Holden says: "People are always ruining things for you."  Why?  Who has ruined what for him?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Holden makes this statement on page 87 of the novel when he is at Ernie's where he succeeds in getting served alcohol.  While at Ernie's he runs into his brother D.B.'s former girlfriend, Lillian Simmons who is accompanied by her date, a Navy guy.  Holden finds both Lillian and especially her date, to be big phonies.  He is at the bar to drink and listen to Ernie play the piano. 

When he runs into Lillian, he feels like this has been ruined for him, because as soon as she starts to talk to him, he tells her that he was just leaving, he can't wait to get away from her.

"After I'd told her I had to meet somebody, I didn't have any goddamn choice except to leave.  I couldn't even stick around to hear old Ernie' play something halfway decent.  But I certainly wasn't going to sit down at a table with old Lillian Simmons and that Navy guy and be bored to death.  So I left, it made me mad."    

Lillian and her stupid date have ruined the opportunity for Holden to drink and listen to Ernie play the piano, something that he was really looking forward to, he just can't seem to catch a break.

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