Random story. It was freshman year in high school and my girlfriends and I met up at Bakers Square for one of our routine in-service-day lunches. This one happened to be before the holiday break so we were exceptionally rambunctious. We may have thrown wrapping paper everywhere while opening presents. We may have been talking and laughing in outdoor voices. And we may have even slammed our forks and knives down on the table, while chanting ‘WE WANT FOOD! WE WANT FOOD!’ (eek). After finishing our pie, the waitress informed our table that the entire bill had been paid for. Wha?! There were at least 5-6 of us…food, drinks, slices of pie all around! Easily a hefty tab. She went on to explain that a patron, who wished to remain anonymous, had noticed what nice young ladies we were. There may have been more to the rationale of paying for our tab, but the only part that stuck in my head was the part about being well-behaved, nice young women (which I can assure you, we most certainly were not). That shut us up – temporarily. We proceeded to pester the waitress until she told us it was the little old lady who had been eating alone near our table. If you know me at all, little old ladies are my weakness…tears! I thought about what a sweet gesture she did for teens that probably didn’t deserve it. I thought even more though about the little old lady eating alone. Did we remind her of eating out with her girlfriends? Does she still have anyone in her life she can call up to eat a meal out with? I thought of my granny. And I wished dearly this lady was still in that restaurant to hug and thank. But she wasn’t and so the best lesson I could take away was to pay it forward.
Seattle is experiencing snow this week which translates into nasty commutes and overall anxiety. Midway through my drive this morning I needed a nice hot beverage and I bet a lot of others did too. I decided to knock out my #16 on my 30 before 30 and pick up the coffee tab for the car behind me in the Starbucks line. Hopefully it brightened up his day. Technically that completes #16, but I’ve been thinking that I can do more. Pay more forward. Next will definitely be an overly generous tip to a well deserving waiter/waitress. All the while, though, I’ll be scouting for a little old lady, eating alone to treat to a meal.