Kindness is Still a Thing
Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Law and I enjoyed a date night at our favorite hangout. This restaurant is super popular so by the time we arrive there is already a full line out the door, but I swear this place is worth it. We get in line anticipating the fun evening ahead when an older gentleman (early 70s) turns around and reads my shirt aloud. I’m wearing a 5k t-shirt and jeans. After announcing my shirt, he then looks at Law and asks, “Why don’t you have a 5k shirt?” Law is humble and says something like he doesn’t know. I must interject though. Law is an ultramarathon trail runner with a full resume of extreme runs so I can’t let him bow out. I say, “He doesn’t have any 5k shirts. All his shirts are for 50 miles and 100 hundred miles.” Well this sparks the guy’s interest and our conversation begins.
He’s in line with his son and grandsons. You can tell that his son is well used to his dad striking up conversations with strangers because he gives us a kind smirk and a brief eye roll as his dad asks us a million questions. He’s visiting his son from California and hasn’t been to the restaurant before. So, we’re game and we tell him all about the place and provide menu details. During our conversation he guesses that Law is military. He loves that Law is a Drill Sergeant and begs him not to drop him. He finds out that I’m an elementary teacher and he loves that as well. I’m introduced to his three young grandsons with high regard, “She’s a teacher!” The kids offer a shy wave and they’re cute but are nowhere near as impressed as their grandpa.
We get to know him a little as well. He’s a retired lawyer with a passion for war history. He’s written a couple of books and has participated in a PBS history documentary. I find a lot of interest in this and ask a few questions. Before you know it, we’ve exchanged addresses. He’s going to send me a signed copy of his latest book and we’re going to send him a military shirt from Law’s unit. He’s a talkative friendly guy and he’s made our wait enjoyable and interesting. It’s been fun but it’s time to be seated so we bid goodbye. Before letting us go, he thanks us for talking with him. He tells us that we could have easily blown him off. He thanks us for indulging him.
Law and I continue with our date. The food is always good, and the margaritas are perfection. The weather is beautiful (we’re seated outside) and it’s just a great date all around. Then we learn that the gentleman we spoke to earlier has paid for our dinner. He had been so impressed with Law being a Drill Sergeant and with me being a teacher and he wanted to show us his appreciation for the work that we do. How kind is that? We don’t generally overthink our professions we just live our lives but, on this night, he made us feel special. With all the craziness of 2020 it’s nice to be reminded that apparently, kindness is still a thing!
Update: We received a package today! Upon opening the box we found two books, a documentary DVD, and a short note from the gentleman we met while waiting in line. I'm eager to read the books and to watch the documentary.