Friday, March 1, 2013

So I started early...

Today at Giant Eagle this cute little old lady asked if I could help her reach a bottle of Pantene Pro-V shampoo that was pushed back on the top shelf.  It is not often, being short myself, that I can help someone in this type of situation, but thankfully I was just tall enough to reach. This woman was so grateful.  My first thought was 'damn - too bad my birthday week of kindness didn't start yet' and my next thought was 'well, that really couldn't have counted anyways since she asked for the help - what was I going to say - "no, figure out a way to reach it yourself" - what I did certainly didn't seem to qualify as a random act of kindness, but rather just something anyone would do in that situation. I continued on my way but couldn't quit thinking about how appreciative she was.  And so four or so aisles later I turned back - let me go buy her a flower or something I thought. I ran back to the shampoo aisle, but she was gone.  Darn - a missed opportunity. And then...

Suddenly I saw her - she was in the 12 items or less lane checking out.  I raced up to the counter like a lunatic and told the check-out boy I would pick up her bill (she had the shampoo, a conditioner, and a bag of cough drops).  I was on the opposite side of the aisle from her and I vaguely heard her say something about a book of stamps.  No biggie. Next thing I know the sales boy, Michael, turns to me, points to the total displayed on the register and says, "you still want to pay".... what could he mean, how much could it possibly be - and then I looked...


It wasn't one book of stamps, it was 11!!!!!  

Panic set in.  Holy shit, I just paid that much at Marc's for my grocery shopping for the month. What do I do know? Do I look like a total ass if I try to back out?  But I can't afford to give someone $114 and still do the other 32 acts of kidness on my list (strangely enough it was hard coming up with kindness ideas that didn't cost at least a little money).

And then, spoken like a voice from the heavens, Michael gave me an out.  He said, "I'll just charge your card for the groceries ok." And so that is where we left it.

Anna, the lady who I ended up only buying $12 of groceries for was still very grateful.  We got to talking when I asked if I could take her picture to post on my blog and she told me the reason she needed all of those stamps was that she had spent the last 24 years writing her own poetry and sending it out to friends and family.

She asked for my address so that she could send me a birthday wish, an Easter poem, and a picture of baby Jesus for Olivia for Christmas. (She said 'Olivia will like it because she is just a baby too). Too cute!

Note to self- before doing any more acts of kindness  I must remember to put some makeup on and do my hair.

Well after all of this I was feeling very generous toward Michael who just saved me 'a benjamin' (now I'm thinking back to my old high school days with the likes of Puffy, Biggie, and Mace blaring in the background).  So I get in Michael's express line which now had what seemed like a gazillion customers in it.  I saw a $15 itunes gift card I was going to get for him, but then I wondered if it was presumptius to assume everyone owns apple products so I put it back.  A candy bar - no that's dumb.  An amazon card - lowest gift card denomination $25. An Olive Garden gift card (okay people - don't judge - my choices were limited to whatever was in reach at the checkout counter).  And then it dawned on me, just get some cash back and give him money.  What teenager can't use money. For what - I won't think about :) Does the below ring a bell old high school friends?

So it is finally my turn to check-out and at first I tell Michael I want $15 cash back, but something about the $15 sounded cheap so I changed it to $20 (it was a little less painful to up the 'tip' when I was using my husband's debit instead of mine). As I am in the process of paying, one of Michael's friends comes up and asks him 'how's the baby' to which Michael responds 'she comes home from the hospital tommorrow'.

Well, that just sent my do-gooder high into overdrive (and hearing this I was happy I increased the $15 to $20) as I created a whole storyline in my head about this nice young man who was trying to support his baby in the hospital. And then I blurted out, 'you have a baby' to which he responded, 'no, it's my girlfriend's sister's'.

In any case, I still gave him the $20 and walked away smiling as he kindly protested....

Michael - if you are reading this leave us a shout-out :)

He was this friendly and happy before he even knew he was getting a tip.  I just told him I wanted to take a picture of the guy who saved me money.
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