I have a purse sized black umbrella that I bought at a dollar store about year ago for $2 during a downpour. It’s a fussy little umbrella that doesn’t stay open without some persuasion and a good dose of manipulation of it’s little metal arms. But open and engaged, it’s a perfectly serviceable umbrella and someone how I’ve managed to hold on to it for months despite the fact that I keep trying to give it away.
A week and a half ago, during the first night of torrential downpour that lasted a full week, I was stopped at a red light on my way to the Standard Tap with a couple of friends. There were three girls on the corner, getting soaked, trying to hail a cab. I grabbed the umbrella, rolled down my window and shouted to them, “Would you guys like an umbrella?” The looked at me with a little surprise and said they were fine. I shrugged to my friends, the light turned green, and we went along, umbrella in tow.
Last Tuesday night I got home from work. It was pouring out, and I had used this trusty little umbrella to keep me semi-dry on my walk home. I was standing in the lobby of my building, when I heard a woman say, “Is it still raining out? Shoot, I don’t want to go back upstairs.” I turned and looked at her, and offered my little umbrella. I said she could keep it if she wanted. She was taken aback that I would offer and insisted I give her my apartment number so she could return it, she was only running out to do a couple of errands.
About an hour later, I was up in my apartment, when I heard a knock at the door. It was the woman from the lobby, returning my umbrella. In addition to the umbrella, she put the handles of a little brown paper bag in my fingers. She said that she really appreciated the gesture and wanted to repay they kindness. This time I was the surprised one. I managed to get a couple of words out about how it was unnecessary, and how I had been happy to offer the umbrella. She smiled and left.
Inside the bag was a little lucky bamboo plant.
I kept trying to give my umbrella away, and for all my efforts I now I have a new plant and I still have the umbrella.
“Pay it forward, my a**. My good karma keeps getting thrown back at me.”
Cheerfulness and generosity pays, and not just in surprise goods. It is satisfying in ways that keeping and owning stuff is not. I’m proud to be the paternal gene donor of someone willng to step outside of her personal circle of privacy and offer kindness to others. Marisa Rocks!
Cheerfulness and generosity pays and not just in nice surprise stuff. Giving stuff away has rewards that keeping and owning do not. I”m proud to be the paternal gene donor of a person who can step outside of her personal circle of privacy and offer kindness to others. Marisa Rocks!
holy moly is that your dad?
thanks for reminding me to be nice.
Yeah, that’s my dad. He’s a good one.
Faith in humanity — Restored. Great post.
This is so cute!