All thanks and credit goes to the Reddit user, mckinney4string, for sharing this wonderful story.
Source can be found at the end of the article.
My last server position was with a very, very upscale fine-dining steakhouse near a major Texas metroplex. It was ridiculously “fancy” to the point of being gaudy. (The owner was known for his “over-the-top” Las-Vegas-style interiors.) Some steaks were north of $100, and $750 to $800 was not uncommon for some of the nicer reds. We even had a bottle of cabernet that went for $3500. (There’s another whole story about that, but another time…)
One thing I enjoyed about working fine dining was the pace. Yes, you got busy, but you never really had the hair-on-fire thing. It was also nice that, for the most part, the patrons were what I would call “professional diners.” Tips were rarely under 20-25%, and you were expected to spend more time with your tables, as you were not only the expert on the menu and wine, but usually the expert on the area (the restaurant was across the street from a nice hotel; lots of out-of-towners) as well. It was a good job, so I’m glad to say I ended being a server on a positive note.
One of the rooms was called The Wine Room. It was lovely. Dark mahogany, and the walls were literally floor-to-ceiling wine racks. Snazzy. It was able to be used as a private room (pocket doors) but usually we had it open for regular seating.
Cut to the wind-down of a fairly busy Saturday dinner shift. I had been the opener that day, so I was cut at around 8:30 . At that point, the Wine Room, which had housed my section, was empty except for a four-top. Two older couples celebrating a wedding anniversary. After engaging the guests a bit, I learned that the older of the two couples—easily in their late eighties--were the parents of the male half of the other couple, who were probably in their 60’s. The older gentleman had lost the ability to speak and used an electric voice box to speak. They were all friendly and outgoing, even—and especially—the older gentleman. Having to use a device to speak had not robbed him of his wit and humor. His wife was lovely. You could tell that she had been a stunning beauty in her day.
At some point, the younger lady asked me if I could bring a birthday dessert for the older lady. I had already asked the kitchen to put together an anniversary dessert (on the house) so I asked, naturally, if I had been confused. “Oh,” I said, “I was told this was an anniversary, my mistake.”