“In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
― Bertrand Russell
This is a small story about a small change in perspective.
It was a Tuesday night, and I had worked late. After work, Larry and I went to a little diner in town for supper.
This is the kind of diner that still offers service to people who drive up and wait in their cars for the server to come outside and take their order.
It serves food like hot dogs, hamburgers, Westerns, chuck wagons, fried bologna sandwiches and breakfast all day.
Seating inside is limited: there are five booths and a counter with stools lined up in front of it. On the counter are napkin holders and condiments and a covered cake plate with the cake of the day inside.
When one particular server works, everyone finds out what I ordered, just as I find out what they ordered because she calls out the food from her written ticket as she moves towards the kitchen behind the counter: “Two hots and a fry.” Or “Egg plate over medium with toast.”
Larry and I like eating there.
On this particular Tuesday night, I ordered two hot dogs (I’m eating meat again for now) and Larry ordered a country ham plate.
I saw another couple come in and sit at the counter, but I didn’t take note of what they ordered. I did notice her cool tennis shoes with gold sequins on them. Maybe not something I could necessarily pull off, but they looked good on her.
Then I heard them ordering something else.
“We saw you carrying one by and thought that looked good,” the woman said. “We’ll eat it here.”
A few minutes later, the server brought her and her companion a takeout bag along with two unwrapped hot dogs topped with chili.
“Oh, this is so good,” she said. “We’ve been looking for good hot dogs.”
“Well, now you know where to find them,” the server said. “Where are y’all from?”
“Atlanta. He’s working up here,” she said, pointing to the man.
A moment later, the woman looked up and said, “This is amazing.”
Amazing? Really? I thought about the hot dogs I’d just eaten. Mustard, onions, relish. The mustard tasted like it had horseradish in it. The onions tasted fresh and hot.
I had eaten them automatically, without much appreciation. I was tired and hungry and just wanted to get the meal over with and go home.
But those hot dogs had been good, I thought. Delicious, in fact. So tasty and satisfying after a long day.
Yes, they were amazing.
Has your perspective changed lately about something you’ve been taking for granted?