Everyone Laughs at Poor Old Lady Entering Fancy Restaurant until a Young Man Steps In — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Feb 17, 2022
11:40 P.M.
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A poor woman asks to buy half a pie at a gourmet restaurant and is mocked, but one man stands up for her and teaches them all a lesson in humility.


Pierre. the maître d' of New Hampshire's most exclusive gourmet restaurant Chez Michel was stunned. A tiny thin woman in her sixties had just walked in and made the most incredible request. 

Pierre looked down his nose at her and sneered. "I'm sorry ma'am, we don't take walk-in guests -- ever..."

"Please," she said quietly, while all around the restaurant's elegant customers looked at her sideways and tittered behind their hands. "It's a special circumstance. Can't you make an exception?"

Chez Michel was the most elegant and expensive restaurant in town. | Source:


Pierre drew himself up to his full height. "No exceptions!" he said coldly. "We owe it to our customers! Now please go, ma'am. You are disturbing our guests and I can tell you I don't have any tables available."

The woman looked around and noticed three or four tables standing empty and looked Pierre in the eye: "I don't want to sit at one of your tables or disturb your 'guests' with the likes of me, I just want to buy a slice of pie."

"I'm afraid we only serve food on the premises, we don't do take away!"

"Please," the old woman pleaded, tears in her eyes, "All I want is a slice of cherry pie -- I have thirteen dollars, that should be enough?" 


The maître d' was upset when he saw a poor woman walk in. | Source: Unsplash

Pierre curled his lip in disdain. "I'm afraid not, ma'am. Everything on our dessert cart is over $50 dollars a serving." 


The woman turned away defeated and walked towards the door, tears running down her face. As she walked past one table, a man got up and came towards her. "Excuse me," he said gently. "What was it you wanted?"

The one thing money can't buy is health or a single day of life.

He led the old woman to the table he shared with a lovely woman with sad eyes and invited her to sit down. "Please," he said. "I'm Mark Langley, and this is my wife Hailey, and we want to help you."

The woman introduced herself. "I'm Karen Billings and all I wanted was to buy a slice of Chez Michel's famous cherry pie. You see, my granddaughter and I used to walk by and I'd tell her 'Chez Michel's has the best cherry pie in the world' -- I saw it in a fancy magazine -- and one day, we'll walk in and have us a slice!'"


The old woman didn't look smart enough for Chez Michel. | Source: Unsplash

"Oh!" cried Hailey. "Cherry pie was our son Graham's favorite!"

Karen smiled but her eyes were filled with tears. "My sweet girl has been fighting leukemia for the last three years and the doctors say there's nothing more they can do...But there's something I can do: I can make every last day count, make her wishes come true, and she wanted a slice of that special cherry pie!"


Mark had tears in his eyes and he reached over and took Karen's hand. "Karen, our little boy passed away thirteen years ago today, and we'd come here to honor him with a slice of his favorite pie. I think we can make your granddaughter's wish come true!"

All she wanted was a slice of cherry pie. | Source: Unsplash


Mark called the maître d' over. "Pierre," he said in a sharp voice. "Am I to understand that you refused to sell this lady a slice of cherry pie?"

"Sir," Pierre said apologetically. "You must understand we only serve our customers..."

"Of course!" said Mark smoothly. "And am I a prized customer?"

People at the restaurant started laughing at the woman. | Source: Pexels


"Indeed, sir! One of our oldest and best customers..." gushed Pierre.

"In that case, please go into the kitchen and ask the chef to make us his best cherry pie to go," Mark said.

Pierre looked upset but he walked into the kitchen and came back a little later with the news that the pie would be ready in half an hour.

"The lady..." Pierre said gesturing towards Karen. "She'll be staying?" 

"Yes," Mark said. "She is a very dear friend and a guest." Mark looked around at the restaurant's other customers who were doing their best to listen in to what was going on.


Karen's little granddaughter was very ill. | Source: Unsplash

He raised his voice and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, since you were all so eager to laugh at this lady, and are so curious about what isn't your business, let me tell you:


"Karen's granddaughter had terminal leukemia, and so did our son. You see, you can have all the money in the world but there are certain things money can't buy, and that is the health of a beloved child.

"All Karen wanted was a slice of cherry pie for her granddaughter, her last wish. Is that funny? Do you still want to laugh?"

The entire restaurant was dead quiet and you could have heard a pin drop. All around the elegantly decorated room, faces were turning away in shame, and Pierre had tears in his eyes.

Karen took home a perfect cherry pie for her granddaughter. | Source: Unsplash


He brought a lovely decorated box to Karen and handed it to her. "With the chef's compliments, ma'am," he said. "Please forgive me, and know that you will always be welcome at Chez Michel."

What can we learn from this story?

  • Don't judge people by their appearance, or their status. Pierre and the snobbish guests started laughing because Karen was poor and couldn't afford a slice of pie.
  • The one thing money can't buy is health or a single day of life. Mark and his wife were rich but they could do no more for their son than Karen was doing for her granddaughter.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a young woman who is ashamed of her crippled mother and tells her to pretend to be a maid when her wealthy fiancé comes to visit.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to