My first gesture of kindness today was foiled. A friend of mine, Batman, had surgery yesterday. Yes, the real Batman, despite Poppy’s recent doubts. He’s been to my children’s birthday parties several times (except when he got food poisoning last summer) and he showed up at our house once on Halloween when Charlie was homebound with the flu. Batman is the strong silent type, but he has always been kind to my family. He even delivered Christmas presents one year which was a little confusing since we were just trying to figure out Santa Claus at the time. Anyway, Batman had some outpatient surgery this week and is convalescing at home, er, the Bat Cave. Concerned that his strength would be compromised and our collective safety would be at risk, I offered to bring him dinner. Turns out he had a houseful of people already preparing his meal. (I’m thinking Alfred probably made these arrangements.) Though I was glad, of course, that his superfriends were looking out for him, I was left scrambling for another good deed this evening.
My father, who is the best father a girl could have, and I spent the entire day doing yard work. (He gets major points for always being kind when I need his help.) Since there was no dinner magically prepared and waiting at the end of the day, I ventured out in the severe weather to forage for food. On the way, I realized I had a major weekend headache. You know, the kind you get when you don’t drink your ritual cup of coffee on your drive to work because it’s not a work day. It was becoming more and more critical for my overall good mood to remedy my mal de tête at the nearest Starbucks. Starbucks…oh right. This is where Project Kindness all began way back on Day 1. Since this particular exercise in spreading random happiness is officially over tomorrow, I thought it was a poetic gesture to finish where I started. I endeavored to buy a cup of coffee for the person in the car behind me. Alas, there was no car behind me. We were, after all, having a hail storm at 5:30 in the afternoon. Oh well. So, I asked the barista, a jovial fellow called Alex, to charge me for an extra cup and give it to the next person who ordered a regular coffee. His eyes crinkled and he smiled big.
“Oh, I love this kind of stuff,” he said. “Are you paying it forward?”
I smiled back. “Why, yes. Yes, I am.”
He said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. Since there’s nobody behind you now and I don’t know when the next person will order a regular cup of coffee, I’ll just give the next lucky guy whatever he orders for free.”
“Really?” I asked. “And I don’t owe you anything for that?”
“Nope,” he said. “And I’ll be sure to tell him it was all your idea.”
“Awesome,” I replied. And it was awesome. It all came back full circle, leaving me feeling balanced, centered, and satisfied. The caffeine might have also helped.
So, forty days of kindness. I will reflect on it all in tomorrow’s post. Or at least I will try my best. In the meantime, I think it would be a wonderful way to close this project by challenging each of you supportive Kindness Apostles to perform your own random acts of kindness and report in tomorrow. What was it? How did it make you feel? Oh, I feel like a kid at Christmas (when Batman comes)!
“Tune in tomorrow – same Bat–time, same Bat–channel!”