Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have NOT always depended on the kindness of strangers...

I am no Blanche DuBois.

In this transition period the thought of trusting complete strangers in this town is a little scary. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they looking at me?

Today brought two lessons in the kindness of complete strangers.

Lesson 1. Home Depot - Kindness That is Not so Kind.
Have you ever been shopping in the Home Depot and cannot find a darn thing...and cannot find a darn employee to help you? That's usually my experience. Today was different! I was walking around looking for a drain stopper and not only one, not only two, but THREE clerks stopped what they were doing and walked me to the aisle with drain stoppers. I was pleased for the help. I realize it is their job, but it was so helpful, I was encouraged that perhaps Ridgecrest isn't such a bad place after all...until I got outside to my vehicle looked down at my shirt, and realized that the top button of my blouse had unexpectedly come undone, exposing a fair amount of...d├ęcolletage. Somewhat mortifying. And it made me realize that the kindness of those particular strangers was less than kind. (Though maybe just a tad bit flattering.)

Lesson 2. Goodwill - Kindness That is Kind
In an effort to save a little money and to have some furniture, I purchased an entertainment center from the Goodwill today. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the size of the unit and the size of the backseat of my vehicle. This was a vexing predicament given that I know a total of 3 people in Ridgecrest, none of whom I am comfortable calling to help me move something. As I was standing out in front of the store with the clerk - who was a particularly grumpy ambassador of the Goodwill - trying to figure out what to do next, an older gentleman (in his 80s!) pulled up in a truck and said “I’m not doing anything right now, do you need some help?” I was floored. We loaded the unit into his truck and he followed me to my house. The maintenance crew for the housing complex drove by as we were unloading it, and helped me carry the whole thing inside. I tried to buy the man a cup of coffee, but he refused. I was truly touched by his kindness, which was genuine and without expectation of something in return. So thank you, good sir – whoever you are, for making me feel welcome in this town.

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