The Bail Holder


The Bail Holder is that friend that either brings you back from the brink of certain disaster, or stands by as the lifeguard that will pull you out of the deep end when you start to flail. Allowing you to give into some of your baser instincts, without causing any permanent damage – or a trip to the courthouse. In other words, the Bail Holder is the voice of reason in a cacophony of crazy.

It would be fun if the entire Tribe were all crazy at the same time, but that could lead to the demise of everyone. That’s why, while others may consider The Bail Holder friend to be a Buzzkill, in truth, they’re often the glue that holds the whole beautiful mess together.

Many moons ago I worked at a psychiatric hospital. As you can imagine, it was a stressful place to work. To help us all cope with the difficulties we faced every day, the whole crew would go out for happy hour on paydays. We were young and relatively free of responsibility aside from work. Because many of us often walked the line between behaving like a patient or a responsible caregiver (it’s just how psych people roll), we took the precaution to make sure at least one person that agreed to remain in complete control of their faculties. More than just a designated driver, this person agreed to attempt to keep us relatively in check; basically, the Designated Bail Holder (DBH). Yes, she might go to the bar to fetch us darts, but she would also ensure we only threw them at the dart board, not each other. For single members of our crew, the DBH was a wingman or even a creeper deterrent. For the sad among us, the DBH was a counselor. For the over-served, the DBH was the key holder and taxi driver. In other words, the Bail Holder was the adult that let us all feel free and safe to cut loose, with nothing more than a possible hangover to regret in the morning. I learned the value of having a Bail Holder in my Tribe during my Green Oaks days, and have carried that forward into my present stage of life.

Perhaps the most crucial time to have a Bail Holder in your Tribe is when one of you has been wronged. I don’t know about you, but it’s far easier for me to be rational when I’m the injured party; but mess with someone I love and the gloves come off. Seek and destroy is the mission at hand and it’s easy to go off the rails in a situation like that. Thank goodness, in my Tribe at least, one of us usually comes to our senses before we do anything truly dangerous. Or illegal. One of us steps into the role of Bail Holder, sometimes just in the nick of time to avert disaster, but the role never goes unfilled.

I’m the first to admit that in my Tribe it’s rarely me that holds the bail. I’m much more apt to be the instigator, or the second in command of any operation. Although as I’ve matured I have found myself assuming the Bail Holder role with more frequency. I guess it comes with age. But I must confess I don’t ever plan to take on that role permanently, because I don’t intend to ever grow all the way up. Adulting is overrated.

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