Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'll Take "Jackass" for $100, Alex... or, maybe a Latte

Soooo... I have mentioned that I am retreat coordinator for my kids' school? Yes? Yes. Well, today was the 2nd grade retreat and so, Hi. Busy fucking day. See the retreat is over so now I can stop praying and start swearing.

We had a center for the kids today which was a paddling pool filled with grapes to be stomped on a la Lucy Ricardo but really more in a Jesus-Vine-You-Branches-Blood-Of-Christ-Transubstantiation kind of a way... anyhoo, I felt we needed more grapes, because, often, where I come from, more is more and so off to the market I went... with my ATM and a heart full of retreat-y goodness.

Popped into Albertson's (a store I am in at least every other day) picked up 6 lbs. of red seedless grapes and went to the "Quick Check" line. Swipe, enter PIN code, chat with the clerk about hand cream, card DENIED. Huh? Must have entered the number in incorrectly, re-enter, continue conversation, this time about "10 minute soup" and DENIED. I try again and yet again and there are 3 other people in line and I am more than a little embarrassed when the checker takes my card to enter the number by hand and informs me that is is expired.

And in my mind's eye I can see the shiny new B of A card sitting on my dresser, complete with intact activation sticker.

Now, I have to have these grapes, I don't have any other money source and you know, people are waiting. So, I sort of stand there and wait for money to fall out of the sky... hello? Money?

There is a little tap and "ahem" on my shoulder and it is the nice kid who runs the Starbucks and he offers to lend me the $20 because he "knows I'll give it back" (cue maniacal laughter!).

Isn't that wonderful? And nice? (& not necessary as I found cash in my jacket) The kids got their grapes, the Starbucks kid has my undying love and hey, now take your turn and pay it forward people ... pay it forward

Have a latte.

***

Has anyone ever performed a random act of kindness on your behalf? Have you? I need to know!!

33 comments:

J.D. said...

I was at the drivers' license bureau, trying to get my license reinstated, and I was short 12 bucks of the required fee. You know how those charges pop up that they don't tell you about. And of course the friggin' government doesn't take checks OR credit cards. Cash only.

So, I'm S.O.L., right? No driver's license, because I can't come back until tomorrow because it's THIS close to closing time. It means that not only will I have to take ANOTHER day off work, but I'll also have to drive another day without being licensed and risk going to jail because I didn't have 12 bucks.

This woman behind me handed the cashier the 12 bucks. I had no clue who she was. I thanked her profusely, and I told her that if she would wait, I would bring her 12 bucks back in 15 minutes. She smiled, shook her head, and said "no, God has blessed me so much, and I just want to return the blessing to others. You owe me nothing."

To this day, I've no idea who she was, and I've never seen her again, but I'll never forget her.

Mega Mom said...

What a cutie pie, and what a dork. You figure out which one is which :)))

I have returned a few wallets in my day, but I can't think of anything else.

Also can't recall a stranger doing something nice for me (and I so HOPE I'd remember something like that.)

Thanks for bringing this up. I always like to think I'd do something kind, but sometimes you just get caught up in your own life or don't think of it. This will make me think of it!

ciodude said...

I am guessing the Starbucks boy looked like Channing Tatum?

:)

Becky said...

that sucks about your card but hey at least you had starbucks kid to your rescue.

i love starbucks. i want to marry starbucks. and all i get is lattes from there. hmmmm

Kel said...

my daughter's middle school has a "random acts of kindness" display window in the front of the school and they recognize students for a variety or acts each month during an assembly (with parents)

pretty cool idea - nominations come from teachers, staff or classmates that learn of an act

Jenn said...

You used my favorite word!! MANIACAL!!!

Umm Random Act of Kindness.......sometimes the cashier at Stop n Shop lets me use their bonus card when I forget mine. *shrug*

ANA NYC said...

I told a woman on the subway her zipper was open...

I think that was very nice of me.

eastcoastermomma said...

I once needed a stamp and some lady gave me one. Not that great of a story but it did help me out!

I like, "done with praying time to sweat" LOL!

Lisa said...

I seem to do them all the time like fixing someone's outfit or telling them when they have toilet paper on their shoe but people don't return the favor to me as much...but you know..I don't care....I try to do the right thing. It makes me feel good.

Great post thanks for sharing!

Antique Mommy said...

