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Positive, feel-good stories

Maybe If I’d Learned That Song I’d Be Better At Math

, , , , , , , , | Learning | April 11, 2022

This took place in 2001. I was nine years old and in third grade. We were just starting to learn multiplication and were learning the multiples of threes. My teacher warned us that from here on out, the multiplications were going to get harder and she didn’t want us to feel overwhelmed, so she came up with a song to help us remember the solutions to multiplying threes.

Teacher: “I am going to sing a song that’ll help you memorize all the multiples of three up to the number thirty. I sing this song every year to my students and I’ve had past students, including middle schoolers and even high schoolers, who come back to visit me tell me they remember this song. Are you ready?”

Us: “Yes!”

Teacher: “Three, six, nine, the monkey drank wine; twelve, fifteen, eighteen, we’re going skating; twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-seven, we’re almost to heaven; thirty!”

Our class erupted in laughter at the silliness of the song, and we asked her to sing it again which she did.

Classmate #1: “Mrs. [Teacher], there’s no way we’re going to remember this when we get older. It’s too silly!”

Teacher: “You might say that now, but I’m telling you, I have students from many years ago come up to me and say one of their favorite memories was learning this song and they still use it to this day!”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, right!”

Fast forward to today. I just turned thirty and I taught my nine-year-old nephew, who is just starting to learn how to multiply, this song my teacher sang all those years ago. It might sound silly, but it turns out she was right when she said we would never forget that song!

The Only Size You Are Is Perfect

, , , , , , | Right | April 10, 2022

I come from a country that has weird expectations of women’s bodies. I have always been a chubby girl. I was taunted my entire childhood for that, and after pregnancy, I have gained some more weight. I have always been on various diets and exercises, and my weight fluctuates like the weather.

I have moved temporarily to London and am clothes shopping one day. It’s a beautiful high-end shop known for good collections of formal clothes. Every design that I like is not available in my size, and naturally, I am upset about it. A shop assistant comes up to help me.

Clothes shopping has never been fun for me at all, so I am apprehensive to ask for help. I am also worried that I may offend her by declining help.

Me: *Timidly* “Umm… I am not finding anything that fits me well.”

Employee: “What size are you looking at?”

Me: “I am not very familiar with the sizes here. Eight or ten seems too small and sixteen and above is a little too big. I am guessing twelve to fourteen may be my size but I am not sure. There aren’t many options in that size range.”

Employee: “Well, ma’am, that’s a popular size range in work attires. This is the middle of summer and peak shopping season; we usually run out of those sizes pretty soon, but I can check our system and let you know if we have any in stock in our store or any nearby stores. If you are sure, we can place them on hold, too. Do you want to do that?”

I was surprised that A) she did not judge me, B) she is happy to help, and C) if my size is popular, then there are many women like me, so I am not abnormally huge! With these thoughts in my head, I show her a few designs that I like and she gets a few of them for me to try on. When I am done making my choices and am leaving with my purchase, I summon the courage to thank her.

Me: “Thanks so much for your help! You have no idea how incredibly helpful you have been.”

Employee: “No problem at all, ma’am! I am glad you found something you liked.”

Me: “Well, that’s the point. I usually never find anything in my size. I have had people mock at me for not being slim. Clothes shopping for people like me is a nightmare. You’ve made it so much easier today.”

Employee: “I don’t know why anyone would make you think like that! Most women I have met are in this size range, but we really shouldn’t limit ourselves by our bodies.”

I got really emotional because of her words. We talked a bit about body shaming and such. I had never felt so empowered about my body.

I am slowly on the path to accepting myself for who I am rather than by what society wants me to be. I maintain a healthy lifestyle and am still no skinny person, but I have stopped worrying about my weight when I occasionally decide to indulge. It’s a long journey of self-acceptance, but thanks to that kind lady who gave me the much-needed confidence. I can never forget her!

Kindness In Bloom, Part 3

, , , | Right | April 6, 2022

I work in a boutique store that only sells products made by the company that owns it. Our customers can be a tough and demanding crowd.

On a slow day, a customer I’ve never seen before comes in with an expensive item made by our company that her boyfriend has given to her for a recent occasion. The item has just broken. She is distressed about the situation but is polite and undemanding.

Customer: “Can this be fixed, and what would it cost?”

After examining her item, I determined that it was defective, and per our store policy, I exchanged it for a new one. She left, pleased with the outcome. I thought no more about it because to me it was an ordinary transaction.

A few days later, the customer came into the store clutching a paper bundle. I was afraid there might be a problem with her replacement item, but not so! She had brought me a large bouquet of flowers to thank me for helping her the week before!

I thanked her profusely and she left.

I never saw her again. Her gratitude and appreciation made me humble because I really was just doing my job. She showed me that you never know when your actions might make someone’s day.

Related:
Kindness In Bloom, Part 2
Kindness In Bloom

This Sweet Sister Saves The Day

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: JupiterJungle | April 4, 2022

My sister is a sweetheart and one of the most loving people you will ever meet. She loves EVERYONE! If you are a good person and do good things, she will appreciate you. She doesn’t curse or raise her voice ever. However, she also doesn’t like or appreciate people mistreating others or injustices. She always speaks out.

I was at a large store with my sister. We were in line, it was a busy night, and we were several people back. The cashier had to price check something and was taking a bit longer. The cashier was a very sweet young man that had Down’s syndrome. I don’t think it was the cashier’s fault things were slow; it was a busy spurt, and it was a series of events that caused things to slow down on our register.

The man three customers back was super pissed that things were slow and decided his time was more important than being a decent human being. He angrily muttered things under his breath (which my sister refused to repeat). Then, after the second price check, he started yelling.

