When I arrived, he was all smiles. We hugged, he grabbed his beer—he had been fashionably early—and we made for a table. I reached into my purse to make sure my phone was turned off and noticed that a two-pound lump of Italian leather was missing. I had left my wallet at the store. I had to retrieve it. He offered to go for me, then offered to go with me, and then offered money for a cab. Embarrassed, I turned him down on all accounts and went back to the store, leaving my bags behind.
Fortunately and unfortunately, this happens a lot at this store. The manager takes lost wallets, handbags, cell phones, keys and other sundries back to his closet-sized office for safekeeping. And then, in this one very specific case, he goes to grab a bite to eat. Unfortunately, this was a few years ago when cell phones were not quite as ubiquitous, so I was informed that I'd just have to wait and consider myself "lucky" that he was coming back that night. I waited and texted Sean. He had moved back to the bar, feeling guilty to have a waitress serve him just beer. When the manager returned, he also told me how lucky I was that he was back that night: jackass. But the mission was accomplished and it wasn't even 9 o'clock. Drinking On A Date: How Much Is Too Much?
I hustled back to Paddy O'Stereotype's in something that could be described as a huff, very aware that I was starting to sweat. When I arrived, the bartender that had been chatting with Sean started laughing and patted him on the arm. Sean drained the rest of his pint glass and made his way over. "Are you still cool with this place? Do you mind if we get something to eat? I haven't eaten since lunch," he asked. As I'm about to suggest we get a couple of burgers, my phone rings. It's time to pay the piper.