Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers 2

Andrew and I were in the drugstore this morning.  There is a rack of these cool metal cars near the check stand.  I was paying for my feminine hygiene products while he was taking cars off the rack and lining them up on the floor.

A young man, dark close-cut hair, early twenties, came up behind me in line, smiling at Andrew.  He was wearing clothes that suggested he works in construction, had tattoos all around his neck.  He placed a big can of beer on the conveyor belt.  It was about 9:15 a.m.

I finished paying and went over to "help" Andrew replace the cars.  The man came over and took the last one from me saying, "Let me see that."  Andrew and I walked out of the store as the man said to the cashier, "Ring me up for this."

The hairs pricked up a bit on my neck.  Sure enough, when Andrew and I were at the car, I turned around to see the young man walking towards us.  I asked quietly, "Did you by that for him?"  "Yeah, here you go." (To Andrew.) I smiled and thanked him.  He started to go, turned and said, "Wouldn't want him playin' with no Barbies."  With a spring in his step (and brown bag in hand) he continued on his way, taking glances back at us and smiling.

Andrew was quite thrilled and had lots to say about the "nice man."

I was filled with all sorts of feelings.  Gratitude, wonder, shame, guilt.  I reflected on it all during the drive home to our toy-strewn house.

I will be thinking about this kind stranger all day.

Thank you, young sir.  I hope you are doing all right.

I wonder why he was buying that beer.


  1. Well, at least the nice man tolerates gluten....... :-) Nice story!

  2. interesting story. i would have mixed feelings too.

  3. Aw, how sweet - mixed feelings yes! But ultimately a nice person wrapped in "watch out" clothes. It feels good to do nice things for people - I was at the grocery store behind a man who was behind an older lady. She was short $1.50 or so and he paid for her. When he got up he didn't have a reusable bag and you have to pay for paper in our town now, so I gave him the extra bag I didn't need. Felt good though the checkout lady was wondering who would pay it forward to me. I didn't care, I already felt all right with the world :)