Dear newlyweds from Pennsylvania,

You had your hearts set on a tropical honeymoon in St. Martin, but COVID and her wicked ways make her own plans for us all. In my biased opinion, I think your foliage trip to the east coast is superior to the tropics, but that’s just me being a Mainer.

Your trip to Portland was timed perfectly with the opening of our new tavern, Rathskeller on Wharf. One of you was sick of the dive bars after a weekend in Boston, so this jazzy oasis was a good find nestled in on the cobblestone.

It was my first time at the restaurant and I was enamored by the cocktail list. Being a whiskey girl, I wasn’t drawn to the vodka mixology but ‘tis the season for pumpkin so I had to try one with a fall puree.

That vodka pumpkin cocktail was the catalyst to our conversation.

I was sitting at the bar in the quiet restaurant alone in my thoughts, but your question about my drink welcomed me into your date. One topic lead to another, and soon I was awe-ing at the photos from your wedding and of your sweet dog in his handsome tux.

I hesitated to order mussels; they’re one of my favorite appetizers but financially, I struggle with allowing myself small pleasures. I do okay, I get paid fine, but growing up without a lot of money scars you with a permanent mindset that you shouldn’t be ordering that second cocktail, that $10 will set you back.

I was having such a nice time, I relaxed a little bit and allowed myself to order the food I was eyeing; I would deal with the anxiety of the check later on.

Our conversation trickled between topics of family, places we had visited, your honeymoon, the dog, among other stories. You were both an absolute pleasure to talk to, and I was so happy our paths had crossed. Being a Mainer, I immediately felt comfortable when an F-word flew out of one of your mouths and I sighed with relief that I hadn’t been offending you with my colorful New England language.

The bartender and I convinced you to move your dinner reservation to Scales; you wrapped up your check, said your farewell, and slid out the door.

I was asked if I wanted another drink, and I eyed another cocktail I wanted to try but I responded, “yes, I do, but financially, I’m going to have to say no”.

Shauna, the bartender, looked at me with such sincerity and said, “your tab has been covered. That couple paid for your entire check”, and pointed at the door you had just walked through.

I’m a fairly emotional person and I was filled with such intense appreciation that my eyes immediately started watering.

I ordered that other cocktail, and it tasted even better with the love and gratitude I felt with it.

I lost my grandmother, my soul sister, my best friend recently and our favorite thing to do together was to chat over a cocktail. I miss her in every moment, but especially so when I’m in a restaurant and I want her there with me. I feel her presence daily, and through special acts of love and kindness like yours, I know she is still sitting at the bar next to me.

Thank you. Thank you for our conversation, thank you for your generosity. I will remember that night and tell this story for a long, long time. Something that was probably so simple to you, meant the world to me.

I hope the rest of your honeymoon is as special as you two are. Good luck with the new remote job based out of Boston, and good luck with the restaurant! I’m glad you were able to get a break from the chaos of being an owner, and congratulations on all your success.

With all of my love and gratitude,

Meghan, the girl in pink.

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