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If You Were In The Same Situation, What Would You Have Said?
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If You Were In the Same Situation, What Would You Have Said?

So last night I went to the grocery store. It was the store's anniversary so they had these amazing deals. I ended up saving over 50% on groceries, just on sales alone (i.e. without using coupons!).

At check out, my bag boy asked if I'd like help taking the bags to my car. Normally my American mindset would have said, "No, thanks. I can get it." But this time I said, "Yeah, that would be great." You see I'm trying to work on not being so independent; if someone offers me some help, I want to be able to say, "Yes." So I did in this case. Btw, it also helped to give him that sort of response since I'm 9 months pregnant!

As we wheeled through the automatic doors, the young man asked me, "When's your baby due?" I replied, "May 22, very soon; really any day." He said, "Oh, May 19th is my Birthday." I then asked, "How old will you be?" He said, "18."

After a second passed, I asked him, as I turned his way to make eye contact, "Got any special plans?" He thought for a brief moment and then said, "I think I'm gonna go to my friend's house and drink and spend the night . . . cause I don't wanna, you know, drink and drive."

At these words, many thoughts ran through my head. Most of all, I was thinking, "What should I say?"

What should I say . . . the question of the day? What would you have said?

Thankfully, without much pause, I turned his way again with a nod and said, "It's best to stay sober." He didn't say anything, which I didn't expect him to. I just quickly shot off another line, "I remember my 18th birthday . . . I think. It was a looong time ago. On May 31st, I'll be 29." He said, "You don't look that old." I said, "The years fly!"

By this time, the groceries were in the trunk. I began to close the hatch, smiled at him and gave a hardy, "Have a great Birthday." He smiled and responded, "You too."

Why did this boy tell me this? Perhaps he thought I was about his age, certainly he didn't think I was almost 29! Is this how a lot of kids spend their 18th birthday, or is this just a Midwest, U.S. trend? I don't know.

Afterward, I got in the car, prayed for the boy and headed home. I really don't know if I said the right words, but I said what came to mind. If you were in the same situation . . . what would you have said?


Street Talk

LOL< I am with rob way down the list there. Former drinker turned dry. I would have said be careful and do not drive. kids will be kids, and I am from the mid west and know that the norm is to hang one on. least this kid is aware of not driving. I remember my 18th birthday well. I went to the local bar that I had been drinking at for 2 years, and told the owner it was my 18th birthday. At that time the drinking age here was 18. he was not happy with me. :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yeah, Shawn, I'm also from the mid-west. Quite the story about your 18th b-day. Thanks for reading:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Nice article. Life! You did well! It does seem to be a society expectation. "The" way to spend one's adult birthday, whether it be 18 or 21. You pointed out it's not necessary -- as good a response as any other words. But you just used five! Five's easy to remember. Five's easy to act on. Five words in which you may have changed a life.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for these words, Cynthia. It reminds me of how a friend once said 6 words to me that have had a lasting impact; never have forgot them. Drinking does seem to be some what of an expectation, as you said . . . . Thanks again, Cynthia:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks Penny! Those 6 words and your friend have had a lasting impact - I'm happy for you. Now you've likely passed it forward.

  
  about 9 years ago

Yes, Cynthia, to one person I have passed on those 6 words.

  
  about 9 years ago

One person matters!

  
  about 9 years ago
Johnney  

Shoulda, coulda, woulda, seems to apply to so much of life. Who knows what to say, when, especially to a stranger. Not that we shouldn't care enough about our fellow man, or boy in this case. Is 18 a legal drinking age where you live, I know it's not here. I probably would have said something to the effect of.... " Well, I hope you have a subscription to the "How to Drink Responsibly Digest" because there can be some dire consequences to doing it wrong. Oh and especially if you're underage. And if you are underage, your friends parents can suffer the effects as well, even if they don't drink, or even if they are not home at the time. So, happy birthday and be responsible, whatever you do." But that's just me, a guy who turned 18 way yyyy back when the legal drinking age was 18 and somehow managed to live another day, and no I didn't have a subscription at that time.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

21 is the legal age here, and I had no idea the drinking age was at one time 18; was that in the U.S.?

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Johnney  

Yes, if you consider Texas to be part of the U.S. (lol) and that was as many years ago as you will become on May 31st. Happy Birthday btw. I got a real chuckle when you said to the young man "I remember my 18th birthday . . . I think. It was a looong time ago. On May 31st, I'll be 29." He said, "You don't look that old." I said, "The years fly!" You're right they do fly, sometimes faster than the speed of life itself, it seems. There's a Kenny Chesney song about a man turning 100 and the man is asked if he has any advice for living such a long life and his reply is "Don't Blink" so true and I'll soon only be 1/2 a century. Don't know if you're into country music at all, but another great song by Trace Adkins called "You're Gonna Miss That" hold your babies close when you listen to that one. Cheers!

  
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for your words, Johnney. Yes, every now and then I do listen to country. So Texas used to be 18; how bout that! I learned something from you, thank you:)

  
  about 9 years ago
AJ  

Penny, I probably would have been blunt "aren't you a little young to drink?", but then I seem to put my foot in my mouth a lot. I think you said it best!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

lol

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks, AJ:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yep, I think you said the right thing! Of course, there is no wrong! ;-)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Yeah, it's all hypothetical at this point . . .could have said this or could have said that. It was an interesting situation I found myself in . . . and I thought I could share it with you all. Thanks for reading and responding, Heather:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I probably would have told the poor kid about me being an alcoholic, dry for 23 years, and told him of the dangers, but then who listens to one that admits to being a lush in the past.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Rob, dry for 23 years. That's amazing. Thank you for sharing this. I don't know, I think a former "lush" has a compelling story to share . . .

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Looking back I would have said what he said but without the I'm going to spend the night. Your response was spot on. I think it gave him something to thing about and maybe realize there was an alternative. It's amazing the impact an offhand comment can have.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

John, thanks for these words.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I would say, "What a waste"....why not get on out, dinner and a movie with a date or something for a more memorable night....probably wouldn't have mattered though..

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing, Kevin. It's interesting to ponder, "what to say?" And you are number two to leave a comment on one of my writings. Thanks you!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Tell me about your experience in Florida, Wayne. I'm curious:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

ROFL oh I will to be sure :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Kids are going to be kids, and at least he is being responsible enough to not drive. But growing up in S Florida and living 30 miles away from Key West probably has skewed my outlook some! lol

Reply
  about 9 years ago

btw, Wayne, you're the first to comment on any of my writings! Thank you!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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