting a player from after a fight or match penalty, the issue was now resolved.
I have reflected on this situation several times over the past week. His hands touching my fellow attendee’s shoulder, him leaning in too close for comfort to chat to my friends, and the various fake yet polite smiles on the party-goers faces as they waited for him to leave them alone.
I should not have been passive, I should have acted sooner. I should have chatted and asked him if he needed a ride home instead of letting him drive or walk home in the snow. I should have insisted that the bartender cut him off but I didn’t. It sounds so Canadian, by I am now sorry for my reaction, I know am a better person than this. I needed to be the person to help, not spew hatred or exhibit anger.
White Sweater Man, I hope you get the help you need. You obviously are searching for something that is missing in your life. Next time, I will not hesitate. Next time, I will be the person my parents raised in the right way and offer my help whether you want it or not.