“Thank you… but no”

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A man looked to his left and saw a very beautiful woman sitting at the end of the bar.  He called me over and said that he wanted to pay for the woman’s meal.  I went to the end of the bar and relayed the message to the woman.  She looked surprised and looked back down the bar at the man.  She told me that she didn’t know who he was, and I told her that it was her decision whether to accept a free meal or not.  She looked very uncomfortable but did come to a decision.

“Please tell him thank you, but I would really just like to pay for my own meal.”

I obliged and told the man that she was grateful, but declined.  The man had just paid for his meal in cash and there was a $10 tip laying on the bar.  He snatched up the bill, slammed his glass of scotch on the bar, and said, “You don’t ASK whether she wants her meal paid for!! You just TELL her it’s paid for!!”  And stormed out.  The woman looked at me with very wide eyes and shrugged.

“I guess I dodged a bullet!” she said.

I have never FORCED someone to accept a free drink, especially a woman.  What would have happened if I had just said, “Excuse me ma’am, but your check has been taken care of”?  Then she would have had to go down there, thanked him, and probably would have been roped into an uncomfortable conversation before finding out what a wonderfully short fuse the man had.

Why did he have to go with the whole meal?  Couldn’t he have started with buying her a drink?  That may have been a bit less dramatic.  And even if I was the one that ruined his brilliant plan… he could have gone down there and said something to the effect of, “I hope you weren’t offended by my offer.  I just wanted to offer to help you out with your day.”  Taking back my tip… that doesn’t teach me a lesson.  I’m not going to act any differently next time an angry man offers to buy a woman her lunch when she just wants to sit peacefully and enjoy her lunch hour. 

Side note… the woman comes in once a week.  I never saw the man again.

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