I went by the office to surprise Jan by taking her out to lunch. What I failed to tell her is that I left my wallet at the house this morning, and she would have to pick up the check. We went to the Firehouse Café to dine on the lunch special of the day. The Firehouse is one of those places where everybody knows your name.
We not only enjoyed our meal, but we also got to visit with friends that also frequent this mom and pop café at noon.
The waitress filled my tea glass one last time. I knew the check would arrive soon. Confession time had officially arrived. I could put it off no longer. I flashed a little toothy grin and explained that my wallet was sitting on the dresser at home. Now my little bride is nobody’s fool. She immediately suggested that my romantic overture of lunch for two was merely a sinister ploy to have someone buy my lunch. I quickly replaced the toothy grin with the hurt puppy dog look and cocked my head to the side. She rolled her eyes and handed me her master card. Little did I know that I had confessed prematurely?
I went up to the cash register to pay out and our waitress informed me that someone who wished to remain anonymous had paid our bill. I have strong suspicions in regard to the identity of our generous benefactor. But I want them to enjoy the benefits of their quiet gesture of kindness. I will therefore keep my hunches to myself.
Someone thinking of us in that way really made our day. Sometimes the simplest acts of generosity can make a real difference in another person’s life. The recipient feels valued and affirmed. It occurred to me as I left the Firehouse Café today that the best reaction to today’s events is to allow that kindness to have a chain reaction effect.
Next time I see a friend in a restaurant it will be my turn to quietly pick up their check. I often see Emergency Medical technicians and paramedics eating in The Firehouse. I have had good intentions of picking up their tab on several occasions, but I have never followed through. I was convicted today. Chain reactions of kindness are a good thing.
And next time I am going to wait until I get up to the counter to pay out before I make any forgotten wallet confessions. After all there is no reason to confess prematurely!