The Confused Waitress

What happens when you confuse a waitress just by being yourself?  You’re reminded how broken the world is and that the brokenness has less to do with her thinking you’re on drugs.

A handful of years ago I spent an evening at a Denny’s in Maryland.  You’d think that such a excursion wouldn’t be worth recalling, but it is often in the places marked “unremarkable” that worthy stories can happen. It is in the unexpected places that realization is often birthed or resurrected.

I was working on Capitol Hill at the time and was in much need of an evening outside the city with a few friends after a long week.  It also happened to be the time of year for Operation Christmas Child sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, so these friends and I also planned to stop by Walmart to purchase content for a few boxes and found ourselves at Denny’s beforehand.  I never expected that walking through that door would be the start of a lasting memory.

As my three friends and I were being seated, I simply staggered along behind as I always do; like Captain  Jack Sparrow sans the rum.  Sitting down, I was gripped with a child-like excitement for breakfast food and hot chocolate (all the more when the items arrived).  My friends weren’t phased by this, but, as it happened, our waitress was.  At one point during our meal she came over to the table and asked me “are you high?”  I didn’t know what to say, so I just explained that I was really excited for breakfast food and hot chocolate.

As she walked away, my friends and I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at what had just happened because I was just being me and that generally goes unnoticed ( or so I thought).  Nevertheless as I considered it further it occurred to me that this shocked waitress might have never seen such goofy exuberance apart from drugs of one sort or another.  Maybe whatever she had experienced led her to believe that such expression and inner joy over so mundane a thing wasn’t possible without substance assistance.

I suppose the story should have ended there, but it didn’t.  As we all got up to leave the waitress looked right at me and yelled something at me that I didn’t quite understand  as I walked away from the table.  I think it was in that moment, as she saw me stagger away,  she either realized I have Cerebral Palsy and attributed my exuberance to the condition or was further convinced I was consuming illegal drugs; I’ll never know.

Nevertheless, I still recall her now and and again and consider how bleak her world must have been for excitement over eggs, bacon, toast, and hot chocolate to mystify her so (well, there WAS bacon…).  Another lesson in minding one’s surroundings and a night I’ll always remember.

Who does your life confuse?



Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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