Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers

No, I'm not ripping off A Streetcar Named Desire (and yes, that is where the quote came from) - but the fact is, I have always depended on the kindness of stranger, and on myself being a kind stranger when the situation calls for it.  Last night I received a message loud and clear from the universe telling me that "Yes, Jessy, people are still awesome."

Do you ever doubt the awesomeness of people?  Have you ever had one too many jackelope drivers straddling the double-yellow on a two-lane road, or taking up to parking spaces?  I honestly start to think that maybe everyone is an annoying combination of stupidity and evilness, then something happens and I'm reminded that most people are innately good.

Last night I was headed back to Orono with Azi who has requested to now be referred to as "Red," and I'm going to try very hard to remember that), and my gas light flicked on.  I knew from having checked right before I left work that my bank account currently has the impressive balance of $9.18, so I pulled up to the Big Apple, the one remaining gas station in our great nation that does not have you swipe your card at the pump, and carefully put in exactly $8 in gas. After finishing getting my gas, I go inside, make nice chitchat with the guy behind the counter, pull out my wallet, grab for my debit card - and what's this?  Nothing in the debit card slot.  This is when the uncomfortable smiles start, and I rifle like crazy wondering if, for the first time since I got that wallet, I put my debit card in a different slot, and start recalling having taken it out to make an online purchase and setting it on my bedside table.

The man behind the counter was much less smiley than I was at this point, and asked if I could just give him cash.  I said "all I have in cash is fifty cents. Can I bring it to you tomorrow?" Nope - tomorrow is not an option, they can't let you leave the store until you pay.  Did I have another card.  Nope - no other card.  At this point it was starting to appear that Red and I were going to have to build ourselves a little shack out of cardboard Miller Light boxes, because they cashier certainly wasn't letting me go anywhere, when all of a sudden, this voice behind me said "Don't worry about it, I've got you."

Azi and I suspect that my awesome
pom-pom hat might be why the guy
was so nice - because - how can you
not want to help someone with a
pom-pom on their head??
This young guy, probably in his early twenties, buying a case of Miller Light (also known as the building blocks of my future shack-home), pulls out his wallet to pay for my gas.  I did the polite thing saying things like "you can't!" and "that's not fair for you!" while jumping up and down on the inside.  Finally, after asking him for his number about fifteen times - he kept saying not to worry about it, it'd happened to him tons of times, I did get his number.  I'm trying to think of something totally awesome I can bake for him when I give him back his $8.  Any recommendations?

So - there we go - proof that people are wonderful.  When I got in the car and told Red (this is hard, I've had to delete Azi  a few times here) about it, she said that maybe he has a mandatory act of kindness every day.  I don't know if I blogged about it before - but we have a rule about doing at least one act of kindness a day.  Everyone should follow this rule - you just do something nice and unexpected - it can be helping someone pick up papers that are blowing around, or letting someone out of a parking lot during really nasty traffic.  Just something kind.  If you start doing it - I'm telling you - you'll feel great!  There's a good chance you'll make someone's day too!  You might even get blogged about if you're lucky!

Well, obviously that story is the good thing that happened to me on January 10th.  Let's go backwards through the other days I haven't written about yet:
Sunday, January 9th - Matthew and my nephew Aaron came over for beef stew, homemade bread, and to play Wii Pictionary - now that was some fun stuff! AND - Matthew brought strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert!
Saturday, January 8th - we had Jeanne's birthday party to go to, which was awesome and fun - and then when I get home, there was a bottle of sparkling grape juice on my porch!  Not any old bottle, but a commemorative bottle!
Friday, January 7th - I received news about two different contests I'd won!! I won a giveaway on A Mom's Take blog - AND coupons for a jar of barilla's sauce & a box of their pasta!

Thanks, 2011, for being so awesome!!!

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