Larry and I were in a restaurant. I had ordered toast with my meal, so I wasn’t surprised by the waitress’s question. She had already taken our order, but was walking back by our table.
“Would you like butter and jelly with your toast?” she asked me.
“Yes, please” I said.
“Here you go.” And she laid a small plastic container of margarine and one of jelly on our table. “And I’ll bring you more.”
After she left, I wondered why she had been walking around with margarine and jelly in her hand. Then I realized that she had been cleaning off the table behind us.
She had given me the margarine and jelly that had been left on the table by the customers who had just left.
Larry and I talked about it. Wasn’t she supposed to throw out anything left over like that? How long had it been sitting out?
“I don’t want to use it,” I told Larry. “I don’t think it’s an OCD thing. I don’t think she was supposed to do that.”
“It’s a health issue,” Larry said.
He took a napkin and scooped up the plastic containers, and I ate only the margarine and jelly that the waitress brought from the kitchen.
Now, dear readers, did I do the right thing in not eating the first containers or margarine and jelly?
It didn’t feel like OCD. I didn’t feel anxious.
And yet, I wavered at making a decision. I hate to waste food. The food was sealed. What was wrong with using it? Was I being a stickler about a health code that might or might not exist? Or was I right to pass on eating it?
I purposely didn’t look up the health code in Virginia to see if the waitress made a mistake because I didn’t base my original decision not to eat the food on information I knew for sure.
But I guess I’m still thinking about it because here I am asking for your opinion.
Would you have eaten the margarine and jelly?