Flavored Status

Probably well over one-thousand. Has to be that many tables I’ve sat behind while eating everything from seafood to steak, tacos to turkey, and donuts to dumplings. I’m counting only those where pleasant smiles have greeted me at a restaraunt, café, or fast food burger joint. Sure, some don’t quite get a glimmering, “memory”, review as I sit here tonight at yet another.

If your experiences have been similar to mine, eating out isn’t always the pleasant experience we hope for when a gurgling stomach makes its demands. “Having a bad day” servers and over-priced, low quality food can cool a bowl of happy soup in a hurry. So when we find a favorite or two, it’s like the culinary cosmos opens up a big can of whoo-hoo in our lives.

I have my “flavored-status” places to find delicious ways to the bottom of a bowl, the end of a stacked sandwich, or an empty glass of refreshing iced tea. They are the few I’ve chosen out of many in which to share moments.

As I sit here tonight behind a, now, empty plate that once held a very proud piece of strawberry pie, I wonder what makes those eatery “spots” we visit so special.

Food probably comes in second; although, where I visit frequently, … the soup, salads, dinners, sandwiches, and crepes are fantastic. You probably have your local places to visit and chat up the day’s events just like I do? The conversation between likable friends across steaming coffee in the morning is sun-risably essential for the soul. Still, not the top condiment in my sandwich, though.

Has to be those smiling faces. As I came into this place tonight for a piece of pie …

… I – not so swiftly – passed this sign. The message was grinning me right in the face.

I don’t visit Eat & Park often. Maybe twice a month … maybe. It isn’t a favorite as favorites go in my life. After two forkfulls of syrupy strawberry pie here however, it became a treasured one-man island for my thoughts. Notions about a Place For Smiles and all the restaraunts I’ve been in, my favorites, … and what makes them so: the smiles and joy I receive from the staff.

There really isn’t anything better than being appreciated as a customer. The waitresses and waiters get to know us, become like friends, and are so special. A simple, cheery “Hello!”, really tugs at a deep, welcoming receptor inside us that needs a smile to open up our world of possible sadness or hurt. We go inside our favorite places to get outside ourselves. If it wasn’t for the genuinely lovely folks who brighten our days with order tablets or simple sheets of paper, I’m not sure life would be the same.

It wouldn’t be for me, anyway … because I have a “nickname” at my local, special eatery. No need for anyone here to know the specifics. It’s kinda cool, but out of context, I wouldn’t recommend looking up the associated picture of said “nickname”. It’s an ugly little bugger … 🙄😉😊.

So, with the pie all gone, it’s one-thousand and one restaraunts …. at least for now. Who really counts, anyway? Tonight HAS been a place for smiles. Truly.

I can smile since life is not bad for most of us, right? Sure, there’s are some problems always on the horizon and issues to be dealt with now. Life as it is for most of us getting through a post-pandemic, crazy world.

My waitress was deserving of the tip she received. After all, I sat here for a while – nursing a glass of water and piece of pie for a long time. All the while, she never stopped smiling while asking me if I needed anything else …

To her, and those who brighten our days by smiling and extending genuine love and care to us – your customers and friends:

… “We’re fine. I’m fine. Truly. I appreciate you. We appreciate you. Thanks.”

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