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  • Writer's picturejodi

Instinctual

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

We moved to the current city that we are

living in

in November of 2020.


As we all know

waves of the pandemic

have come and gone

more than once

since the time.


Restrictions

have waxed and waned.


There's a little breakfast diner

that we've been wanting to try

in our relatively new to us city

that

we hadn't had the opportunity

to experience.


Until this morning.


We stepped into the breakfast diner

around eleven thirty am.

A little late for breakfast

I'd say - considering I was out of bed by six am.

Two tables were taken by other patrons,

the remaining tables were empty.


It seems we had missed the rush

or perhaps

being a Tuesday,

there wasn't a rush.

But that's neither here

nor there.


I was curious if they offered some lunch items

considering the time

and for those of you who know me

soup is my thing.

I'd take a good bowl of homemade soup

over breakfast any day.


We stood in the doorway

like three bumps on a log.

There was no signage

stating either

"seat yourself"

or

"please wait to be seated".

And since the

waxing and waning

of pandemic restrictions -

we always wait for direction.


A man with a cell phone to his ear -

waved to us with authority

and told us to to sit wherever we'd like.

We thanked him and sat.


A server brought us menus'

we smiled and sincerely thanked her.

No 'you're welcome' in return.


I'm really, really big on manners

just ask my grown children.


Please, thank you and you're welcome should be instinctual not optional.


My husband ordered a "cup of coffee - please".

Me - "just water for now please".

Our daughter stumbled over her drink order

as the energy from our server

was so intense...

but even so, she still said

"please".

I felt bad for her discomfort.

But even so, We all instinctively and sincerely said thank you -

Despite being made to feel that we were unwanted.


And at this point, it was only water for us girls

as we hadn't even glanced at the menu

so if lunch was the direction

that we were heading,

coffee or tea wouldn't be a part of it.


We ordered.

Breakfast it would be.

Simple menu. Easy order.


I hadn't even finished ordering completely

and she was turning to my husband for his order.

Until I asked the margarine question...

I don't eat margarine.

I have my reasons,

not worth sharing here.

I could feel her disdain.

I just asked for my toast dry.

So really, I'm not being extra.


My husband ordered his meal.

But then he asked.... if they had butter,

the nerve!

She started to walk away without saying a word.

He asked, to me mainly, was that a yes or a no?

She tossed over her shoulder,

it'll have to be on the side.

Like a punishment.

That's ok, he's not above buttering his own toast.


She proceeded to walk over to her co-worker

maybe six feet away

at a counter facing us

and started talking about my husband.

And from the look of her face

it was smack talk.

And it became even more obvious

with the face her co-worker made

when she looked up

at him.


This ordering exchange had been so awkward

and she had turned so fast on her heels that

I didn't even get the

chance

to order a coffee.

Or our daughter

a tea.

She's like me,

water until she knows what meal she'll be eating.


I thought, it's fine.

We'll order our drinks when she brings our meal.


Well, she didn't bring our meal.

Someone else did.

And walked away without asking if there was anything else we needed.


No butter on the side.

Margarine on his toast.

He shrugged.

I felt slighted.


After unsuccessfully trying to make eye contact

and capture our servers attention

from the counter she stood at

facing our direction

chatting with her co-worker...

my husband called to her

and asked for a coffee.

She asked 'just one?''.

He said yes.

In his defence, he was thinking we the patrons only needed one additional cup.

But this wasn't a battle

it was a diner

so why do we have to feel

or think

defensively?!

We are people,

customers,

being polite and paying for a meal.


She came over with the pot.

He told her it was for me.

She rolled her eyes and walked away to get a mug.

At this point our daughter no longer wanted to ask for a tea.


The coffee was poured.

I thanked her with true appreciation ~

because I was really feeling unworthy.

Cowering seems to be my innate response to disrespect.

She walked away.

Again,

"you're welcome"

was never spoken.


The food was actually pretty good.

The environment

was somewhat cute ~

for a breakfast diner.

But will go back.

H to the ELL No.

And we send our apologies to the owner.

Because we're pretty certain that is not who served us.


It's really sad,

that in state of the world today

when

patrons

are

seeking out small business'

to whom they can support ~

are treated

with such disrespect.


I know we were only three people to you.

But We Are Three People.


So Instead

the next time we go for breakfast

we'll prefer

to go to

the shabbier place

just down the road

where the food isn't as good

but the smiles

and manners are instinctual.


Because Positive Human interaction mean that much more to us.


Oh, and by the way - the water was warm and served without ice.









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