Turn Smile Shift Repeat

“It’s easy for a dime to get lost in a bowl of pennies.”

I sometimes wondered if there was a special place in the heart reserved for touching human kindness and giving. Once I decided there was I went to wondering if there was any use for that spot, or if it was just a waste of time and area. On the worst of days I say it is a waste but I know better. Today of all days, is one of those days, that will forever keep me on the plateau of believers; people who know for a fact that it is no waste of area in our souls because human kindness and giving is real and even in this day, perhaps more in this day, it still occurs. This story may seem simple and silly and trivial but it means something to me.

I took a walk today. I counted out two dollars and twenty-five cents in change, consisting of four dimes, four quarters, one nickel, and the remaining amount in pennies. A rotten thing to give to any person waiting on you at any establishment. Of course between my house and Sonics (my destination) is a gas station where I planned to stop and exchange my change for dollars. Once getting there I was told that the cashier had too many pennies and couldn’t take them from me, but that she could take my quarters. I accepted this and thanked her. The further I go the colder it seems and I wonder if it was a good idea to walk six blocks to get a milkshake, of all things. I love milkshakes though and I continued. Right now I laugh at thinking it was cold sitting in my warm apartment with my dog being much to ecstatic about chasing a giant Mt. Dew bottle.

When I reached my destination I sat and stared. I didn’t gaze. There was no gazing of any sort. I stared. I mean pathetically, intently, extendedly stared. Finally sure that I had enough money I ordered my large peanut butter shake and waited for the price. I now know that a large costs $2.04. By then I had completely forgotten that I picked out twenty-five cents for tax on my delicious omnid treat, so I quickly changed my order to a small. Moments later the twenty-five pennies came to mind but I was much too tired to get back up and make my servers day more complicated at that. Who would guess that my getting up would ultimately make his job harder.

I sat and waited and I was brought my shake very promptly. If I had timed it I have no doubt that it would be the top of my list; my record times of fast food or slow food restaurants preparation and serving. If I had this list, that is. I now also know that a small shake comes to a total of $1.61. He patiently stood there as I handed him my single dollar and counted out 61 cents in change… four dimes, a nickel, and the remaining amount in pennies. Feeling immensely bad about having to give him so many pennies, I made sure to count them out in groups of five in front of him so that he might not have to do it himself later. Certain he would be annoyed, I handed it to him in exchange for my treat. He kindly warmly smiled and said “I gave you a large anyway.”

Ask yourself if you don’t believe me, he didn’t have to do that. What are the odds that I’ll see him again? Slim to none. What are the odds that I will take this to heart and allow it to make my day and my mood that much better? Pretty darn good. I end this here because with this you should be able to understand the meaningfulness of this story.


~ by Ashlee on March 13, 2005.

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