Did I ever tell you about the time I paid $25 to see Two Weeks Notice? Back in 2002? When I still had a student ID and could buy them at a discount?
As it turns out, I bought a ticket for me ($5), one for a friend of a friend, and then paid said friend of a friend $15 for the pleasure of watching the movie with me. This was all an innocent mistake, an awkward situation, but one that I remembered a decade later when at the Chicago Bulls game last night.
Aside: you know at ball games when people pass money in exchange for beer/cotton candy/etc. down an aisle of strangers? Does anyone just ever pocket the money or keep the beer? I doubt it, because if it ever happened, it would have certainly happened to me.
So I had actually bought tickets for about five of us, being the only one with a valid-looking student ID (so I was slightly scamming the system. It was Two Weeks Notice, people). We get to the theater, take our seats. Everyone pays me the $5 they’re blowing. The friend of a friend, let’s call her Tracy, two seats down from me.
“I only have a twenty,” she says.
“That’s fine, I have fifteen,” I say.
I hand her the $15 via my friend that sits in between us. The movie darkens for the previews.
She doesn’t hand me the $20. In-between friend starts whispering incredulously.
“No big,” I think. “She will give it to me after the movie.”
“No big,” I think. “She will give it to me at the bar we are going to, or at least buy me a couple of drinks.”
Nope, I never saw that money she pocketed a cool extra $15. Not to mention seeing what was a pedestrian romantic comedy – for free! And here I didn’t even get a hug at the end of what was apparently a date.
Not that I remain irritated by it or anything. Not that the $20 I’m owed plus a decade of interest would buy me at least 12 boxes of Triscuits.
The thing is, Tracy is a nice person. I’m sure this was not calculated in any way nor did she realize it happened. I do find it odd that she tucked away the $15 I handed her without reciprocating, but it was just one of those situations where your brain and your manual dexterity don’t quite align. Sort of like when I use nail polish remover instead of astringent. Sure.
And I, as is always the case, preferred simmering silently rather than confronting the issue. If you see something, say something. Or don’t.
I saw Tracy years later when we were seated at the same table at our mutual friend’s wedding. And I totally stole the pashmina she had with her. Ahhh, I’d be so much cooler if that last part were true.