When a meat-head becomes a meathead


Once upon a time, J and I went to the Metropolitan Grill, and had a lovely dinner. The server was great. I got a little tipsy. I even wrote a little note of appreciation.

The next morning, I stared at the receipt and felt queasy. And then it hit me. In my inebriated state, I had a brain fart and undertipped her. 7% or so, instead of my intended 25%. Which, coupled with my note, made me feel like a complete asshole.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to tell J. Over the next week, I called to see if the server was in, but that made feel like a stalker. I didn’t want to give the money to the restaurant manager or the host, even in an envelope, because I couldn’t trust them to pass the money along to the waiter.


Two years went by.

The receipt remained on my desk.


I couldn’t let it go, yet I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. (I was too embarrassed to talk about it with anyone, even my therapist.)

Finally, I mentioned this… thing to my physical therapist. She said, Well, why don’t you make another reservation, ask her to be your server, and just add a huge tip then?

—Would you go with me? I asked. I’ll buy. You just need to make the reservation.


She still worked at the Metropolitan. She didn’t remember me, to my relief. I added a humungous tip to make up for the previous time.

And that’s how I finally ended up getting a terrible weight off my shoulders.