Family-Style And Family Friendly

| Working | November 3, 2015

(I am seven. Dad is disabled and raising us alone. Money is tight. My nine-year-old sister and I beg to go to the beach and he takes us crabbing, along with a friend of ours. It starts raining and after we pull in the crab pots Dad herds us all into a chowder restaurant to warm up and we all immediately beg for soup.)

Waitress: “Four today?”

Dad: “Uh, yeah, one second.”

(The waitress gathers menus and watches us, soaking wet in over-sized obviously second or third hand coats shivering while Dad counts the coins in his pockets to see what he can afford. After a minute Dad lets her lead us to a table.)

Dad: “Four waters, and uh, three cups of chowder please.”

Waitress: “Three?”

Dad: *nods and looks embarrassed*

Waitress: “Okay, that will be right out for you guys.”

(A few minutes she returns and sets a huge pot of chowder on the table with a big plate of warm bread and a stack of bowls.)

Waitress: “Sorry, it was easier to serve it family style. Hope you don’t mind!” *she scurries off before Dad can say anything*

(The family style ended up working out to two bowls of soup for each of us – including Dad – and she only charged us for the three cups. I’ll never forget her kindness, and wish we could have given a tip other than some shells and a half dollar coin.)

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