Relying on the kindness of strangers

At this point in my pregnancy, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I’m pregnant, I guess.  Even complete strangers are confident enough to ask me if I’m having a boy or girl.  I’m even reaching the limits of my non-maternity clothing options due to ANOTHER sudden growth spurt by the fetus (or my uterus, I suppose, if we are being particular).  Anyway, I’m guessing this is the contributing factor to what happened to me the other day.

I was on a shopping excursion for work searching thrift stores trying to find a table that looked like one in a set design for an upcoming show plus some spray paint to paint 2 chairs.  The plan was to hit 2 thrift stores, then Home Depot.  Unfortunately, this very specific-looking table couldn’t be found at the first 2 stores, so I added on 2 more to my trip in hopes of landing the perfect piece.  Those turned out to not be fruitful either, so it was just past lunchtime and I was finally hitting the last spot on my errand run.

By the time I’d reached Home Depot, it was well after 1pm (for reference, I usually eat at around noonish).  In front, there was a hot dog stand.  Unfortunately for me, I never carry cash in my wallet.  I decided to try my luck anyway.  I waited patiently in line for my turn, then asked the vendor if he accepted credit cards.  Of course, the answer was no.  As I walked off, a gentleman offered to buy me something.  I politely declined.  A second man called after me, asking what I wanted to eat and handed the vendor some money.  Normally, I would have walked off, but I was starving and knew that there was a chance that I would keel over if I didn’t eat anything – I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where if I go too long without eating, I get really sick.  Since he’d already handed over the money, I told him that just a plain hot dog would be fine.  He tried to offer me more, but I told him that was enough.  Apparently, he had also paid for a drink for me, so I was able to get some water as well.  As I walked off again, the first gentleman told me to grab a bag of chips, too.  The vendor said that the other guy only paid for a drink, but then changed his mind and said that the chips were on him.  As I walked off, he said that he wanted me to know there were still good people in the world.

I don’t think I’ve ever been treated that kindly by a stranger before.  I could have cried as I walked into the store with my lunch.  After procuring the spray paint (the only shopping success that day), I remembered that I had a little bit of change in my wallet, so I put it in the tip jar of the hot dog vendor as I left.  He told me to stay safe as I walked to my car.

It wasn’t until then that I realized how little it takes to make someone else’s day.  The hot dog only cost that guy a couple of bucks, but it was momentous enough for me to tell everyone I know about it.  It even inspired hubby to finally go and donate blood that day (he’d been putting it off for probably a month at that point).  I challenge anyone reading this to do something nice for a stranger when the opportunity presents itself.  Pay it forward!

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