Coffee For The Monkeys

, , , , | Milwaukie, OR, USA | Hopeless | April 25, 2016

(My daughter has an unusual name, and even when we write the pronunciation beside the spelling on forms or other documents, people still always mispronounce it. She is eight years old. We are at a coffee shop and each person in our family is getting a drink.)

Husband: “Flat white.”

Barista: “Name?”

Husband: “[Husband].”

Me: “They would each like a caramel frappuccino with whipped cream.”

Barista: *to my older daughter* “Your name?”

Older Daughter: “[Older Daughter].”

Barista: *to my younger daughter* “Your name?”

(I can see my daughter hesitating to say her name because it is never a simple process, even if you say it, then spell it immediately, people always comment on it.)

Me: *to her* “You can give any name you want. It doesn’t have to be YOUR name.”

Younger Daughter: *to barista* “Monkey Face!”

Barista: *laughing* “Okay, Monkey Face!” *to the drink-maker* “Here is a cup for Monkey Face.” *they both laugh and my daughter is happy*

Me: “And I’d like [my order], please.”

Barista: “You must be Mom?”

Me: “Yes. You can just put ‘Mom’ on mine.”

(When we picked up our drinks, I saw she had actually written “SuperMom!” on my cup. I “awww”ed and thanked her. Very sweet.)

Home Is Where The Heartfelt Is

, , , , | | Hopeless | April 21, 2016

(My immediate family has, at this point in the story, been basically homeless for about a year due to financial reasons. With both parents working full time and two school-age children, they are only barely getting by in a one-room hotel. My cat and I are staying with friends and splitting my paycheck between my parents and my rent. So, saving money is completely out of the question, and no place will rent to them because they were evicted from their last home. After a year of living this way and many, many rejections when they try to find a place, we are all pretty much losing hope. Randomly, on the Internet, we come across a neat little house. We give the guy a call, and agree to take a look at the house. When we get there, this happens.)

Landlord: “So, here’s the house! It’s a four bedroom place, a bit older, but wonderful location. Large yard, great for the little ones, and we just upgraded the master bedroom!”

Dad: *in awe* “This… this is perfect! I love the location, and the house is so big! It’s amazing!”

Landlord: “Great! I’ll just have you fill out this application and I’ll need the first month’s rent and the down payment if your references check out!”

Dad: *sighs regretfully* “Sir, the thing is, I have no references. I need to be honest right now instead of later. We were evicted from our last home, been living in a hotel for the last year because no one will give us a chance, even though we are paying [ridiculously high amount] monthly as it is just to live there! But if you give us a chance, I swear to you I’ll pay the rent over my own food if I have to.”

Landlord: *pauses thoughtfully, for just a bit too long* “Y’know what? Forget the application. Forget the down payment. Pay me the first month’s rent and turn on the electricity by the end of the month, and the house is yours. When I was a young man, I lived behind dumpsters and begged for food until someone decided that I was worth taking a chance on. No one deserves to be homeless just because nobody will give them a chance. Come by my office tomorrow to sign the papers. Heck, start moving in today if you’d like! You need to get out of that hotel. You can take as long as you need to continue looking at the house.”

(My dad stood there in shock as the landlord handed him a KEY and walked out. The next day he went to go sign the papers and the rent agreement mentioned no pets allowed, which my littlest sibling caught sight of.)

Little Sibling: “No pets?! What about kitty!”

Landlord: “You have a cat? What’s his name?”

Dad: “[Cat], but if it’s going to be a problem, he’s already staying with friends…”

Landlord: *grabs a pen and starts writing on the lease* “Five people… and [Cat]. There — now he’s a part of the family!”

(We moved in by month’s end and have been living there for a really long time now. Seriously, the most amazing landlord, and person, I’ve ever met, and a wonderful, wonderful lesson in paying it forward, one which I very much try to live up to. Thank you so much, sir, for giving us a chance when no one else would!)

We’re Above Such Crap

, , , | IN, USA | Hopeless | April 15, 2016

(I live in a suburban neighborhood with lots of other families of elementary aged children. I’m walking my daughter to the bus stop in the middle of winter when a young boy comes running past us, crying hysterically.)

Man: “Zach, come over here, dude. What happened?!”

Boy: “I fell!”

(I then notice the boy is smeared in dog mess from head to toe.)

Man: “Well, it’s too late for me to walk you home to get changed. You’ll miss the bus.”

(The man proceeds to take off his coat and shirt, puts his coat back on and uses his shirt to clean the poor kid up.)

Man: “There you go, kiddo. The bus is here, but I’ll make sure you have clean pants at school before I get to work.”

(Our kids all get on the bus, and we waive them off. I approach the man as he is throwing his shirt in a nearby trash bin.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that happened to your son, but great quick thinking in a pinch!”

Man: “Oh, thanks, but that’s not my son. Honestly, I can’t stand that kid. The only reason I know his name is because I always hear his mom grumping at him for picking on the other kids at the bus stop, but I’m not going to let a crying crap-covered kid get on the bus even if he is a total jerk.”

A Meaty Amount Of Appreciation

, | Akron, OH, USA | Hopeless | April 11, 2016

(I work at the deli counter in a grocery store during the post-church rush on a Sunday. A family comes up to the counter and orders a couple half-pounds of a couple of lunch meats and politely leave. After the rush subsides a few minutes later, I decide to take my lunch break and sit in the cafe. I then see the family sit down in a booth near me and start to make sandwiches with the meats I cut for them. We notice each other but don’t exchange any words until a few minutes later.)

Customer: “You see that young lady? She’s the one who cut up the meats for us.”

Customer’s Granddaughter: “Thank you!”

Me: “Oh, well, I’m glad you’re enjoying them.”

Customer: “We are. I think we’re going to come here every Sunday from now on and look for you.”

Me: “Oh, well, I don’t work every Sunday morning, but if I’m here I’ll be glad to help.”

Customer: “We’ll look for you, then.”

(We don’t talk to each other for the rest of my break, but that small thank you helped me stay positive for the rest of my shift. Thank you, random family, and I hope to see you again!)

Please Do Not Not Be Quiet In The Library

, , , , | | Hopeless | April 5, 2016

(We’ve recently moved to a new town and are visiting the library for the first time. My kids are acting excited and a bit noisy with their chatter.)

Me: “Kids, quiet down. Let’s go sit here and look at these books. Shhh!”

Librarian: “Please don’t shush your children. It’s quite all right for your kids to make noise in here. In fact, we encourage them to interact and enjoy the space and the books.” *to kids* “What sort of books do you like?” *wanders off to show the kids where the fun stuff is*

Me: “…”

(We love our library and our librarians are the best!)

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