Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Love That Francine

Massey and I both worked tonight. As different as we are, in some ways are just the same.

She came up to me at work around five after going to the restroom which happens to be located across the atrium from the restaurant. She said "I think your friend Jessica is sitting at the bar at Lorena Garcia, typing on a laptop".

I worked with Jessica at the "Western Sizzler" aka LongHorn back in the late nineties. Massey hasn't seen her in probably about ten years but has a memory like her momma.

She was one of only a small handful of people I still consider dear friends. That's her on the right and another on the left. (shout out to Lisa too)

So I wandered across the atrium to see if Massey was right. I haven't seen her in quite a while either, but Massey was right... it was her! We chatted for a few minutes and guess Massey saw us talking from the restaurant so came over too.

Let me say that she is one of the most lovely persons you'd ever be lucky enough to meet. She's smart, beautiful and not necessarily in that order. She's also sweet without a mean bone in her body.

When Tim and I were at our lowest point, years after she'd graduated from Ga. State University and had moved on from LongHorn, was married and had a great corporate job with a pretty huge restaurant.

Faithfully, every month or so we would receive an envelope in the mail. No note or message but filled with about thirty or forty free meal cards for the place she worked.

Sometimes was the only way I had to feed my family at the time and my kids even came to recognize her envelope in the mailbox and would be excited beyond anything to see it when checking the mail. They would sit at our kitchen table and divvy out the cards between them.

So tonight, she wandered across the atrium about an hour later and asked for my table. She had returned from a work trip and waiting for her husband to arrive on a later flight from a fishing trip with their youngest son.

She had a couple of hours to wait and was working from her laptop. I ordered her some fried goat cheese balls, our signature appetizer and immediately decided (without telling) her visit would be on me. Most excellent time to Pay It Forward!

I introduced her to one of my managers, another favorite person of mine in the world and after telling him later I wanted to pay her tab said he'd comp all of it  except alcohol ( not legally allowed) but she only had two glasses of wine over a three hour period.

So when the time came for her to leave, told her the tab was taken care of.

She fed my kids for years and was glad to do something nice for her.

We hugged, took the above pic together and had an awesome time chatting and laughing. Luckily my section of tables was slow and had plenty of time to converse. I told her some of my airport stories (trust me have plenty) and learned some of her own stories, raising two youngsters of her own.

So after she left, went to clear her table.

Under her napkin was one of the sweetest notes I've ever gotten. Massey said I should have it framed, and just might!

And under that note, was a beyond exorbitant cash tip.

How awesome is that?

She is one of two girls (who other happens to also be named Jessica)  I worked with at LongHorn and are both dear to my heart and for some reason love an old skinny woman.

Funniest thing I remembered about her tonight after her leaving.

When she worked with me at LongHorn years ago, my kids were still little and watched PBS all the time told her one day she reminded me of Francine on the PBS show Arthur.

I also still remember her saying "Thanks, so I look like an aardvark?"

Jessica is the Kardashian of aardvarks and yes I'm a mental case...but an extremely lucky one.

Can my life get any better?


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