I had all but the best intentions to share my tale of anniversary #1, but sometimes there are moments in life that strike at the most unusual of times. And so I share instead this evening a story of perplexity. Tomorrow I promise a great many words of whimsical romance and love!
I'm not a very charitable person. This, my friends, is not an amiable trait. I wish it weren't so but, nevertheless, facts remain. With that being said, I did something quite out of the ordinary this afternoon.
I was shopping at the market, as my sister would say, when I found myself behind a gentleman experiencing very unpleasant credit card issues. To be more specific, his purchase was declined due to his card ringing up as fraudulent. Very unpleasant indeed! The employees hastily asked whether said customer had notified his credit card company that this particular card was lost or stolen. They then proceeded to ask whether he had an alternate form of payment. Note: Everyone within ear shot was now following this man's unfortunate affairs and trying to judge his reaction to such news. I can honestly tell you, as next customer in line, that he appeared more perplexed than anything. They then asked him to call his credit card company to inquire about the discrepancy. Just as he was mid-dial in compliance, their minds were changed and they requested instead that he step aside. The line had increased. The tension had risen. The frustration was mounting. The conversations that had ensued only lasted mere fractions of a minute but this.. THIS...was my shining moment. I, customer just yonder, stepped in from the sidelines and offered to pay for his goods! Alright, alright. I will not pretend that this was a great sacrafice. There were admittedly only 4 items. Still, this is very uncharacteristic of me. In case you're curious, after much reflection, I've come to the conclusion that my spontaneous moment of generosity struck me for perhaps the following reasons:
1) A splurge occurred recently on a new purse complete with magnetic close. This has succeeded in permanently de-magnetizing my debit card. Hit or miss, my card may or may not be declined on any given day. I felt this man's pain.
2) I was inpatient and knew if I ponied up I could probably exit the store more quickly. Selfish, but true.
3) Everywhere you turned, the grocery store boasted "WIC Approved" signs which perhaps, unconsciously, reminded me of how fortunate I am.
4) The man seemed overall quite helpless. I felt embarrassed for him.
5) I checked the balance on a gift card I recently used and it was negative. I somehow managed to spend more than I had received. How lucky of me!
Regardless of the actual reason, I share this story not to limelight my charitable efforts (ok, maybe just a little) but to share instead the end result of my good-doing. Unfortunate credit card man turned to me, quite bewildered, with barely a thank you audible, while the cashier asked me questioningly whether I really wanted to pay for this man's groceries. Everyone was astonishingly confused at the mere mention of generosity. I paid. He left. The cashier proceeded to ring my groceries. Now this, I can say, I've never experienced before. I threw the entire cast and crew for a loop. Seriously. I actually managed to confuse my audience by providing such a random act of kindness. Is kindness so rare nowadays that it actually startles the witness?! How sad but true.
Maybe karma will catch up with me later...