Pay It Forward

As jaded as we may get watching the daily news or scrolling through our social media feeds and seeing all the garbage, hate, death, selfishness and nasty there are glimmers of good in this world. This is one of those stories.I traveled to Dallas this week for a training class. Whenever I travel I like to check out local restaraunts that I can’t try somewhere else, especially back home. That means, went straight off the plane to In-and-out for a Double Double and Animal Style Fries! Why is it so good?!

It was recommended to me that I check out some local, authentic Tex-Mex and Mi Cocina was the place to go. I enjoyed some shrimp tacos and their house made guacamole and chips. Overall it was an average meal for a mexican restaraunt. I’ve had better but the flavor was good and the seasoning on the shrimp was quite good. As I finished up and the waiter brought the check I reached for my wallet.
Not there. Seriously, where was my wallet!?!? That’s right. I took it out of my pocket in the hotel to check a card number and didn’t put it back. It was sitting there, in my hotel room on the desk, as I sat here with a finished meal and a check on the table. I was full but my pocket was empty. 

I call the waiter over and begin to explain, with a smile on my face as much as I could muster. How embarrassing… 

“Um, excuse me sir. Um, yes. I’m just realizing that I have left my wallet in my hotel room. I’ll have to get a ride, go back, get it, come back and then pay. What do you want me to do?” He’s thinking, “Seriously!? There goes my tip.” He starts to answer but the lady next to me reaches over and graciously offers to pay for my meal. 

“I’m so sorry to ease drop, but let me take care of that. Someone recently paid for my meal when a restaurant didn’t accept American Express and it was all I had.” 

I tried to decline, she insisted. “No really. It’s my pleasure.” 

“Let get your info and pay you back” 

“No, no. I want to pay it forward” 

So, the day was saved. By Lynn (or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what she introduced herself as.) She was also traveling on business and was there eating by herself reading a book. We talk for a little while about family, football and work then I said thank you again and left. I’ll probably never see her again but she turned by pretty embarrassing situation into an only slightly embarrassing situation, and I’m grateful. 

There is still good in this world. My turn to pay it forward now.