The Kindness of Strangers

My long blogging silence is due in part to the holidays and in part to Blogger itself. I wrote a lengthy post last week on my midwife/birth plan only to have it disappear from my screen when I hit "publish." Floating without a trace in cyberspace, I decided to utter some choice words and take a break from the computer for several days.

I'm back now because not only do I want to wish my readers very happy holidays but also I wanted to share something really nice that happened to me last night.

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered that the shopping cart I purchased for a premium at Pottery Barn Kids had gone on sale online for $20 cheaper. I called the store and asked whether they would refund me the difference in price and they said that they would but I would need to come in. Always on a hunt to save money, I decided it would be worth heading to the mall on the eve of Christmas eve to collect my $20. (After all, that's a bunch of Turtle diapers!)

So at 8 pm, I left home and proceeded to spend 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot at the mall. I was cool and I was calm and I was eventually able to park. I waddled through the huge crowd of people with my oversized box containing the aforementioned shopping cart and got my refund without incident.

On my way out the door, our mall has policy that you have to pay a machine for your parking in advance of leaving so I got on a rather long line with my $1 in change. (The only other money I had was a $20 bill.) When I got to the front of the line, I put my change in and it didn't register payment. I hit it. Nothing happened. I pressed the "Need Help?" button and a voice came on telling me that I needed to go to Customer Service. I didn't want to head back up two flights of stairs with my huge box, so I canceled the transaction and tried to pay by credit card. When I swiped my card, it said "unable to read." I tried it again, nothing. Then I tried my debit card, still "unable to read." Acutely aware of the growing line behind me and feeling my face flush, I banged on the machine again in the hopes that *something* would happen so I could get out of there. Nothing did. I was just about to cancel the transaction again and burst into tears when a man came up to me with a dollar bill and said, "Try this." To the delight of many a person in the queue, it worked!

New Englanders are renown for their reserve and crankiness. This man's thoughtfulness really touched me and I was able to go to bed without feeling annoyed and stressed out by my money-saving trip to the mall. So today, I'm going to pay it forward and do a good deed for someone else. Why not give it a try yourself?

Until then, Season's Greetings!


  1. I had a pay-it-forward moment the other day too! I was in the drive through line at Starbucks on Christmas eve getting coffee for my husband (who was kind enough to stay at home with my son while I shopped) and a hot cocoa for me. When I went up to pay, they guy at the register said "The woman who was in the car in front of you paid for your order and asked me to tell you Merry Christmas." I was floored. It was just a simple gesture but it put a smile on my face the entire day. I'm definitely going to pay it forward.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Peace and Quiet

Dear Mr. President

Oh, the pictures!