Customer: “COME ON! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! CAN WE GET A REAL EMPLOYEE TO CHECK US OUT? GET THIS R****D OUT OF HERE!”

That was when my sister had enough. She left our cart in line and marched over to the employee and stood next to him behind the conveyor belt.

Sister: “You’re perfect, and don’t let mean people try to tell you otherwise.”

Then, she glared at the man, who was still yelling and cursing, now at her.

Customer: “He doesn’t need any other reason to be slow!”

My sister stared daggers into the man and bluntly told him:

Sister: “How dare you talk to someone like that? No one deserves to be talked to like that. Also, I abhor that word, ‘r****d,’ but the only one acting like that is you.”

Customer: “You can’t talk to me like that! I’m a customer!”

Sister: “I… don’t… work… here, and I don’t know him! What I do know is that you have a poor attitude and should think about how you talk to people; you don’t want to be ‘that guy.’”

I moved past everyone and stood at the end of the conveyor belt; mostly I wanted to be in between the man and my sister.

Everyone was staring at the man and backing my sister up. One guy was cheering on my sister and calling things out like:

Customer #2: “Dude, don’t be a d****e. Just shut up!”

No one moved or said anything else, so my sister continued.

Sister: “Well, as I see it, you have two choices: you can leave and go somewhere else or shut your mouth.”

At this point, a manager came up and stood next to me, looking around. The entire line was dead quiet waiting to see what the man wanted to do.

Manager: *Slowly* “Is everything okay here?”

Sister: “This man here was verbally abusing your employee.”

The manager looked pissed, but the guy was already properly shamed for his attitude, looking down, not saying anything.

My sister looked at the employee.

Sister: “Are you okay, or do you need a break?”

The manager was a little slow to catch up, but he backed up the break and even offered to take over the employee’s lane.

Employee: “I want a break, but I want to clear my line first.”

My sister refused to leave his side. I refused to move; I wanted to stay between the angry guy and my sister. The manager stood next to me and took over bagging, though he told the rest of the people in the line that the other register was now open. A few people went.

The rude guy went through the line quietly, paid, and left. He refused to look at anyone in the eyes. After he went through, my sister waved the guy that had been behind us through so we would be last. And then, we finally made our purchase.

After we finished paying, the employee came around and gave my sister the biggest hug and thanked her with tears in his eyes.

Employee: “This kind of thing happens often, but this is the first time anybody has ever stood up for me. That’s why I rarely help on register unless it’s late at night.”

Sister: “Always remember that if people are mean, it’s not your fault or your problem; it’s their problem.”

After that, the employee left to go on break while another woman who’d been in line stayed to talk to us and offered to buy our items. My sister refused the offer but happily talked to her for a few minutes.

The manager came out a few minutes later and gave us coupons and a gift card. My sister took the coupons but asked if he would give the gift card to the employee.

Honestly, I’m surprised the angry man stayed and checked out. I hope he thinks about how he talks to people in the future.

If They’re Willing, There’s Usually A Way

, , , , , | Working | April 4, 2022

Two or three times a year, I take the train back to my hometown to visit family. It’s always the same route: a long trip to a city in my home state and a short trip from that city to the station nearest my parents’ house. One year, I decide to take the earliest possible trip, which leaves around 6:30 am. I don’t have a car, but there’s a bus that will take me to the train station with plenty of time to spare, so I don’t think anything of it.

Except… the bus never comes. I check the transportation department’s app only to find the early morning route listed as CANCELLED for no reason. No worries. I rush to another stop for a route that also goes in that direction, only to find that this bus came ten minutes EARLY, and I’ve missed it, too. I have to wait for the next one, as the station is too far to walk, but already I’m getting nervous and checking my options. My train is taking the same route two more times today, but naturally, the price is twice what it was when I bought my tickets in advance, and I’m not sure how many tickets are left.

The third bus does arrive, and when I reach the train station, I see my train listed as “Last boarding call.” I rush toward the platform… just in time to see it pull away. I go to the ticket booth, instead. My first impression of the attendant is that she seems a bit sleepy and probably wishes she didn’t have to deal with flustered people this early in the morning. I’m a little embarrassed to explain the situation, even though I know it happens a lot; I generally have things planned well in advance, so I’m not used to this happening to ME.

Me: “Hi, I just missed my train. Is it possible for me to get on another one today?”

The attendant takes my information.

Station Attendant: “Okay… it looks like there’s another [Train #1] leaving for [City] at 12:05 and a connecting train between [City] and [Town] that will get in at 5:05. Unfortunately, it’ll be $140 if you purchase a one-way ticket at this time. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yeah, if that’s all there is, I can make it work.”

Station Attendant: “Hold on, let me check something.”

She spends a few minutes typing and frowns.

Station Attendant: “Hm. So, there is a [Train #2] that leaves for [City] in forty minutes, but there is no earlier connection, so you would still have to wait in [City] from about 11:30 to 4:00.”

Me: “Actually, that would be amazing. I’m pretty sure my ride wouldn’t mind picking me up straight from [City].”

Station Attendant: “Oh, okay, cool. And if you’re only taking one train today, I can apply the cost of your transfer ticket to the new ticket. So, instead of charging you $140, it’ll only be…” *More typing* “Oh, you get a dollar back.”

Me: “Seriously?”

Station Attendant: “Yup!”

Sleepy or not, the attendant really came through for me. She had me sign something to authorize the return, and printed out new tickets. Instead of paying extra money and sitting around for five hours waiting for the train — no way I was taking the bus to and from my place again — I had just enough time to catch my breath and get a cup of coffee, and in the end, my arrival was only an hour later than expected. As for my dad, who was my ride, he was more than happy to pick me up in [City]; the station was around the corner from his all-time favorite pizza place.