Ice Cream Sundae . . . the rest of the story

I wrote last week about an incident with an ice cream sundae. A couple people asked about it, so here’s the rest of the story.

Here is a picture of the sundae dish. They’re pretty, but can be unstable. When there are several on a tray it’s a real balancing act keeping the weight centered so dishes don’t topple. Which obviously I didn’t do one evening.

I’d served all the other desserts, when this last sundae – of course it had to have some kind of sticky syrup on it, it couldn’t have been just a simple dish of hand-dipped deliciousness – fell on the tray. The ice cream shot out like a cannonball and smacked the back of this young woman’s head. This was in the 70s when long, silky, straight hair was in style and hers was absolutely gorgeous, hanging several inches below her shoulders. There wasn’t a curl or split end to stop the slow slide of ice cream.

I don’t remember if I actually grabbed napkins or someone else at the full table did, but by the time the cold mess got to just below her nape, it was wiped out of her hair and soggy napkins with ice cream scoops and hot fudge were back on the tray.

I do remember several other things.

  • I was mortified and apologized profusely.
  • She was not happy and refused the offer of another sundae.
  • No one else at the table of six was pleasant either.
  • Though the owner was called to the table, I wasn’t fired nor was my paycheck docked the price of the sundae.
  • I don’t remember her ever coming back.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago before our current virus kept us out of restaurants. Hubby and I were out to dinner with our friends Linda and Jack. Just as the young waitress set our drinks on the table, she somehow knocked over Linda’s ice tea and it went flying. I got splattered, but most of the ice cubes and tea flowed off the edge of the table and onto Linda’s lap. The waitress was mortified and started to apologize profusely.

And I cracked up laughing.

Admittedly Linda didn’t laugh quite as heartily as I did, but she and our husbands did laugh. If I remember right, it was the weekend our golf outing got completely rained out so this mishap seemed fitting. We started sopping up the drink with napkins while the young girl got a towel, and then our food arrived and we had a nice supper-a sticky seat- but the food was good. The manager came over to make sure all was well and we made sure the waitress didn’t get fired or have her pay docked.

A few minutes into our meal, a couple from the next table stopped by ours on their way out and said ‘Thank you.’ They told us they were having dinner with their grandchildren, they looked to be about 7 and 10 years old, and they’d witnessed what happened with Linda’s tea. They were watching to see how we’d react. The grandparents said when we laughed, we taught them a lesson they’d never forget. I hope they haven’t.

I know I haven’t. There were several lessons for me.

  • Life is too short to be unkind over something like spilled tea or projectile ice cream.
  • We don’t always know when someone else, especially someone young, is watching what we do.
  • We all have ‘those’ kinds of days when nothing goes right, and we rarely know when someone else is having one of them. (Maybe even someone with beautiful silky hair who’s just trying to have an ice cream sundae).

May we all take a deep breath and be kind.

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