My son and I went out for dinner tonight to an Italian restaurant that serves pretty good pasta. Once we sat down with our menus, the server came up and gave us the usual spiel.

“Hello, I’m Tanya and I’ll be your server this evening. Would you like a complimentary taste of our wine-of-the-day?”

I decided to try some. When I took a sip, my eyes closed as my taste buds did a happy dance. It was a sweet red and I’m a sucker for a sweet red, so I asked if they sell by the bottle.

Tanya’s eyes widened as she smiled “why yes we do.”
“Great! I’d like a bottle to take home please.”
Tanya’s big smile faltered a little as she glanced around at the other tables. She lowered her voice. “The thing is, We can’t sell you an unopened bottle of wine. I’ll have to open it and pour you a glass first.”

“Okay….”

“It’s just that we don’t have a license to sell bottles like in a liquor store. You can buy a bottle and I’ll pour you a glass and then you can take what’s left of the bottle home.” She flashed a bright smile, happy to have come up with a solution.

I looked over at my son. His eyes were dancing with amusement.
“I think that will be fine,” I say. We watched as she practically skipped away.

While we waited for the main course we enjoyed our salad.   I don’t get much mom and son time anymore so I was thoroughly enjoying the company.  When Tayna came back to our table, she brandished an ice bucket with a bottle of wine chilling inside.
“I’ll just leave this here and when your meal comes, I’ll pour you a glass.” Again, she beams at me before moving on to another table.

I was impressed with her enthusiasm. It was a refreshing break from the sour faced servers I usually get. You know the kind I’m talking about, they’re the one’s who think that a job is a huge inconvenience. They rarely make eye contact, until they present you with the check. Then it’s all smiles. Yeah, like I forgot about the last 45 minutes they graced me with attitude. Whatever happened to real hospitality anyway? But I digress.

During dinner, I enjoyed my glass of wine and the time spent with my son. All too soon it’s time for the check.

Tanya returned to the table with a receipt and a clear plastic bag. She again lowered her voice, “So this is how it works. I’ll put your receipt along with the bottle in this bag. The bag comes with an adhesive top to seal the bottle inside. See?”
She showed me the adhesive at the top of the bag and explained how it sealed the opening. She made quite the production of it.

“If by some chance you get pulled over, all you have to do is show the officer that the bag is sealed. You can show the receipt inside to prove you just purchased it at this restaurant and you shouldn’t have any problem.”
I thanked her, and as we walked to the car, my son put his arm around my shoulder.

“Don’t worry mom, if you get thrown in jail I’ll bail you out.”
I laughed. “Well, that’s good to know. I didn’t want to spoil her fun by telling her you were a cop.”

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Lori Summers

Author Lori Summers

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