I suppose that in life, we are given free reign to pick what our fault will be.
What I mean by this, is that nobody is perfect. If you didn’t know that already, I’m sorry to have ruined it for you. No one, not even your mother, is nice to everyone all the time.
We all have our flaws. Some people (like myself, #humblenessandhumility) have what seems to be only one flaw. Most have more, and others many. At some point or another, we either consciously or unconsciously drift toward or indulge in a shortcoming.
Some choose drunkenness, others foolishness with women. These are the external flaws that are more outward, noticeable, and condemned, but there are other imperfections as well: pride, malice, and bigotry.
I have my own particular shortcoming, one that I has escaped my notice until now.
I’m a suck-up to waitresses.
I didn’t even really notice this fact until the other day when I went to lunch with my sister. I thought I had just been polite.
Our waitress came around, I said an inordinate amount of please and thank yous, and then she gave me a smile and left.
I smirked to myself and gloated.
“Waitresses just love me.” I said. “I think I have a natural magnetism.
“I think you’re just a suck-up.” my sister said. “I think I’ll have the BLT. How about you?”
I don’t remember how I responded, because the truth had struck me dumb like a thunderbolt.
I thought about it the next day, when I got lunch with a friend.
The nice lady who served as our waitress led us to our table, and I said thank you. She asked us what we’d like to drink, and I said thank you. We ordered, she brought us our food, and I said thank you, grinning like a lunatic the whole time.
I even thanked her for bringing the check, although even now I can’t think of why I did.
Come to think of it, she probably could have dumped out my water on my head, and I would continue to smile and mutter “thanks”.
None of this awakened in me a sense of incongruity.
My friend, who is kind, thoughtful, and intelligent, never treated her like she was a displaced member of royal blood like I did. It made me think: is there something wrong with my attitude towards waitresses? I seem to stand alone in putting overworked and plain waitresses on a pedestal. Is it true that the majority is always right?
I say to heck with the majority, but it still gives me pause to think.
I honor waitresses and cashiers because they are the hidden and silent heroes of society. They are there to give humanity and warmth to tasks that would ordinaryily stand cold and lifeless. Eating is something we must do every day if we are to survive as creatures; and purchasing an item from a faceless business becomes the most routine facet of a day. The world can operate without these small vocations: no one knows this as well as the men and women who work in them, but the day that our world does away with the people behind the notepad and register is the day that society is no longer worth standing up for.
It would be unfair of my to paint my habit of social interaction as a noble conquest of the mind. The truth is that I’m a pleasant person from a nice family who lives in a small town. It’s commonplace for me to know the register workers personally.
I may not actually be polite: I might just be hungry.
But if being impolite to a woman bringing me food is the right thing to do, then I want to be the most evil man in the world.