My lifelong distrust of barroom and alcohol camaraderie has been forged by two experiences.
* Many years playing music in bars where I've witnessed firsthand how fleeting that camaraderie usually is.
* Hearing "I love you, Pat" slurred by those who, absent alcohol, have previously shown zero regard for me, let alone any wish for the camaraderie they now wish to extend.
So while having dinner alone at a bar recently, I surprised myself getting engaged with a stranger in the kind of barroom camaraderie I've always avoided. My first indication the interaction was going to go well? When he said "Cinderella Man" and "Saving Private Ryan" were two movies that "inspired" him.
Had things never gone beyond that superficial link, my suspicions about these interactions would have remained unchanged. But when he shared lessons his parents taught him, I was glad I'd remained open despite my initial reluctance; these lessons had the ring of truth and familiarity. No matter how fleeting my connection, can anyone ever hear these things too much?
"Take care of your own health so that you'll be able to take care of those you love."
"Find work you enjoy so you're happy about what you do each day."
"Live within your means".
Thanks for the company and the reminders, Sal.