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Devastated…

I’ve been living in the same town for about 10 years now, and visiting it for much longer. Ever since I started dating my wife, which was approximately 13 years ago, I joined her familys tradition of going to Canterbury Ales in Huntington NY for birthdays and anniversaries. We also went there for regular occasions such as being hungry or thirsty, and most times it was to have a drink with friends and enjoy great atmosphere and good company. It was our Cheers, our McAnally’s, our Bronze. Unfortunately, I say this in the past tense for a reason.

I just received an email from Billy, the owner of Canterbury Ales, for being part of their loyalty program. I read it, and felt like a ten ton hammer bashed me in the chest. The email is shown below, unedited, and in its entirety.

Dear Canterbury Customers,

This is a hurtful letter to write but you deserve, at least, a brief explanation. As of today, August 26th, Canterbury Ales has shut its doors. While it’s a bit too personal to go into detail, I will say that the past few years due to the economic slowdown and a multitude of other factors, it was time to stop.

Canterbury Ales, has become a landmark, reached a benchmark that not too many establishments do; 36 1/2 years! We’ve seen births, first dates, engagements, marriages, we’ve celebrated anniversaries. We’ve mourned or celebrated loved ones we’ve lost. Canterbury’s was a haven for the thirsty, the hungry, the lonely, the social and just countless friends.

I thank you all for the support you have given Canterbury’s over the years, most of them good ones. I apologize for not personally saying goodbye and saying thank you to each and every one of you.

This was my life. I grew up here, my family grew up here… many of YOU did too. From my days as a “doorman” to bartending, managing and 28 years of ownership, my blood, sweat and tears went into Canterbury’s. I owe such a debt of gratitude to family of Canterbury employees, friends, customers and vendors.

This was not how I expected it to end… I never expected it to end.

For those I’ve hurt or upset my apologies… But this is a very personal, hurtful and upsetting time. Unfortunately I was not able to endure.

I wish you all well, and once again, thank you for the years of support.

Sincerely,
Billy

I’m almost at a complete loss for words. I can’t begin to fully describe how this feels, because the true loss hasn’t even set in yet. Devastated is the only word that comes close. I actually got very choked up reading the letter, and can’t picture life in this town without being able to go there for a drink with a friend, or for their delicious food, or for their awesome staff. This was the only true “pub” on Long Island, in my opinion. It was an older looking place, with memories and lives worn into the dark wood. The people there got to know each other, and it was a very small town kind of feel for such a populated area. The waitresses AND the owner all knew my wife, her mother, and I on sight, and knew our children.  For me personally, there have been countless joys and sorrows spoken about there. I’ve gone there to celebrate new life, and celebrate to honor those who’ve passed on. I actually felt, in a way, like it was “my” pub.

I’d like to end this off by saying thank you. Thank you, Billy, for such an awesome place. Thank you and your staff throughout the years for the incredible atmosphere, brew, food, kindness, caring, and memories. You cannot be replaced, and you’ll never be forgotten so long as I draw breath.

Capture

No words…

Unforgiven for all the wrong reasons

Alright kids, today’s rant lesson will be about forgiveness. This is somewhat of a touchy subject for some people. There are those who can forgive rather easily, and those who hold grudges forever, as well as all combinations in between. I’m going to lay out some of my feelings on the subject.

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Forgive? Perhaps. Forget? I think not…

I fully believe that there are certain things that should NEVER be forgiven. For example, if I were to find out my best friend and my wife have been having an affair, or even a one night stand, then neither would ever be forgiven. Basically, a real betrayal of trust, love, and/or friendship. Things of this nature don’t fall under the 3 strikes and you’re out rule. Most times, it’s instant banishment. Now I know many people say forgiveness is divine and right and blah blah blah. Bullshit. If someone rapes your daughter during her morning jog through the park, there isn’t a force on this earth that could make me forgive him. Healthy or not, that’s just the way it is, and I cannot even fathom how people can forgive true atrocities.

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unless they betrayed you….

Most other things, though, I can see forgiving. Much of the petty bullshit, and even some other slightly serious stuff that may have been done without even knowing the repercussions. For example, if my wife had an affair with a man who had no idea she wasn’t single, I could hardly blame the man. Were I single, I could easily fall into the same trap. Now I will share 2 stories of forgiveness that have been on my mind recently.

First, though, a DISCLAIMER! Should you read this next section and know the parties involved, other than myself, please keep specifics out of the comments. I’m not here to roast people alive publicly. This is, after all, all about me, not them.

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Sometimes you use up your quota with one action…

For risk of an insanely long post, I’ll just stick with the highlights. I dated a girl, and we broke up. Awhile later, we starting hanging out again, and I wanted to get back with her. I knew a friend of mine wanted to sleep with her, so I asked him to please respect my feelings and not pursue her. He gave me his word that he wouldn’t do anything with her, and broke it. He went after her, slept with her, and tried keeping it from me. I found out a few weeks later, and we had it out. I stopped talking to both of them for a time, and eventually started talking to him again. I know why he did it, he knew that I’d give him one more chance if he pretended to be truly sorry for what he did. I’m still friends with him, but it’ll never be what it once was or could have been. It’s not because he fucked some girl, it’s because he swore on our friendship that I was more important to him than just getting off on a new conquest. That cut the deepest, the outright selfishness and betrayal. Whether other people think it’s petty or not, I’ll never be able to forgive something like that, and if I’ve done something like that to anyone, I don’t think I should be forgiven either.

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Once again, Boromir is right…

The second story goes like this. (prepare for recurring theme) I started hanging with a new group of people through a mutual friend. A girl in said group was dating a guy, and we’d all hung out plenty of times. Girl and guy end up breaking up almost a year later. A few weeks after that, girl expresses interest in yours truly, and we hook up. Bear in mind, I wasn’t actually friends with the dude. We’d hung out maybe 4 or 5 times, and we didn’t really click as friends. We were more of acquaintances. So, guy then begins to utterly hate me. Now, I know what you’re thinking “I’d hate you too if you started dating my ex whom I’d cared about”. Well, that’s not really why he hated me. He was somehow under the impression that she was cheating on him with me while they were dating, AND that I was the one that did the wooing and went after her, which I absolutely did NOT do. Let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly don-fucking-juan back in the day, I was more of a clueless tool. I was struck almost speechless when she said she liked me. Suave motherfucker, that’s me. So he still hates me to this day, and for his reasons I would too. Problem is, his reasons aren’t true. I don’t mind people hating me, lord knows I’ve given tons of people good reason to, but if you’re gonna hate, do it for the right reasons. Don’t hate someone for doing something they didn’t do.

So there you go.  If you have specific thoughts on the subject, let me know in the comments.