One summer day when it was about 1000 degrees, I was in Albertson's and there were two girls ahead of me in line, like 10 or 11 years old, wearing swim suits and flip flops and they were trying to buy some candy and eyeshadow and a Coke and a Tiger Beat mag and/or some other kind of crud that kids that age love and they were all pennies and dimes and digging deep, so I just bought it for them. Not totally altruistic on my part because I did want to get on my merry random kindness way, but I'm just saying...

Antique Mommy said...

One summer day when it was about 1000 degrees, I was in Albertson's and there were two girls ahead of me in line, like 10 or 11 years old, wearing swim suits and flip flops and they were trying to buy some candy and eyeshadow and a Coke and a Tiger Beat mag and/or some other kind of crud that kids that age love and they were all pennies and dimes and digging deep, so I just bought it for them. Not totally altruistic on my part because I did want to get on my merry random kindness way, but I'm just saying...

Kevin Charnas said...

That's awesome. Thanks... I've actually been on both ends. (ew, that sounds a little dirty) Anyway, this one night here at work, I was having a really trying day and when I went for dinner at a snack bar here on campus (I work at a university) It was 7:30 pm and I was EXTREMELY hungry as I hadn't eaten all day and I had TWO dollars. I was going to buy some crackers or something. Also, I was just at that tired, feeling kind of beaten-down by life sort of way. When the clerk said, "We're closing in a few minutes and I'm going to be throwing all this food out (sandwiches, salads, etc.) would you like any of it for free?" I almost started crying. I'll never forget it. It probably meant nothing to her, she didn't know what kind of day I had, or how I was feeling. But, it meant EVERYTHING to me.

Perrin said...

We were in a Disney hotel cafeteria a few months ago. There was this lady who had a bunch of kids and was having loads of trouble paying and the long line was backing up. People were starting to grumble and shake their heads when all of the sudden the man behind her pulled out his room key and paid for her entire dinner and I'm assuming her kids too. He quietly shrugged and smiled and said "pay it forward". My dad and I almost a started crying it was so nice. Then a few weeks later I was behind some teenagers in line at Target. They had only a few small items and were paying with dimes and nickels. They ended up being a little short...so I remembered that guy in Disney and gave the teenager $2.00. She looked up at me like she just couldn't believe an adult would help her pay for what she was buying. I told her "pay it forward." I'm a believer, it works.

Jodie said...

That was really nice of that Starbucks guy! I once helped a lady who couldn't reach the crackers she wanted on the top shelf at the grocery store. She was trying to climb the shelves, so I happily handed her the box. She didn't even THANK me! She snatched them from my hand and tossed them into her shopping cart and walked on! Bitch. See if I EVER help you again! I should have taken the crackers out of her cart and put them back on the top shelf!

Gracencameronsmomy said...

I gave someone a dollar for the parking obx just today...I have to think if it has ever happened to me...
Lisa

jen said...

One of the few things I do for my karma is I add money to people's parking meters when they look like they're about to run out of time. I always have a ton of change in the bottom of my purse, so I just keep an eye out for meters that are ticking down. I walk around the city a lot, and I see a lot of meters. I'm in a tourist-y area, so I usually figure it's a tourist who can't remember where he parked. No sense in sticking him with a parking ticket if it will only cost me a quarter.

Oddly, I've never told anyone that before. I guess we all have our strange little things we do when no one's watching.

carrie said...

I love it when a stranger offers to take my shopping cart in on his/her way into the store I've just left. I'm usually on my way to the cart return area or have just loaded groceries into the car with an oh-so-happy toddler and it's very thoughtful.

So, if you see any Moms (or anyone, for that matter) in the parking lot with a freshly emptied cart, offer to take it in for them. It will make their day!

Selfish bonus: you will know who touched the cart before you, thus knowing how much hand sanitizer to use on the cart! Sorry, I can't help myself.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

Sorry, Just read all the comments and am laughing hysterically at Jodie's!! Can't stop...

Kristin said...

Jodie, you are too damn much!!

Stephanie A. said...

Not too long ago I saw a little old woman going to her car with her grocery cart. It took her the same amount of time to get to her car as it did for me to get to my car and load two weeks of groceries into my car. After I returned my cart to the cart corral, I went over to her and offered to take hers. She looked at me like it was the kindest thing anyone had ever done. I have a soft spot for old people.

f. said...

"Retreat-y goodness"? Sweetie, you have lost your mind.

jennster said...

that is SO freaking sweet.. what a doll!!!!!!
um, can't think of any right this moment, but i'm sure they've happened! lol

Anonymous said...

That is so sweet. I've offered before, but people always decline. But it's more the thought that counts. Yea Starbucks guy!

