Sunday, April 05, 2009

Random Acts of Maggieness

I'd gotten my latte and was looking at the latest of the always eye-catching Starbucks mugs on display when my nephew came up beside me, and I said "you do know that my birthday is coming up, don't you?," in a cheeky kind of hint-hint sort of way. When there was no response, I looked at him and saw that it was some random guy who was definitely not a family member, nor a member of the group I call "people I've ever met in my life." About the time that I should have just said "oops, sorry," I was instead trying to backpedal and explain in that really awkward way how I thought he was my nephew and that my birthday really is coming up here at some point and some other babble that was making it all worse, my real nephew actually did, mercifully, appear.

We started to leave as quickly as possible, one of us with a face redder than a poor soul who gets caught farting loudly in a silent church, and shortly before we got to the door, the guy I'd only just barely met ever in my life about 45 seconds prior to this moment was standing there. He offered me a $5 Starbucks gift card. At first I refused, wondering why someone would give such a glorious (angels sing when I drink lattes) gift to such a completely strange kind of stranger like little ol' me, and then he explained that it wasn't exactly his own gift card but more kind of like one from his church that he was giving away as a random act of kindness, no strings attached. That made bucket loads more sense. As jaded as I've been on some of my "bad Tulsa days" about the over abundance of in your face religion here in the new state of Oklahoma that I, loosely, call home, I also thought this was pretty cool. Maybe my religion (or lack thereof) doesn't match with some around me, especially when it intersects with my politics, but being nice, randomly or otherwise, is still a good thing.

There are certainly others far more deserving of this gift, but I'm probably one who appreciates it as much as many and more than some since, um, hello, coffee is involved, and we all know how I feel about coffee. While I am in no danger of joining their church, I'll find a way to randomly pass on the kindness to a stranger because I already apparently enjoy talking to complete strangers as if they were family anyway.

Bonus quote, in the words of a famous gentleman from what will always sort of be my home state of Illinois:
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
JET Program update: Looks like results are in for candidates of Trinidad, Tobago, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK. That list doesn't include the US, which is where I am, and so the waiting continues. At least I'll be caffeinated. If accepted, my Japanometer is still leaning towards "yes, I'd likely go." If accepted.


  1. Only a little embarrasing, right? But a gift card? Lucky, lucky.

  2. The most dangerous gift I ever received was a Starbucks gift card. Because I keep dumping more $ onto it!!!


    Love the Lincoln quote, too.

  3. Haha, I love birthday stories like that! I like that the stranger didn't take offense or say anything untoward

    And exciting about the Jet Program! I shall cross my fingers for you :)

  4. Now THAT's a cool story! Its one of those things we have to remember when we get behind someone in line at the supermarket who is a few bucks short.

    Who is Abraham Lincoln?

  5. Well that was definitely worth the embarrassment, wasn't it? Very cool. :)

  6. now that was completely random... i've missed you. nice to hear from you again!

  7. I love random act stories. My hubs lost his cell phone in NYC. Some guy found it, called us, and returned it. David sent him a gift card as a thanks. He sent the gift card back and said, he did not return the phone for compensation, and if we really wanted to thank him, pay it forward. We never saw or heard from the guy after. Really cool people do exist in the world.

  8. Nothing better than a Starbucks Latte to make YOU smile!!!
    I love that quote!
    And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the JET program.

    No Weekly Winners again? Ewww.
    But mine is up?

  9. How nice! I was in a fastfood drive through once when the car ahead of mine paid for my meal. Really makes for a nice day. Have you tried their tazo iced teas? Yum! I'm hooked, but only because the lattes were starting to stick around the mid section.

  10. Yes, there ARE some really cool people in the world. Kind and generous. Giving. Like you.

  11. I like the pay it forward random acts of kindness.....goes to show there are good people left in this crazy world.
    More continued best wishes for JET

  12. what a nice person! times like that make me realize there are good things about religion, when, like you said, politics aren't involved.

  13. I like Abraham ... he was on the right track!

  14. I think I'd have died!! (But I'm super shy like that!) Awesome about the gift card though!

    I've got my crossables crossed for Japan!

  15. Lovely story Maggie, as only you could tell it! It is always wonderful to hear these things - somehow doing something random like that yourself (although makes you feel wonderful) isn't anywhere near as nice as hearing about someone who happened to be on the receiving end.


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