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Friday, 19 February 2016

But I Didn't Know Her

A normal end to a night in a cabaret bar. Close to 3:30am when the lights come on. A beautiful girl caught my eye...

I was alone at a table but I knew enough people there who know my name, that I didn’t feel alone at all. The music was loud and there were some diverse faces I’d never seen, seemingly seeking company for their stay, in a hotel up the road.
There was a convention or conference in town, that was mentioned to me by a sweet lady who gave me her business card earlier. It seemed a multicultural event and she had mentioned her public speaking and poetry she shared. After finishing up conversation with her before she left and inviting her to open mic the next night, I sat observing the crowd.

Watching people flirt and interpreting body language between strangers has always been a fascinating experience for me. There was a ton of it going on, in high volume and velocity. The sweet high pitched giggles of drunk females and charming yet foolish looking, puffed out chested males flaunting every attractive feature they knew that they had.

Then I heard one girl, (seemingly angry) call out to her friend or what seemed to be her friend. The two started a conversation, 3 feet away but the music drowned their words along with all the excited chatter around the bar. It was a short exchange but from what I could tell, the first girl was mad and was acting in a very dramatic way. It seemed that she was being unreasonable. Her friend calmly listened to what she said and brushed it off before the angry girl stormed away.

I watched the calm girl walk toward the bar, in her heels and dress. She had impressed me. Not just by looking like a full fledged fashion model with great hair, emanating the aura of sparkles and flowers but how she handled the confrontation. Totally composed however, I could tell she was very under the influence of alcohol.
I have gotten pretty good at figuring out when people should say no to their next shot from serving alcohol and being around it a lot. Watching her walk toward the bar with so many men on the prowl, felt like watching a cat, walk a tightrope, over a pit of snarling wolves.

But I didn’t know her.   

So I continued to focus from afar. I watched a friend of mine buy her a shot. A good person. I felt somewhat relieved that he had gotten to her first. He seemed to know her already and swooped her into friendly conversation.

But I didn’t stop checking.

She was smiling when she went outside. The lights were on in the bar so everyone had funnelled out. Outside, my friend had stopped a cab to bring her back to his place. She was in a state of mind that seemed beyond drunk and likely in the black out phase.
She was repeating herself about not wanting to go home with anyone, arguing that she did not want to get in the cab.
My friend who is a reasonable, good fellow, explained she could stay on the couch and that he didn’t live far, so it was the best option but she repeatedly refused. He lost patience, he got in the cab and went home.

Now no one she knew was left, not that I could tell. She was by herself, drunk, having trouble standing. I waited a minute for her to catch her balance and watched her wobble on the sidewalk.
An older gentleman walked over and asked if she needed a place to stay. She ignored him. I wasn’t sure if she heard what he said or was just pretending he wasn’t there. I walked over and introduced myself immediately.
I asked her if she had a way home. She was mumbling. I told her I have a safe place she can go and explained that we should leave that area at least, because I’d seen some creeps around. She agreed. As I walked with her toward my place, which was only a few blocks, I realized my husband may be sleeping and had to work the next day. So I took the time to try and reason with her, about going to the friends place that she had turned down.

Once I’d told her that I would be there and stay as long as she wanted, that there were couches and assured her she could get some safe rest before heading home, she agreed.

It was then that the last shot hit her. Coming down a small but steep hill, she no longer could walk. So I carried her to my best ability. We got to my friends place and put her on the couch. There were several people there who seemed to know her and were happy I’d gone out of my way to help her, including my friend who seemed to genuinely care about her well being.
I was relieved to say the least. I stayed there and waited while she slept. I knew she was in no danger but I felt compelled to honour the agreement I had made with her, even if she didn’t remember making it.
In the end all was well. She had a great nap, in a safe place, among caring friends and I went on my way.

But it could have been different.

We have all seen this sort of situation at one point or another. Someone under the influence who gets confused and left behind by their friends.

People tend to look out for those they know but when it comes to strangers we tend to brush them off. It doesn’t cost you to be kind when it comes to checking in, to see if someone has a safe way home.

This is not the first time nor the last that I have done this and I really think it is important especially for women to look out for one another. It is not primarily a problem for just females but it is statistically more dangerous for them.
On that night she refused the offer from my male friend and many girls tend to do that to males, who are genuinely trying to help. Women sometimes are skeptical of a man's intentions and it is very right to be cautious in these situations, especially with copious amounts of alcohol involved.

I was more than happy to help this lovely lady that night. I hope my story inspires others to reach out and be kind to others and reminds women that we all need to be there to help one another. You never know, someday you could be in a similar situation and need that from someone else.
There are also male predators and we have all heard stories of women being drugged by strange men and taken advantage of. That is something that should be considered when you see a woman acting wobbly, in or around a bar at night.

I have seen an attitude of some people in bars, where they look down on people who are very drunk in comparison to them. Often they will point those people out and laugh at them or judge them. Ultimately we are all people, we are all human and when someone is having a hard time you should never look down on them.

The only time you should look down on a person is when you are helping them get up
- Jesse Jackson


What I have to add:
Whether you know them or not.
-Wendy The JukeBox Ninja   

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