When I first began blogging, I had no absolutely no idea just how many of us were out there, sharing our life experiences through our blogs.  I quickly felt adrift in a sea of blogs and began to feel rather small.  After one conversation with Adrienne, of No Points for Style, I suddenly felt as though I had a voice…a place in this crazy blogosphere. 

Though I’ve known Adrienne for just five months, there’s a part of me that has known her for always.  She is one of those people who can see through to a part of me that I needn’t explain.  She knows when I’m full of it and pushes me to push myself.  She just gets me. Adrienne has what my grandmother would call “old fashioned pluck.”  She’s tough, genuine, true, and surprisingly funny. She is resilient, perseverant, and committed.

Thank you for sharing your small moment with us here on Small Moments Mondays, Adrienne.  And thank you for your friendship, your kindness, and for your undying commitment to remaining brutally honest and heartbreakingly open.  You are absolutely beautiful, inside and out, my friend.

Hooked — by Adrienne

I was 16 years old and the grocery store parking lot was so hot, I could feel the heat of the pavement through the soles of my shoes.

I hate that.

I walked out of the grocery store and I don’t remember what I was carrying or what I’d gone there for, but I had a shiny new driver’s license and I hated to miss an opportunity to use it. If my mom discovered she was lacking something – anything – in the kitchen, I offered to run over to Albertson’s and pick it up.

Walking across the parking lot and complaining to myself about my hot feet, I saw a woman, a young mother, struggling her way to her car. She was pushing a young baby in a stroller and balancing a huge stack of pizzas on top of the canopy. That was no easy feat, what with her toddler trying to dart into traffic.

On an impulse, I turned toward her and said, “Please, let me carry the pizzas to your car.” She hesitated for just a moment, looked down at her restless toddler, and handed the pizzas to me.

“Thank you,” she said, “when you’re a mother, you don’t have enough hands!”

I put the pizzas in the front seat of her car while she put her babies in their carseats and she was so grateful. Almost gushing, really, and over something so very small! I was amazed.

Also? Hooked.

Don’t you dare tell me in the comments what a good person I am because hello? No.

Realistically, I don’t really care why I or anyone else does good things. A good deed that helps someone is a good deed that helps someone, no matter the motive.

But I am no altruist. Not even close.

I’m hooked on the rush, the gratitude. I guess if I was expecting gratitude, requiring it somehow, that would be bad, but I don’t. It comes, though. Almost always. The dearth of small generosities in the world has left a gap, and when I step into it, I’m a superhero.

Being a superhero? Pretty cool.

That day was the beginning of a tiny secret life, like a magazine sidebar. I look out for those little moments, those tiny kindnesses that will brighten someone’s day, because they brighten my day, too.

Like the time I paid an old man’s $20 co-pay at the pharmacy because he couldn’t and the pharmacist was in tears over turning him away.

Or the dozens of times I have helped elderly people unload their groceries onto the belt.

Or the time traffic was speeding past a man seizing on the sidewalk and I pulled over and waited with him until an ambulance finally arrived. He was barely conscious as they strapped him to the stretcher, but he held onto my hand as long as he could.

Or the time I saw a man at a coffee shop who had newspapers wrapped around his feet and stuffed into his shoes. I ran to the discount store next door to get him some socks and he wept when he saw them.

Or the time…

Or the time…

Or the time…

I hesitated to write this story down and share it with the world. I don’t want anyone ever to think that I’m seeking praise. In fact, the thought that I might receive praise for this? Ick.

Because I did it for me as much as anyone that I helped.

My life is richer because I am open, warmer because I am actively creating the world in which I want to live.

Now and again, someone tells me to go away. Occasionally, people have even been angry at me for offering assistance. Most people, though? Smile at me, return all that I have given and more.

On a really lousy day when I need cheering up, and if I can afford it, I go over to Costco and buy several giant boxes of tampons. I drive them over to one of the shelters – one of the homes for women who are leaving a violent partner, perhaps, or a shelter for people who have no homes.

Sometimes? Life is lousy and I can’t wait for a small moment to come to me.

Try it! Even if you don’t feel better, someone will need those tampons.

Because really? Someone needs those tampons, and you need to feel better.

Adrienne’s writing is powerful, beautiful, funny, painful, and radiant.  If you have time to read only one post, let it be my favorite, Patterns and Chaos.  If you have a little time and can poke around and get cozy, read The Lessons My Bullies Taught Me, Apologia, and Just Say No.  Oh, wait!  Don’t miss  Southern New Mexico: How Not to See It and Pain Runs Through My Veins

Be sure to watch for an interview with Adrienne in an upcoming issue of Redbook magazine, where she discusses the competitive and sometimes nasty nature of the blogosphere. 


