Sunday, May 23, 2010

One a Day

The other day, I ducked into my favorite store to buy some lunch meats. The deli counter has one of those paper number dispensers…you pull out a printed number and you wait for one of a half-dozen guys to yell out your number, at which time you excitedly yell, “OH, GOD! THAT’S ME! I’M NUMBER 58! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU PICKED ME…I’D LIKE TO THANK MY MOTHER….”


Anyway, as I approached the paper-number-dispenser-thingie, I saw an older gentleman out of the corner of my eye. He’d been standing patiently at the counter and didn’t realize he needed a paper number until he saw me heading towards the dispenser. We locked eyes…squinting and growling furiously at each other…as we both bolted for the dispenser at the same moment. I elbowed him out of the way, tripped him up for good measure and as he howled in pain, I triumphantly pulled out my paper tab and laughed maliciously.

Just kidding. What kind of an animal do you think I am??

I smiled at him and insisted he go ahead of me. He weakly protested…but I could tell he was thinking, “Damn straight I should go first. I’ve been freakin’ waiting forever.”

As we stood there waiting he turned to me and said, “Thank you for doing the right thing. It’s rare these days to see it. You’ve made my day.” I smiled and said, “Oh, pul-ease…it’s my pleasure”…and I thought, “Wow…such a little thing….and yet, I’ve managed to make somebody’s day. Sweet.”

I think I’ll go ahead and do it again…


Gavin said...

I love little moments like these. It really does make you feel good.

Lauren said...

Go you! And it's true. When a stranger is kind for no apparent reason, it so sticks. Thank you Kathryn for saving humanity. Again...

Runnergirl said...

I try and do little things like that - it might not be a lot to us, but if it makes a difference in someone's day then it's definitely worth it. Although I would have love to have seen the slow-mo action version!

Viv said...

So sweet. There should be more people acting like this in the world! AND more people noticing too! We all need to treat each other better, don't you think? Love it. Hug to you K!

Sir Thomas said...

you spread love into this dismal world

sage said...

Good for you for doing the right thing--I like the other scenarios, too. It's funny what we think about when doing the right thing...

Tinkerschnitzel said...

That's awesome! It's like when someone holds the door for you, even when you don't have your hands full.

ValleyWriter said...

I love doing little things like this - taking people's carts back to the store for them if I'm walking in, giving up a seat on the bus for someone who needs it more than me, etc. Not only does it make someone else feel good, I always walk away with a smile on my face, too. Imagine how nice it would be if everyone would put on their polite pants for a day... :-P

diane rene said...

when they say things like that, it kinda makes you feel guilty for thinking "duh! big red ticket thingy over there didn't make you think there was a reason all those men behind the counter were ignoring you?"
oh wait, that's just me.
good job being a good person :D

KellyGrrl said...

Moments like that are awesome... :-)

lifelove'n'wine said...

It's funny what little things can make someone's day. I try to remember that in my day to day life, but it's not always easy. Thanks for the reminder:)

Bernadine said...

Awww.... You are so sweet Kathryn.

Have a fab Monday. :)

Kristy said...

You are sweeter than me. I would have said, "And if you want to feel REALLY good, you'll give me the number." Smile.

Spot said...

Isn't it funny how such a simple thing can mean so much to someone. Like when you let someone with two items (to your two hundred) go in front of you in line. Or you hold the door open for people behind you. Common courtesy is so rare these days that these small incidents are refreshing!! I knew you were the kind of person who did them!!

♥Spot

Wendy Blum said...

Good for you Kathryn! And once again you need not worry about da boys cause you are indeed a great example for them to play follow-the-leader with. Reading your post made my day as well. Thanks for passing this on =)

Fierce said...

You had me going for a second with the tripping and laughing maliciously but I then I realized you would never be that mean. Here's a cyber-toast to good deeds.

:)
xoxo

John McElveen said...

High Five!

Is that as bad a a smiley face?

Good stuff,

John

kathryn said...

Gavin: Hey you! I love moments like this too. They're often fleeting...and get swallowed up in all the other crap we deal with. Then, we never realize we've made someone's day a bit brighter...

Lauren: Ha! I gotta do my part, right? It's that ripple effect...hopefully, that guy passed it on. That would be nice...

Runnergirl: Ha! Yeah...that slo-mo action version in my head was fraught with drama...but that doesn't really surprise you, now does it?

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That's my favorite part of the day when it happens-making someone's day. :) You're such a good person Kathryn.

kathryn said...

Viv: Aw. Thanks, sweetie. I was just so surprised that it seemed to make such an impression on him...and then it made me sad as well...to realize that the act was so unusual that it stood out.

Sir Thomas: Just a teeny bit of love, thankyouverymuch. Just enough to get the ball rolling...from here, everyone's on their own.

sage: I think the fantasy-version is what allows us to do the right thing....at least, for me. Or, maybe it's what my alter-ego wants to do...

Jerry said...

Thanks for doing the right thing....and kudos to him for recognizing and acknowledging it. Such is the stuff of what life should be about.

kathryn said...

Tinkerschnitzel: I know! I guess it's the unexpected small kindnesses that wind up meaning the most, right?

ValleyWriter: Ha! I like that: "polite pants"...I do believe there is less and less polite behavior in this world. Having that man verbalize his appreciation made me realize how important it truly is. Of course, the true test of giving is to do it with no acknowledgment expected...which, so often, is how it works out anyway.

diane rene: Ha! I know...I did wonder (for about half a second) if he'd made the connection between the guys yelling random numbers and some kind of numeric system. But you had to see the look of panic on the poor guy's face when realization struck!

Carol said...

I always let the elderly cross the street first, I mean if someone has to get hit by an out of control teenager it doesn't need to be me, seriously, I'm young, still datable, with my whole life ahead of me,oh wait, we were talking about being nice.