Stupid blogger won't let me be anything but anonymous, but this is Melissa from issasworld.typepad.com. ;)

Carrcakes said...

That is so sweet. See Starbucks isn't the bad corporate giant they are made out to be, they give back to the community:)

Random Act of Kindness: I was at Manhattan Bagel struggling with my 2 year-old and having one of those 'let's climb back in bed and pretend that didn't happen' kind of mornings and this random man turned to me and said "You're doing a good job mom." I wanted to sell my earthly posessions and cling to that compliment. It was just what I needed to hear.

Lisa and Tate said...

I am a big believer in what goes around comes around. Case in point. Years ago my parent's neighbor gave me a chair. I used it at my desk. Years later I am at a friend's for dinner she has the same chairs that belonged to a dining room set from her grandmother. She had four matching chairs and was prego with her third child... she needed one more chair to be able to seat her soon to be family of five.... I gave the chair to her. Not even two weeks later, someone offered me a dishwasher that was hardly used.... I needed a dishwasher!!!! Like I say..... What goes around comes around... Amen

Lisa

Nicki said...

Drawing a blank as to Random Acts of Kindness.... I know I was born with a "nice" gene. Oh, does playing nice-nice with the crazy mother in law so that husband doesn't feel that he may go criminally insane like her one day count? If so, then she needs to pay it forward. Cold day in hell that she is nice to someone, but we can only hope!

Wendy said...

What a sweetie the Starbucks guy is!

I can't think of any RAofK I've received.

On my (stillborn) son's birthday, I do random acts of kindness in his honor.

Kristin said...

Wendy, I think that is one of loveliest things I have ever heard... what a beautiful way to honor the love and spirit of a child.

Joannah said...

I've been trying to think of a time when a stranger did something kind for me, and I'm drawing a blank. I'm afraid that someone has, but that I've forgotten their kindness. That would be terrible and ungrateful of me.

Anyway, it's good to know that there are unselfish and generous people out there willing to extend themselves to be good to others. Your story is a great example of that, and that it came from a young person is really encouraging.

Holly said...

Those random acts always humble me. I've recieved a few.
I try to do those at every opportunity - it just feels so good.
How about those bad days, you rush into the grocery store, and the check out clerk is the warmest, smiling person you've seen all day - I always try to tell them how much how much their kindness means to me (and others I'm sure).

melissa said...

warning ... long comment.

Random act of kindness. I'll try to make this short. I live in a very small remote town. The pharmacies here do not accept medicare, so I have to cross a river, go into another state to get medications for my ailing and elderly aunt. After a long day at work, I start on my 2 hour (roundtrip) journey to pick up the meds. When I get to the pharmacy, the pharmacist tells me that the laws have changed and there is now a copay (they've always been free). So I reach into my purse and pull out my wallet, debit card isn't in there, or anywhere in my purse. Okay, not to panic, I have checkbook in there, where is it ... ha, there it is ... empty. No checks left. Okay, back to the wallet for cash. Ummm ... daughter needed cash before school this morning so nothing there. As I am turning scarlet now from embarassment, I told the pharmacist that I'll pick it up tomorrow, as I'll have to drive all the way home and back, and they'll be closed in the 2 hours it will take me. The pharmacist said, oh don't do that, here's the $2 you need you'll just pay me back the next time you come here.

Okay ... second comment. I needed more blogs on my daily readings, and I came here by way of Journey for Sarah Grace. I started reading your blog when I had time, about two weeks ago, and just finished.

Your writings remind me of Erma Bombeck. I loved her humor, and yours is so close to it. If you've never heard of her ... my favorite book she wrote is "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?" I highly recommend it.

Take care ... and write another post soon, I'm all caught up.

... melissa

ps. I have no blog, I started reading adoption posts when my friend adopted 2 children from China. I haven't been able to stop reading the blogs.

rubyiscoming said...

Other than the normal things like if you only have 2 items to purchase at the grocery and someone with a cart filled with a buttload o' packaged goodies lets you in front of them, that's really about it. Of course, I live in Florida where every bad driver in America and every nasty-ass out there comes to live out their dreams. Oy.

Good story, though. You give me hope for the human race. You must've had sexy lip gloss on that day, eh? :)

Ninotchka said...

That's pretty awesome.

I had a guy, a complete stranger, buy me lunch a couple of years ago. My wedding ring was prominently displayed. I argued. But he wouldn't let me pay. OK, then!

My friend was like "Damn! I don't have random men buying me lunch!"

It was a total ego trip.