Beyond all of our crazy costumes I shared yesterday, something strange happened this weekend.
And since, I've been questioning my response.
I was sitting in the base Lodge after skiing and chatting with a father of six near the large fireplace I love.
He's new to staying home with the kids while his wife works and I mentioned the fact of my overflowing hamper.
He said, "Please do not mention the word hamper."
We bonded over masses of laundry.
While we chatted, I heard some voices getting louder and looked up toward the bar.
A woman was facing the bartender while he held what looked like a mudslide in front of him.
He said - It's $6.75. If you can find that, I'll give you the drink.
She was rummaging in her bag and I recognized her.
We've had maybe three short conversations in passing over the last few months.
Without a thought, I jumped up and grabbed my wallet and tossed six dollars at the bartender.
I've got it.
I looked over at my acquaintance and she was holding back tears.
She wouldn't meet my eyes.
I said- Hey, I can buy you a drink.
She said- This is humiliating.
And tears fell.
Then I glanced at the money she had there. It was six dollars with some change. He tossed my five back at me.
This will cover it. He held up the one.
I thought- He should have just given it to her. She was within a few quarters.
And then she grabbed the drink and walked away.
She didn't look at me. Didn't thank me. Just shook her head.
Now here's the thing. I'm a girl often without cash. My wallet can sometimes be found in my diaper bag with Little Bear in child care and I will be thrilled if I find a few bucks in my pocket.
Or if somewhere takes cash only, this can be a bad thing for me.
I am ATM card girl.
So, I didn't think anything about helping out. I thought it was the right thing to do.
Had someone done that for me, my response would have been- Cool, thanks! I'll get you next time.
But, hers was nothing like that and I wondered if I'd overstepped somehow.
If assuming everyone else would react like me was wrong.
Would she had been less humiliated if I'd stayed seated and averted my gaze?
I don't know what kind of circumstances provoked her emotional response, but I worry that I somehow made it all worse.
What would you do in that situation?