Ghosted after a date at Cracker Barrel

Published 11:38 am Monday, May 1, 2023

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Dear Aunty Pam,

I’m a woman in my 30s and went out on a date with a nice guy, around the same age, last week. His favorite place is Cracker Barrel, so that’s where we went. 

We had a good time, but the table next to us had two toddlers in high chairs and left their table a wreck. They’d asked the waitress for crackers for the kids and the kids had smashed them up and they were all over the floor. I couldn’t believe it. We all happened to be getting up to leave at the same time and I said to the dad, “I sure hope you’re leaving the waitress a big tip.” 

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He ignored me and I could see he left two dollars on the table, so I said, “Do you think it’s right the waitress has to clean all that up for two bucks?” He told me to mind my own business and I didn’t say anything else.

When my date drove me home, he was really quiet. When I asked him if something was wrong he said that I had embarrassed him, that I’d stuck my nose in where it didn’t belong and people are so crazy nowadays that it could’ve ended up in a fight. I told him I waitressed for years and that waitresses get about $2 an hour and rely on tips, so I felt like I needed to say something because that family behaved really badly.

Needless to say, I’ve not heard from my date since. I guess he’s ‘ghosting’ me.

Do you think I was wrong? Should I have just kept quiet and not said anything?




Dear Confused,

Well, that’ll teach you to go to a Cracker Barrel on a Saturday Night.

On behalf of everyone who has ever waited tables, including Aunty Pam, I applaud you for your empathy towards the poor waitress who was going to have to clean up your mess. Especially for a lousy tip. Having said that, maybe not such a good idea on a first date because your ex-potential boyfriend had a very good point: people are nuts nowadays. 

Inadvertently cut someone off in traffic, bump into somebody in a parking lot, or, heck, attend school, and there’s every possibility you’ll get shot and killed.

As far as your date was concerned, the poor guy just wanted to go have dinner at his favorite restaurant with a woman he’s met and not get thrown up against a booth or stomped to death in the parking lot. That could have happened and it would have been your fault. So here’s a thought: the next time you see a waitress getting shafted like that at a table, ignore it and leave an extra big tip at your table. That way, everything works out alright and nobody winds up on the evening news.

Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam