in which I depend upon the kindness of strangers

Today, a miracle occurred.

Okay, maybe not a miracle. But at least a bizarrely weird coincidence that was hinged upon a stranger’s kindness.

This morning started out kind of ominous and Monday-ish for me. No hot water in the shower. Then the power randomly shut off while I was drying my hair. No breakfast food, because I fail at planning ahead. Late for the bus, as per ush.

But then, a miracle occurred.

Rewind back to last Wednesday, when somewhere between my front door and MIT, I lost my favorite button off my bag1 – the one from Maureen Johnson that says “YA Saves.” I was pretty distraught over this. Well, as distraught as one normally gets about a button off a bag. But I’m pretty attached to my button collection. I had a moment of silence, lamented the new hole on my bag, and then moved on, but I kept noticing all weekend how empty the front of my bag looked.

Fast forward back to Monday again.

So there I was on this awful Monday morning, rushing to the bus through the forest behind my house. I was looking down at my iPod, when suddenly there was a glint of sunlight on plastic from my left. Not a typical forest sort of light. I looked up.

And there, pinned to a tree, was my YA Saves button.

Some kind stranger saved my YA Saves button. And now, we have been reunited.

I love that sometimes people are really nice, and kind to people they don’t know. If I saw a YA Saves button on a forest path, I would have thought, “Too bad that person will never see their button again.” And I probably would have stepped on it.

But not this person – this person pinned the button to a tree so that one day, we would be reunited.

Sometimes, people are awesome.

Another good example of this – the other day on the train, a woman leaned over and asked me where she should get off to get to the airport. I said I didn’t know, because I don’t2. Suddenly the guy next to me chimed in – “Get off at Park Street and take the silver line.” “Ride it all the way to the end,” said someone else down the row. “Or you can ride to Downtown Crossing,” said someone else all the way down the row. “But then you have to walk, which will be tricky because there are no street signs in Boston.” “Because the trains are so much better,” said someone else. Then we all had a laugh at the expense of the MBTA.

I was amazed and touched by how everyone in the row had looked up from their books, taken out their headphones, and gone out of their way to give this woman really precise directions to the airport that probably took a lot of the stress out of her flight. The same way I was touched and amazed by how someone saw my YA Saves button and took time to pin it to a tree, and then no one else took it.

So thank you to that kind forest-dwelling stranger in Lexington3. At last, my button collection is complete again.

  1. By button, I like a pin button. Not like the things they sew on eyes in Coraline.
  2. Because really, who the hell can figure out mass transit here?
  3. Perhaps you are a fairy, or a helpful gnome
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4 thoughts on “in which I depend upon the kindness of strangers

  1. The Bostonians’ reaction actually doesn’t surprise me at all–Bostonians LOVE to give people directions. That way they can show off that they actually know their way around. And it also doesn’t surprise me that one person chimed in with the patently unhelpful “Or you can ride to Downtown Crossing”–if there’s one thing Bostonians like to do more than give directions, it’s argue about which directions to take (it’s a superiority thing). I *am* surprised that the guy said to get off at Park Street and take the Silver Line–the Silver Line to the airport leaves from South Station, and there wouldn’t be a free transfer from Park Street. (How’s that for both giving and arguing about directions?)

  2. me mum says:

    Any small kindness….remember that awesome book Librarian Janell suggested? It is exactly this same message…..:) it’s my mantra!

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