Hubs and I often go out to dinner with my mom. We always let her order first and she always asks the server to put her meal on a separate bill.
A few weeks ago the three of us were dining out. When mom asked for her order to be put on a separate bill the server gave me a puzzled look which I interpreted as “Are you sure you don’t want to pay for your mother’s meal?” Then she stood where Mom couldn’t see her and pointed to her order pad, then to me and mouthed the words, “Do you want her bill?” I discretely shook my head in the “no” direction. She then gave me a strange look and walked away. After dinner the server was about to give both bills to hubs, but Mom was quick on the draw and grabbed hers. The server sent out a vibe that suggested she couldn’t believe we wouldn’t pay for an 88-year-old’s dinner.
Here’s what that server didn’t know.
Mom paid for her meal with a gift card that either I or my sister had bought her. You see, with Christmas, birthday and Mother’s Day coming around each year, my sister and I load mom with gift cards for the restaurants she frequents. Hubs and I always make our dining selections based on the cards in Mom’s stash. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen her pay for a meal with her own money. But by having her meal put on a separate bill, she feels independent and that’s very important to her.
While I felt a bit judged, it wasn’t important enough to go and get all offended. In fact, hubs didn’t see the exchanges and I never mentioned them. The server simply jumped to a conclusion without knowing the facts.
I’m grateful for the reminder that I don’t have to do the same. My turning off my judgement meter I practice good emotional health. And I’ll take all of that I can get!