It seems I have a number of blog topics with some variation of that title. Sometimes I struggle to find something to write about that isn't just another version of "what I did today and why I'm grumpy." Other days, like today, I have a blog topic all thought-out and written in my mind, and all I have to do is type it. That was the case today, and I almost wrote my blog topic at school, but I have just enough morals to feel that isn't right, so I didn't. Okay, moral. One.
Then something happened that forced me to preempt tonight's topic. And it wasn't the incident in the parking lot where I get my hair cut, where I was crossing the parking lot and almost got run over by a businessman screeching through the parking lot. Going the wrong way. In reverse. (Good thing they took my blood pressure at the blood drive BEFORE this little incident, because I'm pretty sure they would have been checking their equipment for malfunctions.)
Hubby and I went to a steakhouse for dinner in a nearby town (since our town doesn't HAVE a steakhouse). I didn't really have an appetite, since I was still trembling from the incident in the parking lot. It is impossible for me to tell you how close he really came to hitting me. Close enough that he felt compelled to come back, enter the salon, and apologize. He left with his ears burning and his tail tucked between his legs. The adrenaline was flowing, folks. I could have set a personal best on my bicycle, if I'd had it with me.
I wasn't crazy about the idea of going out to eat, and I didn't want to drive that far. But Hubby said I could drive his new car, and it DID mean I wouldn't have to cook on a Friday night, so we went.
I ordered rainbow trout, something I've never had before in my life. That has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post. (For the record, I prefer salmon.) When we were finished eating, the waitress approached our table. She looked kind of sheepish.
"Someone in this restaurant," she said, "is paying for your meal."
Hubby didn't hear what she said at first, so I repeated it. He looked around, I made a joke to the waitress about it being impossible because we don't HAVE any friends (at least that aren't too cheap to pay for our dinner), and she said, "Nope, it's this table. He said table #55, and that is your table."
Hubby went to the bathroom so he could glance around the crowded restaurant, and I saw the transaction take place while he was gone. The family at a table near ours got a check even though they had just received their food, and I saw the woman cut her eyes over toward our table. I made sure I didn't make eye contact with her, but I was trying to see if I knew them. We were near a town where I used to teach, and I thought it might be possible that a former student was buying our dinner.
Then the waitress returned and murmured to me that this man has done this before. He comes in the restaurant, chooses a table, and pays for the whole meal. I wanted to tell him "thank you," but the waitress said I shouldn't, that he wanted to remain anonymous.
We were grateful for the free meal, but it gave us a strange feeling. I told Hubby that it was a wonderful thing to do, and I appreciate people's random acts of kindness as much as the next person, but I almost wish the man had paid for a meal for a family that couldn't afford it. Missing the point COMPLETELY, Hubby said people who can't afford it don't come to a steakhouse.
I don't mean that to sound like I'm ungrateful. It was a totally cool thing to happen, particularly after almost being murdered by vehicle AND finding the road home closed due to some repairs, necessitating a left turn in evening traffic onto one of the worst roads in our town.
All by itself, that little act tipped the barometer of this day from "leaning toward sucky" all the way over to "almost impossibly cool."
I understand the concept of paying it forward and random acts of kindness, and believe me when I say I fully intend to pay it forward. And not just because random acts of kindness are on my 50 Things to Do list.
I still wanted to say "thanks."