I may be an aspiring writer, but waiting tables puts the butter on my biscuit. There was a quote I’m sure I won’t make sound as eloquent as the owner, but it basically said; “If ya wanna write, work a job you hate.” Sometimes I feel like I’m definitely in the right profession to be a writer. Not today though. Today I got reminded that people can be beautiful.
We have this couple that comes in quite often. They are super nice. They’re elderly, but the love in their eyes looks as young as if they’ve never stopped being high school sweethearts. He always orders a water. She always orders a water. She also always asks me to choose which of the two cocktails she should enjoy. Always narrowing it down to two, and always a different two. He always reminds me not to stab the bread. That puts a hole in it, and then the butter drips through the hole. That’s what he always explains.
For the first time ever on a Friday night, I had just enough time to sit down and talk with them for a bit. She explained that she had a rather large lunch in Chicago. Wanting something lighter, she wanted a steak salad. While discussing options, I learned that she has a corn allergy. If you know me, and my love of all food, you can envision the shock on my face. If you don’t know me, seeing as how you don’t, picture the faces of the children from the “fake christmas gift” YouTube video pranks. I can’t imagine having to go through life unable to enjoy certain foods, let alone a majority of them. She just smiled her innocent smile and said, “Trust me honey, I am not lacking things to eat.” She says this with her sweet innocent grin while patting her little belly. She is simply thankful for the things that she can enjoy.
Chuckling, I walk off to send their order through. They await their dinner like they always do, holding each others hands across the table. Separating when his soup and bread comes out. She can’t eat the bread so she just watches him eat. She does this with a smile on her face, and love in her eyes.
When their dinner is up I bring it out to the table. They always check the doneness as soon as I set the plates down. Her steak comes out over done, so I have to send in for a new one. When it comes out, the salad the steak was supposed to go on is almost gone. She just smiles and says that it looks beautiful. She doesn’t mind that she has about eight pieces of lettuce left to put the steak on. She’s simply excited about the perfectly cooked steak in front of her.
I get sat again at this point, and then again, and then again. Now having eleven other guests to attend to, I’m back in the mechanical rhythm of silently refilling glasses, taking orders, making salads, delivering them, blah blah blah. Assuming that not all of you have waited tables before, allow me to equate this to having eleven children you’ve never met pop by your house for dinner. Things get a little hectic and chaotic, but don’t you dare show it. Smile and act like everything fine while you try to keep it all straight.
Noticing that their plates are almost empty, I send their dessert through. They always order our seven types of chocolate version of fantabulous. And they always look as excited as children would if the children were ordering the same thing. While I’m in the kitchen attempting to organize my life, a fellow saint of a server stops by their table to remove plates. They tell him that they think I may have their dessert coming, but if I don’t, it’s the seven types of chocolate version of fantabulous. When my fellow saint of a server comes back to tell me this, the dessert is being set in the window before us. I frantically hand him their check and ask him to deliver the two.
It is much too long before I make it back to their table to collect payment. They have already finished their dessert. He always moves to her side of the booth for dessert. They sit next to each other holding hands while they enjoy it. Causing them both to face me when I finally get back to the table. Awaiting the ticked off faces that would normally great me in this situation, I am once again met with understanding and loving smiles. She asks for two boxes, one for the little bit left of their dessert and one for the two pieces of bread that are left. “He just loves this bread” she tells me. He hands me the check and says the same sweet thing he always does. “You can divide this between you and the company.”
They’re the sweetest couple. Simply beautiful people. I imagine that their optimism and overall love for things has contributed to the beauty of them and their relationship. These are the kinds of people I want to learn from. Every opportunity to be upset or allow their mood to turn fowl. Still they maintain happiness. They’ve been together for forty-three years, but they don’t bicker. They’re just two happy people living their lives, and loving everything they can. I find it absolutely beautiful.