Confuse Them With Kindness

21 Jun

You aren’t even halfway through the work week.   You’ve just started  up.  You haven’t the fresh outlook of Monday or the hopeful hump of Wednesday.  But by golly, you can take solace in the fact that it’s Lollipop Tuesday.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, ya’ll.

Once, many moons ago, I wanted very badly to have a fancy evening out with David, even though I knew it wasn’t a good fit for the budget at the time.  But work was exhausting and it had been a long time since we had time out together, so I stubbornly forged ahead and went to the nicest Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar in the city.

For a girl who’s car muffler is currently being held up by a wire coat hanger, this was a poor choice.

We dressed up and joined a table for hibachi, and just for one evening, pretended that money meant nothing.  When it was time for the check, the waitress informed everyone at the table that our check had been covered  by a gentleman who was sitting with us and that we could leave whenever we were ready without paying.   

It blew my mind.

So last evening, I went to my favorite restaurant to pay it forward (thanks to “Ker-bear” for her suggestion on the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” page).  I settled in to a booth in the busiest section and scoped out my clientele.  And in the corner I found a middle-aged couple who looked like they were out for a relaxing evening together.  They also looked quite grumpy.

I liked to imagine that they were grumpy because they didn’t want to pay for their food and that someone taking care of the check for them would make them fall in love with each other again.

I have a vivid imagination.

So I asked my waitress if she could transfer their bill to mine and just not let them know who I was.  She was more than happy to and when they asked for their check, she coyly answered that it had been taken care of and walked away.

Enter mass confusion.

I watched from the corner of my eye as they sat there with confused smirks, wondering if there was something wrong with the food.  Or perhaps there was someone in the restaurant they knew and they were supposed to look around and notice them.   Or maybe they heard the waitress wrong.

After stewing on it for a while, the gentleman got up to question the waitress and ask if he could know the identity of the benefactor.  She said she was sworn to secrecy and that she was sorry that she could not reveal the source.  He gave up on trying to figure it out, grabbed his significant other, and left the establishment.

I peaked out the curtain to see them walk away, dazed, confused, and sporting crooked smiles.

In retrospect, I should have passed them a handwritten note that their meal had been paid for and that it was for no reason whatsoever other than to brighten their day and encourage them to pay it forward.  Or heck, even just a “pay it forward and have a nice day” would have been a great script for the waitress.

But I did nothing.  I planned nothing.  It was so unorchestrated and sloppy.

I hope that they enjoyed the experience.  Looking back, I would have changed the way things played out, but hey – I’m just a critical gal.   And Dave said the waitress was elated to be part of the process so even if I was convinced that the couple wasn’t quite as affected as I would have liked, I could take comfort in the fact that her night was perked up by the experience.

Regardless, this whole thing got me thinking: this is a great kickoff to my 25 Random Acts of Kindness, as suggested by bridgesburning on my post from the other day on finding a way to celebrate my quarter century milestone.  

This past weekend I made chocolate chip cookies to my sister-in-law, who is very pregnant and has been craving them (discovered via Facebook), but hasn’t had the energy or willpower to make them for herself.  That’s one. 

Random dinner is two.

Today will be three.

And in the 22 days that occur between now and my birthday, I will complete exactly 25 Random Acts of Kindness before I hit my milestone.  Feel free to offer suggestions.  Feel free to try one yourself.Join The Conspiracy Of Kindness

Pic (which I actually really like) is by “wadem”. Click the image to check out their Flickr PhotoStream

Yee haw. ♣ 

 

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13 Responses to “Confuse Them With Kindness”

  1. Seasweetie June 21, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Fabulous!

  2. The_Observationalist_NYC June 21, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Great way to celebrate the upcoming 25!

  3. Cindy June 21, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I love the 25 days of kindness idea – what a legacy to mark your milestone!
    At an Eatn’Park near Latrobe, I pre-paid the check for a charming elderly couple who were lunching. They were so obviously in love, so happy, and just such an inspiration that I couldn’t resist. I had to leave before they did so didn’t have the opportunity to witness their reaction, but the memory always warms the cockles!

    • Jackie June 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      So far it’s not so much a legacy as a problem to be solved each day. I love you picking up the check for an older couple. I’ll bet they were so tickled! 🙂

  4. Ro June 21, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    1) You’re wonderful.
    2) How do you keep up with all this stuff? Lollipop Tuesday, blog a day, 25 Random Acts of Kindness… talk about self discipline.
    3) You’re too hot for words.
    4) Finding a way to give your good buddy Ro a discount for Modcloth would be REALLY kind.
    5) You missed my numbered lists, I know it.
    6) Something snarky…

    • Jackie June 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      1) No, skittles are wonderful.
      2) It’s actually incredibly stressful.
      3) Like sweaty. I know. Gross.
      4) I have no pull with Modcloth. If I did, I’d stop them from hiking up all their prices and hemlines.
      5) I kind of did. It’s a far more straightforward and effective way to address reader comments. Please inspire others to do this.
      6) Ouch.

  5. pegoleg June 21, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    What a great idea – compliments to “bridges” for thinking of it, and to you for running with it. I’m inspired to go forth and do something for others – thanks!

    BTW, do you really view Mondays with a fresh outlook, and not as the dreaded end to the weekend? Dang, girl, you’ve been sandbagging us. You are a closet optimist!

    • Jackie June 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

      “sandbagging” has always been one of those words I thought I knew what it meant and didn’t need to look it up but I totally did. Thanks. Who knows how long that would have gone on if I hadn’t just done it now.

  6. Jules June 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    It’s super feel good, right?! I knew you would like it. 😀

    Cheers!

    • Jackie June 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      Listen, don’t hold me to this. It’s been three weeks. I quit Tony after three weeks too. DON’T STRESS ME OUT.

  7. Natalee June 22, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    and the cookies were deeelicious!! 🙂 ❤

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