I left work a touch after 6pm and my tired, whiny, entitled self couldn’t envision heating up the leftovers in the fridge so I drove to a nearby restaurant. I could hardly make it into the place, the wait time was 15 to 20 minutes, but isn’t that what they always say?
“Can I sit at the bar?”
I sat at the bar. Wasn’t even too unhappy when she asked a second time was that salad no cheese and ranch? No, it was no cheese and honey mustard. Of course I got no cheese and ranch but I was hungry enough, and they are good enough that it didn’t matter. Nor did the fact that my bread had still not appeared as I scarfed the last of the lettuce but the nice lady next to me offered their left over one, so then bread magically appeared from the kitchen.
But by then the bar almost emptied, the news show didn’t hold my interest and my phone was completely dead. Just as I ate my first forkful of pasta I noticed a man, and a woman, shuffling out of the woman’s rest room. They looked about 80 and she held tight to him as they walked. I scooted in, expecting them to walk by, but he settled her in the yet uncleaned spot by me. Wow, to have a guy who will help you in the ladies room.
He ordered coffee, cream and an extra cup. Then an iced tea. He made her coffee with cream and sweet-n-lo with an ice cube or two. Then poured half of it into the empty cup. He gave her the coffee, now a manageable amount and temperature. Then he took napkins from the bar stack and cleaned up his mess. They split a piece of chocolate pie. She didn’t plan on desert, but ate once he put the spoon in her hand. That is when I noticed her purse was across his body for safe keeping.
The bartender said she wanted a guy just like him, when she got to be their age. The woman made a face and he said they would be together 67 years on Thursday. He added that she still hadn’t decided if she would keep him forever. The humor between them almost made me forget his level of care for her, until she said something quietly to her husband, and he told her the thing behind the bar was a refrigerator without any irritation in his voice.
If only we could all be so blessed as to have someone to care for us the way this man did for his wife. And what a wonderful end to my day.