Last Thursday I enjoyed my weekly breakfast tradition with Ira. His youngest daughter is my age, so he could be my father. Our weekly discussions over The Firehouse Breakfast Special give me material to think about for weeks. His depth of character and understanding of Scripture stretches me intellectually and spiritually.
Last week he told me that since his wife’s death he has become very attuned to people around him in a restaurant eating alone. A couple of weeks ago he was eating lunch at a pizza establishment when he noticed a young woman also eating alone a few tables away. After the lady received her check, Ira noticed her digging through her purse trying to put enough money together to pay out. Ira chose to make her day a little better. He walked over and asked her if she would allow him to pay her bill. She of course was hesitant and was quick to tell him that she had enough money to take care of it. Ira said: just look at me as a grandfather type. She smiled and conceded.
Perhaps the best part of this story is that the young woman took a few moments to visit with a lonely gentleman who had eaten his pizza alone. She shared a little of her story and he did the same with her. She enjoyed an unexpected free lunch that day, but more importantly she touched the heart of a man who is eating way too much pizza alone these days.
Ira reminded me Thursday of the importance of being observant. When I am in a restaurant I need to pay closer attention to those eating solo. And it never hurts to pay someone’s bill anonymously. That is actually a lot of fun. You make someone’s day and they have no clue who did that for them! Pizza should never be eaten alone, but just in case it happens don’t hesitate to pick up the check and make a friend in the process.