Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks! Yes, so many fireworks at Sandbridge Beach for days now. (The Faithful Companion is not amused; in fact, mostly unhappy, but I’ve tried to soothe that).

There’s a great 9 pm fireworks over Back Bay and so many people have bought lots of fireworks to share on the beach. This is my first time experiencing it and it’s really great, except for the Faithful Companion’s anxiety.

Beforehand, we decided to have an early dinner for us, 6:30, which should have been easy enough but for the distraction of sand, sea, and dog- walking. But we made it.

It seemed as if everyone at the beach had decided that Indian food was the way to go for the 4th. It was quite obvious that the waitstaff was overwhelmed. One said they were understaffed. I saw that no one was shirking. They were just working so hard. A waiter that we’ve had served us many times previously joked that, by law, everything should be closed on July 4th and every holiday.

We ordered drinks after our waitress apologized for taking so long. I smiled and told her we didn’t care. We weren’t in any hurry. She shook her head and thanked us profusely, more profusely than I would have thought was called for, but I just didn’t know then how her weekend had been going.

We lingered over our drinks and ordered appetizers and then finally dinner. I was thinking that I would order an Indian rice pudding (love that cardamon!) and an extra order of garlic naan to go with our leftovers (love that garlic!). To our surprise, before we could order it, the “Runner”, a sweet high cheek-boned girl, brought us a slice of delicious white lemony layered cake and gestured to the pretty blonde girl at the bar who had seated us, taken our order, and served our drinks, and said, “This is from us. You are the only people who have said ‘thanks’ to us this entire weekend.”

Obviously your first thought is: OMG, thank you very much.

Your second is (forgive any ugly language) who in the hell has been coming in here and not thanking you as just a matter of course? (This is extremely sad!) Who are these people who don’t think to thank their waitstaff? Do you really just ignore the person who fills your water glass? Takes away your dishes?

I know I have gotten cynical. I’m afraid that my daily commute is lessening my heart as a human being. I worked in retail (while in college) and experienced the cascade of insults and meanness that was possible, as well as the kindness. So, when going out to eat. I am as kind as I can be.

In the past three months dining, my companions and I have had our hands shook in acknowledgement, told we have been their best customers, their kindest customers, their nicest, etc. This is nice but— what? Aren’t we average?!!!!!  This evening, just shook me a bit.

Who are the people who are treating their waitstaff so badly? I could never imagine that my companions and I are anything extraordinary but evidence tells me otherwise.

In this Land of the Free, who exactly have we become? I once heard it said that you could tell a lot about your date from the way that they treated their waiter/waitress. If my current information is anything to go on, run!


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