Today I was in Salem, going to the vendors meeting for the proposed casino at Suffolk Downs. We were early, so I decided to grab something to eat. It was a good meal at Victoria Station and as we were finishing up, a man came in with his two young daughters (about 5 and 7). They ordered and both the dad and the eldest girl got salad bar salads.
They youngest wasn’t into vegetables, so when the other two got up to get their salads she didn’t want to go. Now negotiations started. The eldest didn’t like the way dad made salads and the youngest wouldn’t budge off her seat. The dad was about to give up and cancel the salads when I had my friend, Tony get his attention.
“Are you going to the restroom?”
“No I was taking her (pointing to the older girl) to the salad bar. He gave me a pathetic look.
“Don’t worry, she can stay there. We’ll keep an eye on her” A look of relief washed over him but the littlest one looked suspicious. I think she thought we wanted her to sit at our table. She started to follow him. “Oh so you want to come now?”
She shook her head and whispered something and he told her no just go sit down. She did and looked over at me. I gave her a smile and waved. She relaxed and began to sip her soda.
When her father and sister had returned with their salads. He thanked me.
“No problem,” I said as the waitress brought our bill. He and the kids went back to their food and discussions. They didn’t notice my rolling two $1 bills into tiny toothpicks.
When the waitress came back to take our credit card, I quietly asked her to wait for us to leave and then give each one of the girls a “dollar toothpick”. She smiled and assured me she would.
As we were walking passed his table on the way out the man thanked me again and said being a single dad was a challenge. I assured him that they reminded me of me and my sister and not to worry. He had know idea of the surprise for his girls coming up.
We left. I never saw the waitress return or give them their gifts. It didn’t matter.
I didn’t need to see it.
We went to our meeting.