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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stranger aren't Scary

This week, Mama Kat suggested that we "talk about a moment when a stranger helped you" which (if you went to the source) was inspired by Matt Logelin's post entitled "Thank You" in which he is thanking all of the kind people who helped him deal with the loss of his wife.

Sad, sad story, really nice dude, cute as a button little girl, you should check him out if you haven't before.

Anyway, it got me started thinking about how I could connect today's Thursday Thank You to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop (because you know, it's like a twisted little goal of mine, to see if I can connect all of my TTYs to her WW no matter how loosely or far fetched the connection may be).

And, in the spirit of the season I really wanted to make sure that this was a true thank you. Not one of my thanks-for-sucking-douche-bag-are-you-for-real-right-now? thank you's to which you've undoubtedly grown accustomed.

It's not for lack of material.

I mean, I could easily thank the jerkwad at Walmart who decided to clog up the line this week by having the checkout chick price scan about 10 pairs of size 40 jeans only to announce that the pair she really wanted was actually placed on a rack that said $15.98 and "hold on real quick, lemme show you it."

But nope. Not gonna do it.

Even though my baby was sitting in crap pants that stank so badly my eyes were watering involuntarily, I'm going to let it slide.


Because, at least she knew she was being annoying.

Before she attempted to unsuccessfully squeeze past my cart to reenter the depths of Hell clothing department, she looked at me.

Like made eye contact looked at me.

And there was a brief glimmer of remorse there. Like she knew that holding up the line this way, during the holiday shopping frenzy, while a lady with a stank butt, obviously distressed, grabby handed toddler was waiting to be freed from the nexus of evil was wrong.

It was fleeting, and it didn't prevent her from proceeding, but at least she knew it.

And, knowing is half the battle, that's what they always say, right?

So, in an effort to stay bah-hum-bug free, she gets a pass.

But, she wasn't my only "person of interest" this week.

I easily could go with the fool of a woman at the bank who offered me a lollipop after I lodged a complaint about the fact that their ATM machine was always broken.

As in, I say something like: "I come to this bank at least once a week and the machine is out of service every time. Is it always broken? Should I find another bank that can more effectively meet my desire for convenience? I have a small child and it's a hassle to have to go through all of this to simply make a deposit."

And she responds, verbatim: "It's not actually broken, but we like have to put money in it. Do you want a lollipop?"

And then I think: "Um, no braniac, I don't want a bloody lollipop, I want to not have to wait in this drive-up line for eternity, or haul this heavy load of toddler into the bank in the pouring rain four times a month because you people have a money machine that never, EVER has money in it!"

But, nonconfrontational pushover that I am, actually say (after blinking and staring in shock for a few awkward moments, willing her to take it back): "No lollipop, thank you. Just wanna make a deposit so we can go."

I could thank her, you know for being so generous with her candy.

But, nope.

I'm not gonna do it.

Because, while she may not have realized she was being stupid lame insensitive, she also probably didn't realize that it was Monday, or that her bra was showing, or that her teeth had lipstick all over them.

So, I'm gonna forgive her for not taking my complaint seriously.

Just this once.

You know, because it's Christmas.

Both of these people easily qualify as people who deserve a Dumb Mom Special. But, 'tis the season and all.

Finding a time when some stranger, outta the kindness of their heart was nice, or helpful, or not outright mean is way more difficult.

I can easily recall plenty of times when a stranger reminded me that chivalry is dead (like the time I boarded a packed Metro train, 9 months pregnant, carrying a sleeping toddler, and the only person to offer me a chair was the lady with three small children on her lap. True story!), that waving because it's polite is somehow annoying, or that saying excuse me, please, and thank you are not really requirements.

But then, I started really thinking.

Nice. Strangers. Nice. Strangers. Nice. Strangers?

I know about 480 pretty dang nice strangers who help me out every single day!

You guys.

All of you lovely people who a year ago knew nothing about me, or my dudes, or my desire to wash the feet of one extremely handsome pop star, come to my blog, everyday (okay only about 10 of you come everyday, but still) and read the lunacy.

