Hold A Door Open, And Another One Opens

, , , , | Hopeless | April 20, 2016

(I had major surgery as a child that has left me with fairly significant arthritis. I am in my early thirties, but during the winter, especially when we have damp weather, I am often left hobbling around like someone three times my age. On this particular day I badly need to do dishes and realize I am completely out of dish detergent. I live right next to a convenience store, and so I walk over to purchase some. It is December and there is ice on the ground, so I am not only stooped over and hobbling, but walking very slowly and cautiously. A young man of about 18 sees me crossing the parking lot and reaches the door before I do. He stands holding the door for nearly a full minute before I reach it.)

Me: *almost in tears because I was having such a crummy day and I can’t believe he has waited for me* “Thank you so much. That was unbelievably kind!”

Man: *smiles* “No problem! It looked like you have a little ‘hitch in your gettalong’ today and could use some help!”

(I smile in agreement and go to find my detergent. When I get to the cashier, I am behind the young man again. He is speaking to the cashier and sounds distressed.)

Man: “Are you sure? My paycheck was supposed to go in last night.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry; it’s saying it’s declined. Maybe you should call your bank?”

(I peek around and notice that he has a few cheap frozen pizzas and a few drinks. Being in a college town, I surmise that these are probably his meals for the week and having his card decline means he won’t be able to eat. I am fumbling for my credit card when he starts to walk away, shoulders slumped. I ask the cashier to put his items on my card. She asks if I’m sure, and when I nod vigorously, she calls out to the young man to stop him. He walks back, looking understandably suspicious.)

Me: “Please wait a moment. She’s running my card for your items and my detergent.”

Man: *now looking like HE might cry* “Are you serious? I’ll pay you back; I promise.”

Me: “Don’t worry about paying me back. You were so nice to hold the door for me, and you didn’t say a single thing about how I look all bent over. Please accept these as my ‘thank you!'”

(The cashier had finished bagging his things and handed them to him. He thanked me again and left, looking like a weight has been lifted. To be honest, I think it made me just as happy to do it as it made him.)

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