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Dad's Death And A Lesson In Tipping
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Dad's Death And A Lesson In Tipping
A contrast in emotions.
[446 words]
John C Smith

J C Smith

[May 2000]
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Dad's Death And A Lesson In Tipping
John C Smith

Dadís Death And A Lesson In Tipping

I went out to eat at a restaurant and was surprised find that a woman whom I recently met at an opera recital was my waitress. Her name was Donna. She was kind of a big gal. When I was introduced to her she seemed a little stuffy, but now that she was waiting on my table she was extremely nice. Not only that, over the course of my meal I found out we had a lot in common. Among other things we shared an interest in detective novels from the forties. She even gave me a list of authors. As it happened, this was Donnaís last day working at the restaurant. Her shift ended while I was sitting there so she hung around a little bit. But I could tell she wanted to go. Not wanting hold her up I hurried figuring out the bill and the tip. Big mistake. I was half way home still calculating the bill in my head when I realized Iíd left Donna a real shitty tip. But what could I do? I couldnít go back, she didnít work there anymore. The only solution was to get really embarrassed if I saw her again (which didnít seem likely).
Not long after the whole tip incident my dad died. My ma was on the verge of a breakdown and wasnít up to going anywhere, much less to the hospital where the old man had died. So I went to the hospital to get his things. When I got to where I was supposed go in order to get his things, I was told by a really bitchy woman behind the desk that I needed a Power of Attorney document. Otherwise my mom would have to pick the stuff up. I was getting fairly pissed-off arguing with her, when out of the blue comes Donna. Seems this was her new job and after I told her my situation, she was eager to help. She grabbed the paper work from the woman and told her sheíd vouch for me. Then she took me to her cubical and I waited until she returned with dadís belongings. I wasnít prepared to greet the frozen moments my dad chose to carry around everyday in his wallet. The goofy grins my brother and I sported as toddlers, my sisterís ancient prom picture, and the photo of my mother on her wedding day. It was all too much. And yet all the while I was trying to keep from blubbering uncontrollably, all I could think about was whether I should tell Donna how sorry I was about the shitty tip.


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© 2001 John C Smith
January 2001

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