A handsome young man keeps bringing different elderly women to a fancy New York restaurant and the waiting staff thought he was exploiting them. They are shocked by the truth.
Jack Lawrence was working at the Silver Spoon for only a few weeks when he noticed strange companions in one of his regular customers.
Daniel Darcy was a tall, handsome man in his thirties. But his dinner companions were all women in their seventies. Darcy was always accompanied by an elderly woman on Saturday nights. Jack was quite sure he knew exactly what was going on…
One Saturday, he watched with disdain as Darcy walked in escorting a doddering old dear, gallantly taking her arm, pulling out her chair like a real gentleman. Jack watched in dismay as Darcy whispered something into the woman’s ears.
She looked up, blushed and tilted her white-coloured head flirtatiously. Jack snorted. He was able to see how Darcy had paid for his three-piece Italian suits. It wasn’t from his pocket.
Jack believed Mr Darcy was seducing elderly ladies to get their money.
He ordered the ‘couple of’ menu and politely read the chef’s suggestions for the evening. “My dear,” Darcy smiled. “You MUST try the sole. It’s delicious!”
The woman, who looked older than she was, giggled like an infant. “Oh Daniel,” She wept. “You spoil me!”
Darcy took her hand and kissed it. “Only because you deserve it, Mrs Harris!” He said it with a charming smile. He ordered champagne, and he asked Mrs Harris about her childhood.
Darcy charmed Mrs Harris throughout the meal and, when the restaurant’s band started a soulful dance, he leapt to his feet. “My dear, would you do me the honour?” He asked with a dashing bow.
Darcy began to lead Mrs Harris through the restaurant’s small dance floor for several songs. Jack observed that Mrs Harris was radiant and infatuated with the slimy gigolo.
It was disgusting! Darcy was too young to be the woman’s grandson! He was not a good fit for her. He was either extorting her for cash or conning her into a dubious financial investment.
Jack could see that Mrs Harris was well-off. She looked well-dressed and had several genuine-looking rings that sparkled on her gnarled fingers. Jack saw that Mrs Harris had been once beautiful.
He thought of Darcy and the old woman, and he shuddered. It was so repulsive! He took them to the dessert table and watched in horror as Darcy ordered profiteroles with chocolate-rum sauce for the woman.
“Oh, Daniel dear,” The woman gasped. “I shouldn’t!”
“Nonsense,” Darcy replied. “WIth your figure, you could eat desserts every night. You’re perfect!”
Mrs Harris smiled happily and started eating her profiteroles. Jack returned to the place where his colleague was taking a short breather. “That man is disgusting!” Jack answered. “I don’t know how he can do it!”
“Do what?” Frank was also asked.
“Seduce those old ladies for money!” Jack said yes.
Frank looked at Jack intently. “I hope it isn’t Mr Darcy you’re talking about!” Frank cried out loudly. “He’s a great man.”
“Right!” sneered Jack, “A great conman!”
Frank looked at Jack. “Daniel Darcy is one of the kindest, most decent men you’re ever likely to meet, and you know nothing about him.”
“And you do?” Jack asked.
“Yes,” said Frank firmly, “I do. Mr Darcy has been the director of an assisted living facility for retirees for the past five years, and since then he’s been bringing a different lady for dinner every Saturday.
“You see, most of these women have outlived their husbands, and their children and grandchildren stick them in these homes and forget about them. I know because my grandmother is in that facility.”
“Oh,” Jack said. “I didn’t know that!”
“Yes. I visit her every weekend, but most of the other residents hardly ever get any visitors, only the occasional phone call if they are lucky. So Mr Darcy takes them out for dinner.
“He lets them know that they are treasured, that someone is interested in what they have to say, that someone values their company,” Frank explained.
Jack was blushing. “I thought… Well, you know what I thought!”
Frank shook his head sadly. “You thought wrong. Mrs Harris is one of my grandmother’s friends and her daughter dropped her off three years ago, telling her it was just for a few weeks while she went on holiday.
“She never came back, and she never calls. The daughter doesn’t care about Mrs Harris, she’s just waiting for her to die, so Mr Darcy is giving her one more lovely memory before the end.”
Jack was disgusted. “My mother passed away at 58, and I wish I could have had more time with her. Mr Darcy is a saint!”
Jack was now thoroughly ashamed of himself, and when he went back to bring Darcy and Mrs Harris their coffee, he was especially courteous. From then on, he made sure he was extra charming to Mr Darcy’s ‘dates.’
What can we learn from this story?
- Don’t judge people until you know what’s going on. Jack thought Mr Darcy was seducing old ladies for their money, when in fact he was being kind to them.
- Cherish your parents and grandparents and let them know you love them. Many of the people in living facilities are ignored and neglected by their families because they are old and suffer from depression.
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