Christmas Kindness at The Hobbit
i see lot of outpouring of kindness every day here, and it’s always touching in a way that’s hard to describe, particularly after ending up unemployed and facing an uncertain future. but the day went to a stranger yesterday, somebody that didn’t know me and anonymously pitched in a small token of good will that saved me some face in front of my son.
we were at The Hobbit, just rango and boogie, a movie i’ve waited, conservatively, 30 years to see, a screen adaption of one of my favorite books and the seed of a teenage blitzkrieg of D&D fueled fantasy campaigns (and lots of vernor’s soda and chips & cheese).
so it was a big deal to me, personally, and to be there with my son at a time when i have no money. she couldn’t make it yesterday but we were there by way of my girlfriend who knows my situation and knows how badly i wanted to see it with him. totally primo, imax 3D, and $$. we’re talking digital dragons baby, smaug. we had perfect seats, half the width of the screen into the audience and smack dab in the middle.
i love movies. absolutely love them. i live in one
i hustled to go get popcorn and drinks, cuz we’re going full ride here, very detroit, totally styling. on the way out i noticed a young woman 1/2 my age doing the same, looking very sharp, possibly professional sales or maybe just likes to look classy when she goes to the movies. that reminded me of my girlfriend, because she’s incredibly classy and pretty much everything does, anyway. (i inhale, she’s in my head, yup, i exhale and i can’t forget about her. pity she couldn’t make it yesterday but i thought of her at least 1,000 times, so quota).
anyway, i was in a hurry and i’m clumsy and scattered by nature and inadvertently cut this woman off at the counter, thinking about romance and hobbits and music and probably 349 bonus thoughts in the 10 seconds before i got there, including a complete symphony in fast motion, where i found myself digging through my pockets fishing for wadded up bills and change. i found more crumpled receipts than legal tender so i mumbled something about not having my ATM card, leaving out the part that it was worthless anyway as an uncomfortable feeling settled in. the clerk served up the popcorn and the soda, and then i had another one of those cash register fight club moments. getting sick of these: not enough money. not even close. closer to $0 US. one drink was in a bottle, so i put that back, then kind of had my moment of shame right there, stammered, and walked away a few paces to collect myself.
my pockets are like the everglades so i did some fishing and came up with one more moist, skunky dollar. that was enough to get just the popcorn, and it was still on the counter but the clerk was going for it to toss it back. so i rudely interrupted the next customer, which of course was the young lady i had just cut off. i kind of waved my hands around like an idiot (because that makes being rude not as offensive as any outspoken hollander knows), indicating i had enough money for the popcorn.
“the kind lady paid for your drink, sir”, he said, and sure enough she gave me a polite nod. what? just like that, random kindness from a stranger. i was delighted and relieved, and thanked her, explaining that it was for my son and that i was unemployed and boy did she just make a big difference in my day.
“sure”, she said, “merry christmas”, and we walked over to the condiment stand. at that point i asked her name. “bethany”, she said. i introduced myself then told her she was for a treat, that i was a prominent internet blogger, and a musician. that i’m rango the dog, (“all one word”), and that she should go home and check out my page or my youtube videos. then i indicated that i was going to go home and tell the whole world, anonymously, what she just did, because it was so kind.
however, have i changed my mind. her name is bethany simpson.
thank you bethany for giving an unforgettable christmas gift to a perfect stranger, an old black dog with a starry eyed kid. i told boogie all about it, because when people do really cool things we should shine a light on them, for just a moment, and acknowledge, and learn from them.
“i find it’s the little things. love and kindness” – gandalf, the hobbit