When I lived in Austin, Texas, I enjoyed many great singing groups. The one I remember the most was one guy who sang his own songs, one of which was called “Sooner or Later.”
The song was about a young man and a girl who were on their first date. The young man brought her flowers and took her to a wonderful restaurant where they sat comfortably out on the patio under the stars. The wine was delicious and their food was divine. The young man did all he could to be charming and generous, and he asked her about herself instead of talking about himself.
Everything was going beautifully until the waiter came around and told them that he was terribly sorry, but the desserts they had ordered had run out. He told them about the other desserts they could have, and said that the manager wouldn’t charge them for them. The girl smiled and said that it wasn’t a problem.
But then there WAS a problem; the young man shouted at the waiter and told him he was stupid and lazy, and blamed him for not watching out for the desserts he ordered. The waiter apologized and again said that they could have any other desserts for free. But the young man wouldn’t accept that and kept yelling at him.
Now, at this point in the singer’s song, he stopped playing his guitar and said this: “ladies, if a fellow takes you out to dinner and is charming and thoughtful and kind, but he is rude to the waiter, remember this: no matter how charming and thoughtful and kind he is on your first date, sooner or later, YOU”LL be the waiter.”
We all laughed, but that song stuck with me for years. Of course a couple on their first date are usually thoughtful and kind and interesting; they want to make a good impression. Hopefully have more dates. But this song is the sad truth: if someone treats other people badly, sooner or later, you’ll be the waiter. Watch for the clues.