Have you ever had one of those moments where you stuck your foot in your mouth, and then swallowed it.  Then coughed, chewed on it a little bit, and did it all over again?  I did.

Last weekend I needed a haircut and while I was there, I did something that left me feeling ridiculously embarrassed.  It wasn’t anything big, but it was out of character for me and I’m still not sure why it happened.  I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all week.  I’m even embarrassed to tell you about it really.  But here goes nothing…

They don’t take names there when you get there.  You walk in, and you sit down, then when they say “who is next?” if it’s you, you go in.  Pretty simple right?

So my son Maverick goes first, but I walked in with him to tell his barber what he was looking for.  Then I walked back out to the waiting room.  However, while I was in with the other barber, another guy had walked in and sat down.  So of course when it was my turn to go, we both stood up.  He thought he was next and he didn’t even think anything about it.  Here’s where the “out of character” part comes in.

I was surprised that the guy was trying to jump the line and I stopped in my tracks and he kept walking.  It seemed a little rude, but was it a big deal?  No.  Not at all.  But somehow out of my mouth and a little under my breath come the words, “He wasn’t next, but whatever.”

What?!  Where did that come from?  Just sit down dude.  You’re not in a hurry. Where did that come from?

This is where it starts to get embarrassing.

He heard me and turned around.  He says, “I’m sorry…did I cut you?”

Crap.  He wasn’t being rude.  He just didn’t know.  He saw me walk back in after Maverick and thought that was when I was getting there for the first time.

I laughed it off and said, “No!  No problem man.  Go ahead.  I’m good.”  And I meant it.  I was good.

It doesn’t end there.

I go in to get my hair cut now and when I’m almost done, the barber that had just cut his hair comes over to my chair and says, “Hey, the guy whose hair I just cut paid for your haircut.”

What?  Why?

She continues, “He said he felt bad.  He didn’t mean to jump over you in line and wanted to make up for it so he paid for your haircut.”

Immediately I start looking around for him.  He didn’t have to do that!  I’ll give him his money back.

He’s gone.  She says, “He asked me to wait until he left to tell you.  He thought you were pretty mad.”

Immediate embarrassment and regret set in.  In just a couple words, I probably ruined that guy’s morning.  Completely unintentional, but those kinds of things can stay with people.  I know they stay with me.

I tried to pay for my own haircut and tell the barbers there to just split it.  Of course, they said no.  But their advice was to pay it forward to someone else.  I’m going to.  I’m going to make it up to someone who doesn’t even know it’s coming.

And if that guy is reading this right now, I’m really sorry man.  I didn’t mean to make you feel that way.  You gave me more than a free haircut that day.  I learned a lesson about how to respond when other people do that to me.  There are good people in the world.  I’m sorry that you thought I wasn’t one of them.