to desire the replica

posted on: September 28th, 2010

My lovely friend Phaedra recently put up a post about feeling like an utter piece of crap only to have a random stranger say just the right thing at just the right time. A simple gesture that at any given time can mean the world. Or the difference between wanting to kick and scream and break shit vs. feeling like it just might be ok one day soon.

That post got me thinking about those times that this has happened to me. The small kindness, unexpected and unasked for, that takes you from where you were and puts you somewhere better. I am lucky enough to say that I have experienced a few and each and every time it almost stops my usual misanthropic outlook on the masses of people that swirl anonymously around me. I am going to list three of them here because it may remind us all that just a little bit can be an awful lot. I’m also listing them here because it’s my fucking blog and I can do whatever I want. You’re not the boss of me!

Sorry. I digress. Sometimes the bitch just leaks out even when I’m posting about unicorns and glitter and toilet paper commercial kittens. Ok, on to the glitter…

#1- I was laying on the grass enjoying a book and the sunshine in a local park. Suddenly a hand drops a flower beside my book and I cringe, waiting for the inevitable “Whattcha reading?” What he said was “It’s a beautiful day” and then just kept on walking.

#2-The quiet smiling cafe owner in Barcelona who put my lukewarm water bottle in her fridge to cool and sent her son down the street to locate the hostel I had been searching for in vain -in the blistering heat- for hours.

And my personal favorite;

#3- As teens we skipped school and went for coffee at “Lena’s” on a pretty regular basis. There would be several of us and we would sit drinking our free refill and shredding sugar packages for hours and usually have just enough to cover the bill. They definitely didn’t make any money on us. I remember skipping a class and heading over to Lena’s alone one day. My server was our usual, a rather tired looking middle aged woman who always made me think of my single mom struggling to make ends meet, and I sat there for a while sipping slowly, knowing I only had enough money for 1 coffee and it’s customary top up. She came over and gave me an extra refill and called me “Sugar.” For some reason, just the way she called me that- this snot nosed non-tipping teenager- almost made me cry. I remember feeling terrible that I couldn’t leave her a tip when I left and I think she knew. She smiled at me and said “hope to see you soon”  and I honestly think she meant it. That waitress all those years ago is the reason that I still use endearments like honey or sweetheart with friends and strangers alike. I remember how warm it made me feel.

So how about we all go out and try to make someone feel warm tomorrow? And if anyone says “Pay it forward” I’ll kick them right in the teeth. I fucking hate that phrase. La la la, happy happy unicorns and glitter.

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Jeannie Says:

It is especially touching when a stranger does or says something nice. Back in my crazy teen years, I thumbed a lot out in the country. It was always men that picked me up and every single one of them were gentlemen and concerned for my safety and always drove many many miles out of their way to see that I got exactly where I was going. I wasn’t that safe with the guys I hung out with.

Brian Smart Says:

I remember once going to a hotel in Toronto for a training conference. Pretty busy at the main desk and a line-up made longer by a guy about my age really giving the young lady at the desk a hard time. I had notice the guy pull in in front of me in a Land Rover. Long story short, his room is not ready and she explains quite nicely that it is because someone checked out late in his room and they’re fixing it up for him now and please feel free to have a cocktail on the house at the bar while he waited. Nice young lady, nice gesture to rude asshole. She’s barely fighting back the tears when I get to her. She manages a smile and signs me in, says my room will be a few minutes too and offers me the drink. I reply “No thanks I have something to do for a minute or two”. She replies “Are you sure?” and as I set my bags aside on one of those push carts I say “Yep…I’m sure. See that Land Rover out there? That belongs to that rude asshole that just yelled and swore at you. Watch this”. So I go outside take a quick look around…and let all the air out of his front tire, which she could quite plainly see from the front desk. No word of a lie, when I’m coming back in from the parking lot he’s on the other side of the circular door going out and I just get a glimpse of his “Holy Shit” look as he heads out. I look over at the young lady behind the front deak and her face is beat red now and she’s trying not to laugh.

There have been a few times when I wanted to compliment girls on dresses, shoes, hair, etc. and then just walk away. I never do because I figure they’ll think I’m hitting on them. Maybe I should do that the next time I think of doing so.

Kim Says:

Do it!

Phaedra Says:

Thanks for the link love lady! and the plain ol’ love too. I never tire of it. xo

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