I was nervous as I sat at the fine Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, waiting for my date to arrive. I had been crushing on him for weeks and mustered the courage to ask him out. After he accepted my invitation to a date, we planned to meet at 7 pm. This time was already 7:30 pm. I have a 20-30 minute no-call/no-show rule about feeling stood up. I checked my phone for the umpteenth time, hoping for a message or call from him, but nothing happened.
As the minutes ticked by, my heart sank. I couldn’t believe he stood me up. I felt embarrassed and humiliated, wondering what I had done wrong. I tried to shake off the feeling and ordered a second drink, hoping it would calm my nerves.
Just as I was about to give up and leave, a man approached my table. He was tall, stocky, dark brown, and handsome, with a charming smile. He introduced himself as the restaurant manager and apologized for the delay in service. I did not mind the service delay because I caused it while waiting for my crush. He offered to buy me dinner and keep me company after I waited for my date. Though I initially wanted his company, I asked whether he had work to do, because I did not want to be a part of his problems at work.
I hesitated, but his warm demeanor and kind words put me at ease. We chatted about our favorite foods, travel destinations, and local hobbies. I laughed and enjoyed his company more than I ever thought possible.
As the night wore on, I realized my crush was not the only one who could make me feel special. The restaurant manager was a true gentleman, and I felt grateful for his kindness. When my crush finally texted me, apologizing for the delay, I knew I had already found someone better. I left the crush’s text messages on “read.”
The crush’s text did not offer an apology but let me know that he was out with his friends, forgot about our date, and asked to reschedule. I did not respond.
In the end, I left the restaurant with a full stomach and a full heart. I may have been stood up, but I gained something much more valuable – a new friend and a boost of self-confidence. Sometimes, the best things in life come when we least expect them.