Christiejolu said...

Good job to you!

kathryn said...

KellyGrrl: Yeah...it's nice to know we can still have moments like that, right?

lifelove'n'wine: Hey, sweetie!! I've missed you! Well, you're welcome for the reminder...it stuck with me for the rest of the day, so I thought I'd share.

Bernadine: Thanks, doll! I really didn't bring it up to toot my own horn, so to speak...but more 'cause I wanted to make a point for everyone to be kinder to each other. Hope you've had a great day!

kathryn said...

Kristy: Ha! Well, we were only one number apart, so it wasn't such a big deal. Otherwise, I may have considered that!

Spot: Thank you, sweetie. You've expressed in your comment exactly what I was feeling...it's become rare to be kind. Why is that??

Wendy Blum: Aw...and you always say the sweetest things. Trust me, you've made my day as well. Your kind words are always so welcome!

Alan W. Davidson said...

Right on, Kathryn! If more people only thought like that. It's sad to think that courtesy (from men or women) is something of a rarity these days.

KT said...

It's so true. I'm always so shocked when someone helps me out in the tiniest way. Those little gestures help me believe that good still exists in today's world.

Krista said...

Aw. I'm glad you got that chance. The resulting warm fuzzies are totally deserved!!!

Ang said...

What a great story! It's nice to have someone acknowledge your act of kindness instead of giving attitude as if it were owed them. Thanks for sharing.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Love to see the good karma circling round and round. That is what makes life worth it!

Heather said...

It is sad that not a lot of folks have that appreciation anymore. I do all kinds of nice things and most of the time don't even get a nod of the head. It's like a lot of folks feel intitled.

I once was holding the door for a group of old ladies and instead of it just being a kind act, they thought I worked there and was doing it cause I was getting paid to.

....Petty Witter said...

Even worse, when my sisters number was called out at the cheese counter, she forgot herself and shouted bingo. Thank goodness the shop wasn't too busy.

injaynesworld said...

Civility is a nice thing to come across in this world.

Straight Guy said...

I try not to come between anybody and their meat. Take that literally AND as a metaphor for other life situations.

Courtney said...

It's weird how it's always the little things that really make people's day (I almost wrote pineapple instead of people for some reason...). It's almost like the big things are so big your brain can't respond to them in the same way. And doing something that makes someone else's day kind of makes yours too. It's great. :) Nice post, as always.

BlackLOG said...

You made his day and I'm guessing by saying thank you he kind of made yours. Now if everyone did this world peace would be just days away....except someone is bound to shoot someone for not saying thank you in the right tone or quickly enough provoking a third world war and Armageddon…..How selfish can you get are you trying to get us all killed???

Lynn said...

Yay Kathryn! It IS the little things that matter. And those things take so little time or energy, really--but they make all the difference in the world. Love this--and you! Mwah!

kathryn said...

Fierce: Aw. You know me so well, sweets. Is it just a teensy bad that I even thought of it at all to write about it, though??

John McElveen: HA! Hey, we're social here....smiley faces are A-O-K to me.
Just don't talk to me about serious employment and add one...it kinda creeps me out.

Oddyoddyo13: Aw. Well, it takes one to know one, sweetie. And it's so important to recognize and share it when it happens, right?

kathryn said...

Jerry: So very true, my friend. I think we all realize it should happen more often. We all get so busy, a lot of times it doesn't even hit my radar till it's too late.

Carol: HA Oh, crap! I just had a 5-minute choking fit at this comment. Now everyone thinks I've got something stuck in my windpipe....this comment goes in THE HALL OF RECORDS. (HA! Giggle! Snort! Snicker!)

Christiejolu: Thanks, hon. That's the thing...you almost don't wanna talk about it 'cause you don't want ppl to think you're bragging...hard to know where that line is sometimes.

kathryn said...

Alan W. Davidson: So true...and add to that, it's not just courtesy...it's realizing your time is no more valuable than anyone else's.

KT: Hey, girlie! I hear that. I always think, "Ah, the kindness of strangers..." Restores our faith in humanity, right?

SMOOG: Yeah....I suppose it really should happen more often. I've gotta fight that urge to trip and elbow people first, right?

kathryn said...

Ang: You're so right! There's nothing worse than doing something nice and having someone totally ignore you. I always secretly wish I could take it back!

Dreamfarm Girl: Gotta love that good karma. Now, what can we do about deflecting the bad stuff??

Heather: Oh, honey! It's true...when you're holding the door for many people, it's like, "At what point do I get to go inside??"

kathryn said...

...Petty Witter: HA! I'd say she was a tad distracted that day!

injaynesworld: Yes, it is. And acknowledging it should be #2 on that list.

Straight Guy: (Rolls eyes) Oh, you and your meats. I'd mention the word bacon, but I don't want you stroking out on me....(insert smiley-face here.)

kathryn said...

Courtney: Thanks, sweetie. I think the little things take us more by surprise...'cause we know most ppl wouldn't give it a second thought. It's like when I see someone drop a piece of paper and three people almost bang heads trying to pick it up for them. Makes me smile...

BlackLOG: ONLY YOU, BlackLOG...ONLY YOU. You've taken my teeny, tiny, graciously-almost-angelic moment and turned it into World War III. Shame on you. And shame on ME for laughing the whole time I'm reading it!

Lynn: Thank you, sweetie! I totally agree...it really is the little things that seem to mean so much. Maybe they're the ones we're more likely to take for granted.

Tresa said...

I like to let people who only have one or two items in front of me in line. Someday my kharma will get better?
I let the sheriff of some county in LA in front of me once that way. I was hoping it would pay off in no speeding ticket or something but I never got to try it out....

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