Our reflections smiled back from the polished wooden floor, unblemished by dirt or crumbs. A broom leaned against a corner in the hostess's stand, verifying that yes, they did sweep the floors, and often.
The waiter, a clean-cut young man with a thousand watt smile arrived at our table soon after we were seated. I smoothed the napkin in my lap, listening halfheartedly as our server went through the specials, and the drink list.
"And what would the lady like to drink?"
Lady? Wow, he really wants that tip. In most places we eat, I'm referred to as "ma'am", or "miss". Each is polite, but being called a lady warmed my heart. It was, to me, an acknowledgment of the grace and poise my mother worked hard to instill in me, and something I try to maintain (bad calls at football games makes it challenging).
"Umm...a Peachberry Iced Tea, I guess," I said before taking a sip of water.
The young man smiled and nodded as he wrote my drink order down. "Now, tell me one good thing that happened to you today."
I coughed and spluttered into my glass. "Sorry, no one has ever asked me that before," I wheezed. "Never a waiter, and certainly not a stranger." Boy this guy wants a tip--he doesn't care anything about us.
The sincerity in his eyes disproved my theory. He shook his head. "Then that's a shame. Perhaps people need to reach out to others more often.
Hubby and I shared our day, then asked the waiter to share his. "Well, work was hard, some things were difficult, but at least I'm alive and healthy," he said.
The service was excellent, and of course, the server received a good tip. But I received the larger tip.
I was reminded that in this world, a place riddled with daily violence, hatred, and bigotry, hearts can be softened by simple acts of kindness from strangers.