Laura and I were late, so we paid for our parking space and rushed to the restaurant. We knew Jenny was already waiting for us, and had been for some time. We grimaced as we braced ourself against the frigid wind: the cold front had just made its way through the city, and the temperatures were rapidly falling toward the freezing mark.
As I was about to put my hand on the front door, it flew open and a small woman with a huge smile burst through the doorway. "Welcome to The Breakfast Klub! Come on in!"
I offered to let her go ahead of us, but she insisted we go through the door. "But you have no coat on!" I protested. "You shouldn't be out here! It's cold!"
She waved us through and then followed us into the restaurant. "Oh, I know, I know," she said. "I'll put a coat on in a minute. But the thing is," she continued, without lowering her voice even a little bit, "when I'm having hot flashes -- like the one I'm having now, for example? -- going outside feels goood."
Laura and I looked at her with surprise, and then the three of us burst into laughter. "Now, you two been here before?" she asked, still grinning, and resting her hand lightly on my arm.
"Well, just place your order at the counter. We have eggs, waffles, ham, grits, bacon ... you can get regular coffee over there ... then we have gourmet coffees ... cappuccinos, lattes ... we have hot chocolate..."
"Stop it! You have hot chocolate?"
She smiled at me. "Yes, girl, with real whipped cream..."
"Aw, now you're talkin' ..."
"...and a swirl of extra chocolate on top ..."
"Okay, now you're just being rude."
She laughed loudly. "Well, now, y'all just go on up there and order..."
"Okay, we will, thank you," Laura and I responded.
"And by the way..." She stopped and look at us directly in our eyes, intently, mindfully. "Thanks to the both of you for just brightening my morning." Then after smiling at us warmly, she turned toward the front door to welcome the next group of customers approaching the building.
Can you imagine?
She thanked us.