Spreading Sunshine A Petal At A Time

, , , , | Friendly | January 25, 2021

Back before the health crisis caused everything to shut down, I used to enjoy going out to gigs, bars, and club nights in town frequently. Unfortunately, as a woman in my early twenties, I’ve had to deal with my (un)fair share of creeps and uncomfortable encounters.

But I don’t want to dwell on those. I’d rather share the most positive story of late-night drunk strangers. These kinds of stories are rare but they restore much of my lost faith in humanity.

I was walking through the town centre after midnight to get to the bus stop, and there were still many people lingering around the brightly-lit main shopping street. As usual, I was walking quickly and avoiding eye contact. Suddenly, a smiling blur of twirling skirts and loose curls spun into my field of vision.

A clearly inebriated young woman danced over to me and pressed a sunflower into my hand.

Woman: “You’re beautiful!”

And she twirled off.

I’ve never been good with plants, but I kept that flower alive as long as I could. I wish more drunk strangers just wanted to give out flowers and good vibes.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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Paying It Forward Coming From Left-Field

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2021

I’m working on the register at a clothing store.

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Lady #1: “Good! How are you?”

Me: “Doing all right. You find everything all right today?”

Lady #1: “Yes, I did.”

After I start to ring up her two items, she stops me.

Lady #1: “I am so sorry, I forgot my wallet in the car. Can I come back in once I get it? 

I am used to this, so I agree and suspend her transaction while she runs back out to her car with her children. I’m supposed to suspend the sale and call up the next customer to keep the line running, so I do this.

Me: “How are you doing today? Find everything all right?”

Lady #2: “I’m doing good thanks, and yes. Was the last lady returning these?”

She points to the two coats my previous customer left.

Me: “No, she is buying them but forgot her wallet.”

Lady #2: “Oh, okay.”

I continue to ring her up when she says:

Lady #2: “Can you add the coats onto my transaction?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Lady #2: “I want to pay for them for her.”

I’m a bit taken aback because this has never happened, but I do it for her and she’s on her way. Not a minute later, [Lady #1] comes back into line and I call her up.

Lady #1: “All right, I got it! How much?”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, the lady who was behind you in line before paid for the coats. They’re all yours.”

Lady #1: “Really? She did?”

Me: “Yes.” *Hands her the bag* “You have a great evening.”

Lady #1: “Thank you so much!”

This is the first time that’s happened, but [Lady #2]’s generosity stays in my mind. [Lady #1]’s smile was so amazing and brightened my night.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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Won’t Be Stuck Here For Long

, , , , , | Healthy | January 19, 2021

I am newly divorced. I am also quite stubborn and make a decent attempt at home repairs on my own. This is not one of my shining moments.

I attempt to fix a leaking pipe under a sink using my hot glue gun. Don’t ask. I make a serious error in judgment and end up with hot melted glue completely covering my index finger and partially covering the middle and ring fingers of my right hand. The pain is immediate and intense. I quickly get ice and water in a glass and dunk my fingers into it. It is the only thing that stops the pain. I cannot pull the thick layer of glue off my fingers without perhaps removing a layer of skin. I quickly call my private physician’s office and explain what happened and that I was on my way. They encourage me to visit the emergency room at the hospital, but I tell them that I much prefer to see my physician individually.

I drive myself — manual transmission with my fingers still dipped in the ice water — to my doctor, who is luckily only five minutes away. When I walk into the waiting room, it is packed. As I do not have an appointment, I know I am in for quite a wait. I check in and sit down. Within about ten minutes, the ice in my glass melts and the water quickly becomes room temperature. The horrible pain returns. I go to the receptionist.

Me: “Excuse me. I have some rather bad burns on my fingers. Can you get me some ice for my water?”

Receptionist: “Sure will.”

She returns with three small ice cubes. I know it is not going to last long, but I accept what I can get. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes before that ice also melted. Not wanting to be a bother, I resign myself to the pain. Within five minutes, it is overwhelming. As a purely physical reaction, I lean over in my chair between my legs and start rocking back and forth over the floor.

After a few minutes of watching me do this, a man in the waiting room apparently has enough. He approaches the receptionist.

Man: “Ma’am, you need to get this young lady back to see the doctor immediately. She is in obvious pain, and she needs to jump the line.”

Woman: *From her chair* “Yes, please get her back to the doctor right away.”

The rest of the waiting room chimed in agreement. A nurse came within moments and brought me to an exam room. The doctor gave me some pain medication. As I sat, the water softened my skin and I was slowly able to peel the glue off without causing further damage. I ended up with serious second-degree burns to my three fingers. It took weeks to heal completely but eventually did. Fortunately, the worst of the pain subsided within a few hours.

I am still thankful to those kind strangers who allowed me to jump in front of their appointments. They may never know how much they helped me that day.

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Kindness In Bloom, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | January 11, 2021

I used to work in a very established small hair salon in a fancier part of town. We had quite a few older women who would come in every week to get their hair set, and they had been doing so since time immemorial.

After working there for a few years, I got engaged to my now-husband. I didn’t make a great song and dance about it, but I did wear my new ring to work and these ladies sure did notice!

About an hour after the first client of the day came in, the flowers started arriving! When I was distracted, one of the ladies had made a quick call, and the word had spread very quickly. I ended up with so many flowers I couldn’t take them all home that day!

Related:
Kindness In Bloom


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The Stores Are Closed But Their Hearts Are Open

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 4, 2021

The UK shuts down on Christmas. Almost nothing is open, especially nothing corporate. I am in a London “village” on Christmas morning, when it is 0°C. Everything is shut except [Coffee Chain]. I haven’t had anything to eat or drink, so I go in and order a terrible coffee.

In front of me is a homeless guy, and they are lavishing attention on him. It is clearly a free coffee, and they are checking that he has everything he wants. 

But it gets better. I’m drinking my coffee outside; we’re at tier four lockdown, so cafes are takeaway only. I’m a few metres from the homeless guy. A van stops. A guy jumps from the van, carrying a large, full shopping bag.

Van Guy: *To the homeless guy* “This is for you. It’s got hats and gloves and socks and leggings and donuts and crisps. I’ve given away six so far.”

It turns out that this guy is driving around southwest London and giving homeless people things they might really need to get them through the next few days or weeks. My heart swells with Dickensian Christmas spirit. 

The homeless guy demurs, but the van guy then pulls out a roll of cash and gives him a couple of £5, wishes him a merry Christmas, and gets back in the van.

Homeless Guy: *With a huge smile* “That was nice.”

Me: “Amazing.”

We exchanged pleasantries and season’s greetings. I feel better about humans.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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