Friday, February 4, 2011

Huge favor, complete stranger, pay it forward

The other night, we were running late, had to stop at the store to pick up dad's birthday present, went to his house to sing happy birthday and run around like crazy people, pick up the truck and get home to let the dogs in because it was in the low teens. Needless to say, we weren't going to have a bunch of time to make anything for dinner. To compound problems, we forgot to take something out of the freezer. So, we called an order in to the local mom & pop joint that we eat at every other month-ish.

When I got there, I started writing a check because I had left my debit card in a different pair of pants.
Cashier: We don't take checks.
Me: Since when? I just wrote a check here a month or so ago!
Cashier: I don't know. I've only worked here a month.
Me: (Standing. Looking at cashier. Looking at bag of pre-made food. Looking at cashier.) Well, ok then. Good bye. (Walking away confused and wondering which cereal we will feed the boys....)

I was almost at the door when I hear:
Stranger: Ma'am?
Me: (cringing at my age, turning around to see a 22-ish year old sticking her head out the door) Yes?
Stranger: I'll pay for your food, and you can just write me the check.
Me: (thinking - possibly saying out loud - HUH?!?!) Excuse me?
Stranger: I'll pay for it, and you can pay me if that's OK.
Me: That's great.

By the time I got back in to the counter, she had paid for my food.
Stranger: It was already made, and you were obviously counting on it.
Me: You have no idea what hassle you just saved me from. Thank you SO much. Thank you. Thank you! (I may have said it once or twice or 17 more times.)

Her name was Autumn. I found her on Facebook later and sent her another thank you. It was the nicest thing a stranger has done for me in a long time.

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