My wife, kids and I went out for Valentine’s Day sushi tonight (it’s the same sushi, you just need to wait an hour for it). When we left, I noticed a kid, probably 17 or 18 standing in the crowd of people waiting for a table. He held two roses and a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates. He stood out in the crowd because he was the only person holding something besides a phone and because he was alone. His body language made clear something it looked like he didn’t want to share: He was sad and anxious. Now I suppose he could have been worried about any number of things. But standing there alone, with those gifts, on this night? I think he was worried about being stood up.
I felt that kid’s anguish and his insecurity. I remember being that kid. I wanted to go up and put my hand on his shoulder and say, “You’re a man standing here amongst kids. You don't know it, but you're brave. I hope your night turns out the way you want it to. But it’s only one night. And life is a fucking marathon, not a sprint. Keep showing up with flowers and chocolates. Eventually you’ll find a woman who wouldn’t stand you up for George Clooney.”