Stuff to know

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stranger Acts of Kindness

I have a confession.

A hidden pleasure,  a tiny little indulgence.

I enjoy going out  and speaking to random strangers. 
Simply exchanging common pleasantries
 and perhaps savoring their kindness. 

Okay , not the juicy little tidbit you were hoping for- but it' s piece of the puzzle called sanity.

Whether the situation is professional, spontaneous or obligatory-

The simple exchange of good manners in a lexical fashion always puts a bit of sunshine into my contented but weary soul.

What might you ask would cause me to be so satisfied with such such a simple exchange ?

One word:  TEENAGERS

With  2 of them and a "tweener" following close behind....and  brace yourself  .....all female

I yearn for common interaction that does not involve  shoulders shrugs or panic voice  inflections.

By now I feel I should have obtained your sympathy and all tequila donations.

Let me elaborate a bit on how these random kindnesses of the outside world affect me.

You see kindness costs nothing, yet it produces enormous rewards.

A soft spoken word,
 a smile-
 heck a facial expression that does not involve an eye roll
and I just get tingly all over!!!

To hear a "Hello, May I help you?" or "What can I get you?"     


What can you get ME?
Did I hear that right? (insert tingly feeling here)

"Why yes, yes you can help me."  I gush like a school girl flirting with the quarterback.

I pour out my kindnesses now with "Thank yous" and "How thoughtful"  and before you know it

My cup spilleth over and I have plenty to share.

 However there are times when I am met with slightly less than an agreeable situation.
I just try to keep a positive edge about me-

For instance when I greet Happy Mouth with a cheerful "Good Morning", she walks straight  past me.

I simply restate my salutation with a bit more cheerfulness
 to which she responds "I SAID GOOD MORNING!!"

In your mind, I think. 
But I continue on with a smile and stay away from sharp objects.

I then proceed to wake Rollercoaster-

At this point I should state a disclaimer:
  To awaken Rollercoaster from her slumber is to sign up for death, it is not for the faint-hearted, You may deem the following inappropriate for small children

I tip toe up the stairs in order to not make a "sudden" noise - I made that mistake ONCE.

I peep in and see she is fully in LaLa land, mouth ajar, pillow embraced, her thick wild hair strewn across the sheets.......
Here Goes....

I lean over and gently rub her back (yes I have dared to touch the beast)

I offer  a "Good Morning Sweetie" in my best "your a good dog" voice I can manage without trembling.

Rollercoaster jerks violently on to her side and lets out a grunt.

Whew! That was close . My stellar reflexes have protected me from a good thwack in the face.

"It is a great day, sugar".I say.
 I must admit at this point I am playing Pollyanna with just a bit too much glee, but hey I have to get my kicks where I can.

"Mom, I AM Getting up!!  You don;t have to yell at me , okay?

Child 2- Mission Complete

My favorite though has to be waking the youngest.
Now I am a better mother to my youngest ,who is the ripe old age of 10, than I was to my older two.

 Not due to favoritism, but simply experience.
 Any REAL mama out there should admit the same. Practice makes perfect, not that I believe in perfectionism (but that's another story)

Life is just a great teacher.

So I have gotten in the habit of rubbing her arms gently and saying "This is the day the Lord has made for you to rejoice in!"
When I first began this she  loved it .
She would repeat it after me and begin to get up and ready.

Lately, Forrest is a bit slower to respond.
 So I have taken the liberty to add "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you."; including "get out of bed" I add under my breath.

So this morning I had my older two up Pollyanna style and began to get Forrest up with our usual mantra .
I coupled this with an encouraging tug back of the covers only to be greeted with an academy award performance for Sybil.

"I   AMMMMMMMMMMMMM UUUPPPPPP!"  she screams with the breath of a vulture and glazed eyes straight out of a Hitchcock movie.

She stomps to the bathroom and just before the door slams shut she utters
"I am up  ARE YOU HAPPY?"

Wow! Such thoughtfulness!  What a sweet way to start the day!! The kindness boat has come in!!

Happy Mouth is now telling me something about my failure to pick her up the right foundation color, as Rollercoaster reminds me "Pick me up by 4:00 today and please don't be late like last time"

Mr. Rogers feels the need to tell me we are out of coffee.

Screw coffee. I think just don't tell me we are out of rum.

I smile my best "Miss America" smile and wish them all a wonderful day.
 But my heart is not really in it , I am planning my next excursion with a random stranger and the pleasantries we will exchange.  

A bookstore?  Coffee shop?

No, no today I deserve a tall drink of iced tea refilled as many times as I need until my kindness bank  has interest to spare.

Who will the lucky waiter be?


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