And, you don't make fun of me (even when I deserve it), and you don't act all judgemental or rude (even when I do), and you say nice, sweet, encouraging things (even when I know you're lying), and you totally suck up to me (even when I don't pay you), and you make me laugh, and you make me smile, and you tell me I do the same thing for you (even though I'm not always trying).

Technically, you are all (okay, not all of you, but most of you) strangers. We haven't met and probably never will.

You could easily be hairy backed homeless men who read my blog at the Y so you can "pleasure yourself" with my kids' photos.

Which is fine.

Because you're not mean, or rude, or hateful, or ugly.

Which is all I really care about.

When I started this blog less than a year ago (my first post was December 29, 2008; I'm almost 1), I never imagined that anyone I didn't bribe or have blood ties to would ever read it.

I never imagined that I would be writing it daily, or even at all, in a year.

I didn't do it for the free crap (although you know I love it), or the connections (because no one was supposed to start reading it), or to make money (but it does help), or even to further my career as a writer (I imagined I kissed that dream goodbye in the 4th grade).

I really just did it because BFF and then Mimi told me to.

And then I kept doing it because I liked it.

And then, I started doing it even more because you all liked it too.

So, thank you (and you're welcome).

Thank you for reading, and commenting, and helping my blog become a place that makes me happy.

You may technically be strangers, but you don't really feel like it anymore.

But, don't get too crazy or anything, because I'm so not into cyber stalking.

It's creepy and it's weird, much like real life stalking, and if you start sending me random I-wanna-meet-you-because-I-love-you-and-I'm-curious-about-how-your-hair-smells emails I will get a restraining order, I'm not above that.



singedwingangel said...

AWW I know the feeling about the blogging. It really does make a difference when you feel as if someone is listening and gets it doesn't it.. I still have to do my writer's workshop and once again I am stuck witha few options arrgghhh

Kirsten said...

Love it! You are a riot!

Jennifer said...

So when, oops, I mean IF, if we ever meet I shouldn't sniff your hair or ask about your brand of shampoo. Got it. ;)

Kmama said...

LOL what great thank you's. You should link up with me on my "Thank You Very Much" carnival today. yes, the second half is heartfelt, but the first half fits right in!!

Life with Kaishon said...

You are so funny. A very funny stranger : )

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Congrats on your almost one-yr.-old blog! I don't consider my regular readers strangers either but really they all were strangers at the beginning of the blog.

Visiting from Writer's Workshop.

When did I become my Mom said...

Aww! Well these strangers love ya right back. And u know what, we mightnt show up here every day, but maybe we're secretly keeping up with you from our feed readers!

Thanks for making me smile, and making me feel like I'm not alone in this crazy mamma life.

Mama Kat said...

That is honestly the cutest picture EVER.

And Walmart sucks.

And praise Jesus for blogland!

Jen said...

I have to agree with you, the bloggy land is a pretty awesome place!

Ghada said...

Ha ha, even though I have just found your blog, lovin' it but not in a stalker kinda way ;-) Man, its like the holidays make people even less helpful...
I hate walmart, had my wallet stolen there - have you seen this (good laugh to be found)
Have a great weekend

parentingBYdummies said...

SWA-Yep, knowing that people are listening does seem to make it feel worth it. Althoug, it would help if certain people (aka the people who shop at Walmart) were listening too!

Kirsten-Thank you.

Jennifer-You have my permission to sniff my hair, but depending on the day of the week, I can't guarantee you're gonna like what you smell.

Kmama-I'll do that!

LWK-Thank you, too.

K&GZ-You know I was gonna have a party, but having your birthday near a holiday like Christmas is such a rip off. The double gifting drives me insane!

WDIBMM-Readers are awesome!

Mama K.-Amen, sister!

Jen-Like I already said, amen!

Ghada-I love that site since it is hilarious in a blatantly stereotypical, but sadly true way.

Anonymous said...

See. You're sweet.

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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