Yesterday, I had lunch at one of my favorite Mom and Pop restaurants. Well, actually I don’t know if there is a Mom, I’ve only seen Pop. Anyway the food is good, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the laid back lunch crowd is diverse.
I sat in my second favorite booth and ordered my food. I always sit facing the front of the restaurant so that I can see out of the huge glass windows. The view isn’t much. Just the parking lot and the busy street beyond but I get a good look at everyone who comes in.
Yesterday was one of the sunny southern spring days that reminds you that summer is just a few moments away. Shorts, sandals and tank tops are already survival gear. I dug into my “meat and three” plate of baked chicken, cabbage, collards and potatoes. Yes, I know that’s heavy for lunch but I don’t eat here everyday and after all, this is the South.
Anyway, I spotted a beautiful woman across the parking lot toward the restaurant. She wore a black jumpsuit with high heels and understated jewelry. Her hair was in a huge lush Afro that grudgingly gave way to the wind now and then. She strutted, more than walked, with her hand bag firmly hung from her bent elbow. In one hand, she held her cell phone while the other moved leisurely back and forth in time with her steps.
She walked with the confidence that I love to see in early middle aged black women.
My sister! I thought as she stepped toward me. Just then, a man approached walking down the sidewalk toward the restaurant. He seemed a little hurried but there is no way he did not see my sister approaching. He reached the door just ahead of her, swung it open, walked through…and let the door slam shut in her face!
I was shocked! Again, this is the south and good manners are expected. Letting the door close on a woman is inexcusably rude! There was an audible gasp in the restaurant. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who saw what happened.
The sister, more than surprised I’m sure, hesitated for a fraction of a heartbeat then proceeded to the door. She opened it wide and stepped in. She removed her shades revealing a slight sheen of perspiration around her eyes.
Our eyes met. “That was so rude and disrespectful!” she stated quietly.
“Yes, it was,” I responded. I shook my head a bit in sympathy as she walked on. A few seconds later, I heard the gentleman seated in the booth behind me say, “That was rude, ma’am. I wouldn’t have done that. Some of us do have manners!”
I didn’t turn around but I smiled to myself because that gentleman had just saved the day for my sister…and me too.