The Man at Waffle House

A few months ago we traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for work. We had some time to pass before the race track opened so we stopped at Waffle House for breakfast. It was packed when we walked in, so we settled for some seats facing the kitchen. To my left sat my teammates and to my right sat a gentleman whose face I'll never forget.

The man appeared to be in his 50s. He was wearing a pair of blue jeans and an old worn out t-shirt. He had the biggest smile and most welcoming eyes I've ever seen. As soon as I sat down his eyes lit up and he greeted me with a big "hello!"

I was immediately uncomfortable. I looked to my left and saw my teammates smirking. They got lost in their own conversation and I was mad at them, mad at them for leaving me with the weird stranger who insisted on talking to me.

I clutched my purse close to me, in the ridiculous way that we so often do, even though nothing about this man was threatening. He continued to ask me questions about my job, what were doing in town etc. and I continued to give him short, cold answers and ignore him the best I could.

The stranger finished his coffee and wished me the best of luck over the weekend. Before he got up to leave he gave me this coupon and reminded me not once but twice to use it. I immediately crumbled inside. This coupon was worth so much more to him than it was to me, but he wanted to share something with me, his new friend.
All this man wanted was to enjoy a conversation with a stranger, and my pride and ego were to big for that. It would have cost me nothing but would have meant so much to him if I simply answered his questions with a friendly smile, and it's a lesson I'll never forget.

I've carried this coupon around in my wallet ever since that day. It serves as a reminder that people are good and to never consider yourself better than anyone else. It helps remind me to smile at that passerby on the street and to take the time to have a conversation with the stranger next to me. You never know how much those few minutes of kindness can mean to someone else.

4 comments :

Bekah Foley said...

What a beautiful story. We are so quick to judge people these days and its sweet reminders like this that shows that we are all just humans, and sometimes we just need to be reminded of that fact. You probably made his day!

Sara Kent said...

This is such a great story. We've traveled almost every weekend this year racing at various tracks and I can totally put myself in that story. We happen to be at Waffle Houses and truck stops quite a bit and come across the same kind of people. I'm so guilty of putting my head down and avoiding everyone when I'm sure it wouldn't kill me to be friendly. They are people too...and I forget that way too often.

Great post, thank you!

Blitz And Glam said...

Great story, Bri! This is a great reminder that giving someone a smile and a friendly hello or conversation might mean so much more to them than we think.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

What a beautiful reminder!

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