Outside your comfort zone
On a long road trip recently, I stopped to grab a bite.
Sitting in the restaurant, I noticed the couple at the adjacent table were engrossed in something, heads together. Looking closely, I saw it was a crossword puzzle. Every now and then there’d be a small “yeay!”, having conquered a tough word. I asked if I could join them as I waited for my meal to arrive. They were very accommodating. That’s how I met Jan and Richard. Nobody paid us any attention, but we were having a good time.
They said they always play a game of some sort while they’re waiting at restaurants. The game depended on the place and the estimated wait time to receive service. Sometimes Uno, Snap! or Wordle. Sometimes Rummy or crosswords.
Another time, visiting the dentist, I watched as a young family played cards as they waited their turn. When one of them was called, the others continued to play. It certainly kept the young ones from getting fidgety, and the couple from watching their phones.
My family has followed this practice – we take a pack of cards or a board game wherever we go. Since we’re a competitive sort, we play for the bill, even though it’s all in the family, so to speak. The loser pays! When it’s a game that the boys are good at, they select pricey restaurants. Go figure.
For our family, it makes for some boisterous moments, especially when hollering is called for, like “Taboo!”. Once we were celebrating a birthday at a casual eatery, and the wait took ages. As we played our game we attracted some attention, and people from the next table joined us. History has a way of repeating itself……
The wait staff were happy we were keeping others occupied as they waited. Now they keep several decks of cards handy at the front, so that guests can amuse themselves while they wait.
Playing a game in a restaurant can be a bit daunting at first, unless you’re familiar with the restaurant’s staff. But it sure is good for people to go outside of their comfort zones and do things that seem unusual. Especially if it’s harmless and in the spirit of fun. The same could be said for switching jobs, careers, making new friends or new hobbies.
Try it - not only does it make the world a more interesting place – it stretches our boundaries, and can radiate a positive and fun vibe, for us and others.
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