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“Hey,” the waitress said, smiling at me. I had barely walked in the door. She looked around the restaurant, as if she had just noticed that it was pretty empty. “I guess you can sit anywhere.”

It was 2:45p.m. The thing that’s great about Waffle House is that even when you go at an odd time, it’s not odd. There’s always someone there or someone about to come in. You can always sit at the counter and strike up a conversation.

“So, do you know what you want or do you need a little time? Do you want some juice or coffee?” the waitress asked.

She had a sunny disposition. Her freckles seemed to match her friendly demeanor. She had fine straight brown hair to the top of her shoulders and warm delicate light brown eyes. I guessed her to be about nineteen.

We started talking because she wasn’t busy.

“I’m glad it’s slow now,” she said, “because it gives me a chance to think about this paper I have to write for my English class. You know, I’m taking four classes and it’s all good because I work here in the morning five days a week and then I have three hours off in the afternoon before my classes. Two of my classes are online, which is great, and two are on campus. It’s a good balance. It all works out because I get to see my fiancé in the late afternoon before my classes.”

“Sounds like a good plan,” I said.

I was thinking that someone else might complain about having to work five days a week and take four classes and try to save some money for a wedding and college, but instead she was grateful.

What is happiness? This is something I’ve been pondering lately. Why is it that some people waste their time complaining and holding grudges while other people just make the best of what’s handed to them?

An elderly couple got up slowly from a booth. “Bye,” they said to the waitress.

“I’ll get the door for you,” she said and ran around the counter to help them.

“We’re fine, we can get it…”

“No, it’s okay,” she said and held it open for them. “Bye, have a good day, see you soon.”

“Are they regulars?” I asked her.

“Yes, they come in here a couple times a week. They’re so cute.”

“You know,” she said as turned to the manager, who had just walked in, “Jack didn’t come in today. I hope he’s okay. Maybe I should call him. Maybe he’s sick.”

“He’ll be fine,” the manager said. “Let’s worry about it if he doesn’t show up tomorrow.”

I was amazed that they have phone numbers of their regulars, or at least some of their regulars. How touching that they keep an eye out for them.

I looked at the waitress. She was talking to a truck driver in the corner booth. She poured him a coffee. They said something to each other. She laughed and then he laughed. She’ll do just fine in her life, I thought. It’s such a pleasure for everyone to spend time with someone who has a sunny disposition.

Listen to Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show