Today was my Be Kind to a Stranger day.
It’s a lot harder than you think. Especially when you look like I do. I look like I have cancer and I have people pushing and shoving to get a chance to be helpful. To be nice to me. To let me in front of them in the supermarket line up.
It got to be a comedy routine.
At Safeway, The bag boy carried my groceries out and wouldn’t even let me take the one with the bread in it.
Another girl who worked there saw me staring into the refrigerated case with weird juice in it. The kind that looks horrible and sounds worse. Kombucha Mushroom Mango Life Restoring Organic Reawaken Revitalize juice with chia seeds. Or something brown. A bad brown. And the label assures you that there is NO SUGAR. It’s ALL Green. It has Benefits. I don’t even have benefits anymore so I was thinking ‘hmmm….’ She offered to get me a case of it from the back. In an effort to be kind, I bought one. Fortunately, they were out of the Kombuca Mushroom flavor….but it’s on order.
Then there was the tiny little lady, about 93, who saw me getting laundry soap and offered to put it in the cart for me. She looked pretty good, though. I almost let her.
I went for a stagger along Winslow Way, our main drag, all 3 blocks of it, and couldn’t find a single person to be kind to. Everyone was perfectly happy and didn’t seem to need any kindness. I sat and drank a weird juice, the chia seed one, which was actually pretty good (97% Kambocha) but had a strange texture, like tiny little balls of jello were in it.
I had nothing to do now that my grocery shopping was done. No one was crying or even looking pensive. Lots of healthy, happy people walking in the sun. Cute kids all over the place eating ice cream cones and not even dropping them so I could get them another one. I briefly considered taking one off a kid and throwing it on the pavement so I could, but decided against it.
I went to the local espresso joint and got mobbed by people trying to be nice to me. Offering me their table, newspaper, water, a ride on a unicorn…what the hell?! I just wanted to help them. Be nice to them. Then it hit me. Oh…
I WAS being nice to them. By being there and letting them be nice to me. It was a strange feeling. Again. It’s not easy letting people help you. It’s a lot easier to help than to be helped. So I took the high road. I took the newspaper too.