Tag Archives: the kindness of strangers

A Good Old Brown Dog Day

The coolest thing happened while I was out running errands today. Before leaving the house, my new ATM card came in the mail, and I called the 800 number to activate it. The first placed I stopped was the package store to pick up a 6-pack for the weekend. When my card was scanned it wouldn’t work, even though he tried it twice. I knew there was someone behind me so I moved over and asked him to take care of that person while I looked for my credit card. (I never did find my credit card, so that’s a whole ‘nother pain in the ass.)

He was talking with the woman while he rang up her purchase, and I heard her say something like, “It’s all taken care of,” but I wasn’t really listening because I was still searching for my other card. I gave up when she left and he said, “You’re all set.”

I gaped at him. “You mean… she paid for my beer?”


I grabbed the 6-pack and ran out of the store looking for the woman. I caught up to her and said, “You paid for my beer! Oh my gosh! Thanks!”

She smiled. “No problem. I know how frustrating that can be.”

“Thank you so much! That was so sweet of you!”

She smiled again and waved goodbye and got in her car.

I can’t hardly wait to be the one who gets to do that for someone. It might not be beer, it might be something more — or less — important, but thanks to that woman I’m going to be on the lookout. What a sweetie!

After I’d been to the bank and got the card working, I went to the grocer’s. In the first aisle I noticed a mom and her little boy, and he was talking a mile a minute and pointing out things to her, and they were both laughing. He came up to my cart, looked up at me, and said, “Hello! Hello!”

I grinned at him. “Hi!”

“How are you?”

“I’m just fine. How are you?”

“I’m GOOD, thanks!” And he veered off to entertain his mom again.

It was a good people day today.

Free Hugs!

Free Hugs, by an untrained eye on Flickr

I had to go to the mall today. There was a custom-print t-shirt shop in one of the many center kiosks there, and a sign on the shop read, in big letters: “FREE HUGS.” I walked by slowly, staring at it. The guy working there was helping two others but he smiled and said hi, so I asked him if it was a sign for free hugs, or if it was supposed to go on a t-shirt. He misunderstood and said, “Sure, you can get that on a t-shirt.”

“Oh, I thought it was a sign for free hugs.”

Still not understanding, he pointed to it: “Free hugs, yup.”

“But I thought you were the one giving out free hugs!”

“Ohhhhhhh!” He opened his arms wide. “A free hug, yeah!”

We hugged and I said thanks, and began walking away, smiling. I glanced at the two other women there and they were grinning.

I think it was just what we all needed.