She was saying things like, 'No, you don't have to, we'll...no, we've...oh, thank you so much.'
A crusty old trucker who was sitting next to them at the Trucker Counter paid their bill and told Wifey to Pay It Forward. He'd had the same problem in the past and was paying it forward himself. I believe Wifey tried giving him the five bucks she had in her purse, but he refused.
To add to the 'Kindness of Strangers' story: Wifey had the pay-at-the-pump receipt from the gas station she filled up that morning and called them -- the cashier immediately said, 'You must be (Wifey's) Name!' She had dropped her debit card next to the pump and somebody picked it up and turned it into the cashier. All of the events of the day gave us more faith in humanity. She had enough gas to drive to the nearest town with a branch of our bank and cashed a check for enough money to get them back to Fargo. Wifey's parents went and picked up her debit card from the gas station and mailed it to us."
"About 12 years ago, I went to a steakhouse in New Jersey with my wife. It wasn't a really upscale place, it was just a steakhouse and pub, but it was still nice. We were there with our son, who was about 1 at the time. As we went to leave, I realized I had left my wallet in my work pants. My wife wasn't working (she stayed home with our son at the time) and she didn't have a bank card for my account, and didn't have any of her own credit cards. I kind of explained to the waiter what was up and asked to speak to the manager. Thankfully, he let me pull him aside. I explained to him what happened and promised him I'd call with a credit card number as soon as we got home, which would take about 40 minutes from where we were. I offered our names, the information on my wife's drivers license and our license plate number as collateral, and he agreed without much of an issue. I called as soon as we got home and paid the bill, with an extra tip for the trouble.
I was never so embarrassed in my life, but I greatly appreciated the way they handled it. I always chalked it up to them being a small, one location place as opposed to a chain, but I suppose it was just more common courtesy. Which does exist in small pockets in New Jersey."
"I was going for a meal with my significant other and found out I'd forgotten (turned out I'd lost it) my bank card on the way to the restaurant. I had £80 on me and figured it'd be enough and going all the way home seemed like a pain.
Prices weren't too bad, so we just kept track as not to overspend. We finished up and I asked for the bill confidently, only to find a freaking service charge had left me £1.50 short. The service was pretty good and I'm not the type to refuse to pay it, especially since it'd been added to our total (I would have tipped them my change anyway). I'm sure they would have waived it but it would have been pretty embarrassing.
I rarely carry change but luckily I'd scratched off a lotto card before leaving and happened to have the £1 coin I'd used in my top pocket but I was still 50p short. The wallet I was carrying happened to be a Valentine's present from my girlfriend which she'd given me the day before. She's the superstitious type and happens to believe its bad luck to give someone a new wallet or purse without some silver in it and all she'd had at the time was a 50 pence piece.
This is one superstition I now believe in."
"I have actually not been able to pay a bill and because of it, I realized I was gay. Let me explain. This happened back in the 90s when rules were a little laxer at restaurants. Some pals and I ate at a fancy steakhouse in Houston. They thought it'd be funny to ditch me with the bill when I went to the bathroom. We did pranks like this a lot, and I'd done it to them too, so I had it coming.
I didn't have enough to pay the bill, but they were cool with letting me work it off. I had to wash dishes in the back for the rest of the shift. Well, dishwashers I learned liked to mess around a lot during their shifts. One guy threw a lime at me and it hit my crotch. The other dishwasher went, 'Let me get that for you.' He kind of wiped it off, but his dishrag brushed against my junk and it just felt...right. That's kind of when I knew. Long story short, ever since then, I've been together with my life partner from the steakhouse. He's still a dishwasher and I work as an accountant for H&R Block. It's a good thing I couldn't pay that night!"
"I once got into trouble because the bill was a bit more than I could afford. The waiters called the manager on me and I had to explain my situation, but he still couldn't understand my situation. I had to actually show him my wallet to prove that I couldn't afford the bill.
I asked for the menu to see the prices once more and then I realized why we were having the miscommunication in the first place.