Monday, September 18, 2006

Friendship Heights Panera: Young Love, Class Warfare, Random Acts of Kindness

Sunday afternoon in lovely Friendship Heights, I'm enjoying the free Wi-Fi, checking email, catching up on the news (well, okay, the celebrity gossip and, surrounded by college students. Across the aisle: two young lovebirds smooching (and Panera's romantic fireplace wasn't even blazing) and an earthy, social sciences or development work-looking girl with her Forever 21-clad friend.

An older, very polite homeless man starts walking the aisles asking for money. This takes everyone a bit by surprise...with the whole spectrum of reactions.

"What are you doing here?!?!" Earthy girl bolted to her feet, face tomato red. "This is a restaurant! People are eating here! You can't just come in here and ask people for money!" She ran for the manager, livid perhaps that the less fortunate had sprung from her schoolwork into real life.

Meanwhile, the boy half of the lovebirds quietly approached the man, took him to the sandwich counter and bought him lunch. "That's my boyfriend!" his girl swooned proudly.

Some good samaritan's getting some lovin' tonight. Indeed, a happy denouement for all: The manager placated Earthy Girl. We diners got peace from her ranting, and the homeless man enjoyed a meal. Though the poor guy's timing was off. Had he arrived just half an hour later, he'd have been able to graze unabashedly off the trays of free crostini samples.

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At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Sweet said...

You'd think Earthy Girl would be a little more compassionate to a fellow kid of Mother Earth. The fact that she reacted that way is just embarassing.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No comment.


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