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This Boss Gets More Than Just The Check

, , , , , , | Right | January 10, 2013

(A young gay couple has become my favorite regulars at the small restaurant where I work. One day as I am talking with them, an older, more conservative-looking man walks past us to the To-Go pickup area. He stops short next to us, and in the same moment, I see one of the young guys look down with a panicked expression at where he is holding his boyfriend’s hand.)

Older Man: “[Name]! I didn’t know you ate here!”

Young Man: *uncomfortable* “Oh, yeah, um… it’s halfway between work and my… boyfriend’s work, so.”

Older Man: *glances at the young man’s boyfriend* “Oh.”

(There is an awkward pause, where we all just stare at each other.)

Older Man: “I’m sorry, I’m being rude.” *offers his hand to the young man’s boyfriend* “I’m [Older Man], [Young Man]’s boss. Very nice to meet you. We all love [Young Man] in the office.”

Young Man’s Boyfriend: “Oh! Nice to meet you, too! You know, [Young Man] is always talking about how much he looks up to you.”

(The young man is so visibly relieved that he is near tears. The three make some more small talk before the older man heads off to pick up his lunch. I end up taking his payment and he quietly asks me to pay for the young man and his boyfriend’s meal as well.)

Older Man: “You know… when I was growing up, I was taught that being gay was bad, a sin. But that young man is the brightest kid I’ve ever known, and I can’t see a d*** thing wrong with him…” *pauses* “…or his boyfriend.”

(He smiled at me and then walked away without another word. To this day, I can’t think about the look on the young man’s face when I told him that his boss paid for his nearly $100 meal without wanting to cry.)

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