Hubby and I went away for our anniversary this past weekend and stayed at a nice hotel on the Cape. By booking through Expedia, he likes to ensure that the hotel has a free breakfast because eating a …
Hubby and I went away for our anniversary this past weekend and stayed at a nice hotel on the Cape. By booking through Expedia, he likes to ensure that the hotel has a free breakfast because eating a nice breakfast is a real treat. This one did not disappoint. It had a hot bar with scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes and turkey sausage. There were plenty of cereals, bread and bagels to toast, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and fresh fruit. The water for my tea was very hot, something that is often overlooked by non-tea drinkers. Instead of a lukewarm drip out of an old hot pot, this was fresh, full flowing, very hot water, which allowed the tea bag to steep perfectly.
The piece de resistance of this breakfast nook were two waffle machines. I love waffles, and generally tend to ignore the other ho-hum options. Standing next to one of the griddles was a woman of African American descent. She had dyed blonde hair and wore bright red lipstick that was sort of smeared. Her shoes were worn, and her outfit was very baggy, wearing pants that looked two sizes too big. She was having trouble figuring out how to get the waffle batter into a cup to put it in the waffle maker.
A crowd had gathered around her, but stayed several feet away, as though she were contagious. Walking right through them and up to her, I smiled and asked if she needed some help, to which she nodded, with a glimmer of tears in her eyes.
Rather than doing it for her, which would have been quicker, I showed her how to do it herself, and she proceeded to do it like a champ. She started to speak to me in speech that copied that of a drunkard, and it was very difficult to understand. It took a few minutes to realize that this sprite of a woman had some type of disability, either a stroke or cerebral palsy, and that was why her speech was so slurred. I smiled and nodded, even though with my age acquired hearing impairment I could not totally understand what she was saying.
It would have been easy for me to excuse myself to get out of the situation, but there we were, just two typical strangers having a pleasant conversation. It was apparent that others were “turned off” by her, fearful that she was drunk, or drugged, or generally not a good person, and my heart ached for her and for anyone who must go through life in such a manner. She reminded me of my brother, who had a severe speech impediment and from whom people would run in the opposite direction. He had the advantage of being blind, so he did not have to personally witness the reaction of strangers.
After her waffle was done, she started to leave the breakfast area with her bare waffle. I threw on the batter for my waffle, and then called her over to show her where the waffle condiments were. She was so excited to see strawberries and whipped cream, in addition to the traditional butter and syrup. Her eyes glowed with excitement as she piled her waffle high.
I finally made mine, also adding strawberries and whipped cream, and went to sit with Hubby, because it was, after all, our anniversary. As usual, we both played Solitaire on our phones as we ate, and I drank my delicious hot cup of tea. Leaving the table to go up to our room, I noticed this woman in front of us at the elevator. When the elevator opened and she saw us coming, she put her arm in front of the door to stop the door from closing, and she motioned for us to go in before her. Smiling, we both did so, and I thanked her for helping us. It felt good for her to pay back a little of the kindness I had shown her, and somehow it solidified our common humanity.
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