A waiter helped an older woman find a quiet place to dine and walked away. But moments later, he saw her inconsolably burst into tears after seeing the bill.
Redditor littleaprilroses was used to hosting different guests at the eatery he worked. But one customer caught his attention. He was busy covering a host shift when a sweet-looking older woman walked in, looking puzzled.
He tried seating her in the main dining area. But the woman wanted to switch elsewhere quieter so that she could talk to her son. The waiter looked around, but all the booths were already filled in.
Almost an hour later, one booth opened up. The Original Poster (OP) politely seated the woman and walked away to attend to the other guests. He later noticed something wasn’t right about her. The OP explained:
“I noticed about 30 minutes later that her son still wasn’t there. Another 30 minutes pass, and she’s still sitting alone.”
The woman looked restless as she poked her food while checking the phone constantly. Even the guests who arrived later left early, but the woman stuck to her seat, looking disturbed.
Moments later, the OP heard a waiter talk to the manager about the customer at table 11. He realized it was the older woman’s table and curiously asked him what had happened. The OP detailed:
“Her son never showed up or called to cancel, and on top of that, he was supposed to be the one paying.”
The older woman had started crying and strangely said a black cloud hung over her after seeing the bill. The manager immediately walked over to her table.
She looked helpless and lost. Everyone felt terrible, and the manager told her it was okay if she left without paying for the food. The OP added:
“She apologized several times and promised to return tomorrow to pay for her food.”
As she left, the OP heard her leave a message on her son’s voicemail. She sounded anxious, asking if he was okay. She wasn’t mad at him for not showing up. The OP narrated the story on social media, and soon, people started debating if the woman would return to pay her debt.
Some users suggested she’d faked everything to walk home with free food. Redditor 20InMyHead strongly dismissed such claims, saying:
“Seems unlikely a con would wait 45 minutes for a quiet table. And not coming back to pay the next day could mean she really was depending on her son to pay, as she can’t afford it.”
The person added that the restaurant staff could be a little compassionate and that they’d know if she was a con or not if she returned the next day.
User LaMalintzin shared a similar experience with an elderly mother and her son who’d regularly meet for lunch on Wednesdays. “One Wednesday, she came in and waited for him. She finally called him, and he had to remind her that he’d had an appointment that day and they had canceled their normal lunch plan,” the person explained.
Following his update, some users got emotional and said they’d immediately reach out to their mother.
Redditor 2068857539 shared a similar story about an older woman who had dementia and waited for her late husband and late son to show up. She had symptoms including memory loss, confusion, and difficulties with concentration. The OP wondered if the older woman he met underwent similar challenges and reached out to his manager for an update.
“She did indeed return to pay for her bill and even explained why he never showed that night,” he explained. The OP said that the woman had forgotten about their lunch schedule and accidentally mixed up the dates, confirming early dementia symptoms.
Following his update, some users got emotional and said they’d immediately reach out to their mother. Redditor zompreacher posted a comment, saying: “Oh my god, my heart! It’s breaking! I just can’t stop imagining this as my mother… I’m going to call her now.” The OP said he felt the same.
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