You don’t know…
A while ago I had an elderly couple come in for dinner. They commented on my tattoo and we started talking about what it meant, and from there we had a really great conversation. They asked about my school, what my goals were, and I learned that he was a veteran and about their family. After they left I found a wallet that belonged to the man but there was nothing inside with info to contact them so I left it up front just in case they’d call.
They never called, but last night they came in again, this time with their daughter. I took them and after taking their order asked if they had lost a wallet, to which they replied that they had so I took it out of my apron and gave it to him. They were so happy. I spent quite a bit of time talking to them again after that. The man seemed a little off this time, and at some point during the conversation, the old man stopped and couldn’t get out any words. He kept forgetting what he was trying to say, eventually to the point where he got upset, to which the daughter said “Its okay Dad, you’ll get it”. At that point(and after some other hints as well) I realized that the man had Alzheimer’s, and although I had other tables to tend to, I stopped everything to wait for him to finish, and I could see how thankful the daughter and wife were for that.
As I was sitting up front, two of my coworkers came over laughing about a crazy old man in the back being weird and staring at them. I looked at who they were talking about, and realized it was my customer, at which point I kindly told them to shut up because he’s a really sweet man. They thought I was kidding and were still laughing when I turned around and said “You guys are fucking disgusting, the man has Alzheimer’s”. Apparently that was all it took to shut them up, with the excuse that “We didn’t know”.
I realize that I’m guilty of judging or laughing at someone every once in a while, we all are in one way or another at some point in time. But if there’s any lesson I can say I’ve started the new year with, its to really try harder not to. We’ve all been told not to make fun of or judge others as we grow up, but this experience was the best lesson. My coworkers were right, they didn’t know. YOU don’t know. And the person that you are laughing at, could have been someone to have a great conversation with. So the next time you feel like laughing at someone, try introducing yourself instead.
Alright, I want to be naked in the wilderness with tons of body paint, bonfires and laughter among friends. Who’s with me?