  1. What a beautiful post! I understand what you mean about the good feeling, Adrienne. I’ve been on both sides of that coin, ya know? We need more people like this in the world.
    I’m a new follower here, but I’ve been reading NPfS for bit. Thank you for the reminder of Adrienne’s awesomeness!

  2. Our local women's shelter is hidden. They have a lovely website with a list of needs but they don't return phone calls and won't share the location. For obvious reasons. I shouldn't give up so easily I guess because you are right, someone needs those tampons or diapers or wipes.

  3. I once fished out a set of keys a woman had locked in her trunk. They were right on the edge, and with MY keys I was able to push the "unlock" button on her electronic key and she was able to get in the cab and release the trunk from there.

    And she thought I was a miracle worker.

    And really…I was happier with her thinking I had superpowers than I was about the helpful thing, which is sorta warped, but any way good gets done, right?

  4. I love love love this post and I love love love No Points for Style!

    I concur wholeheartedly. my biggest addiction is building houses for Habitat in NO, but please don't praise me. I have the hardest time with the insane amount of gratitude they heap on your for something so small. it makes me feel like I could do more. like I don't deserve so much praise. but they're just expressing their hearts. and that's a beautiful thing. and that's addictive, even as hard as it is to take. I love that every time I go, it puts my life in perspective. whatever problems I have, I'm not homeless. I have a home. a kitchen. a bedroom. so while doing good deeds boosts my ego, it also reminds me how good I have it.

    it's complicated, but the best feeling in the world.

  5. 2bkate Twitter.com/2bkate

    Amazing! I try to get in one kind act a day… And like you, I don’t want recognition… the warmth that radiates from my heart is enough. And knowing there are other like minded people makes me smile!

  6. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Oh, yeah, the place I go? They have an intake center, but no one actually lives there. It's a network of several houses and they take all the donations there.

    I wonder, if they don't answer the phone, how women in need find them?

  7. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    It CAN be a little uncomfortable. It's like shopping at thrift stores; everyone buys SO MUCH now that most of what's in the thrift stores (clothes, anyway) is top-shelf, nearly-new stuff. People are so in a rush, so unlikely to help someone, that small kindnesses stand out in relief in comparison.

    That makes me sad.

    And warped? That's how I roll, baby.

  8. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Yeah, that's the sad part underneath, the fact that so few people will do things like that. That's why the gratitude is so out of proportion.

    But I'm glad you go work with Habitat. Life without service is much emptier!

  9. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Yeah, that's the sad part underneath, the fact that so few people will do things like that. That's why the gratitude is so out of proportion.

  10. TamingInsanity

    Oh, man. I do things like this too not for the rush but for the pressing guilt I feel when I ignore someone in need. Mine is a heart that bleeds.

  11. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    How exciting to find you over here, Adrienne! I agree

  12. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    That is, i agree – it's the little kindnesses that makes all our lives a little bit better.

  13. kris prettyalltrue.com

    Ummmm . . . Adrienne?

    I know you don't want thanks or anything. And I totally don't want to step on your moment.

    But, seriously?

    Thanks for the tampons.

    OK, and now I am giggling hysterically.

  14. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

  15. @Mofthesea twitter.com/Mofthesea

    Trust Kris for the comic relief!

    Good stuff, Adrienne. Random kindness gives a great high, and it's (almost) free! Pretty soon they will outlaw it, because it can be highly addictive too.

  16. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Oh, hell yes! I have a very hard time when I can't help. My husband has to remind me often that I can't help everyone I see. I HATE that. Truly, truly hate it that some people are alone and unable to get their needs met.

  17. Ooph ooph.com

    Well. I won't be all gushy. I promise.

    But? This post equals inspiration at it's finest.

    And? Brilliantly written. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Thanks, Cheryl! Yup, a whole dimension to our lives that has kind of fallen away because we're so hyper about privacy. I love that warm feeling.

  19. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    I love when you crack yourself up! It's good when you get to BE your own favorite comedian.

    I should know!

    And you're welcome for the tampons. Use them in good health. As you know? I am superior in that I do not need them anymore.

    Nanny nanny!

  20. Rachel mommyneedsavacation.com

    Thanks for sharing this beauty of a post!!

  21. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Heh. Yes! "No more being nice, on pain of lashings in the town square!"

  22. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Aw, thank you! I'm creating an army, you know. You've just been drafted. ;-)

  23. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Thank you!

  24. ksluiter

    I was SO excited to find you here today, Adrienne! I figured you had a post coming and I have been on the watch! I also love helping people. I do things I hate (um, garage sale anyone?) because I just. want. to. help.

    It makes me feel all happy and good inside to see the smiles. the gratitude.

    I get this post. and I love it!

  25. Alli_n_Son

    What a great post! I know that if I was the mother with the pizzas and kids, you would have totally made my day. Seriously, to a mom with no time, patience or hands, those little things mean the world.

    Now I want to be a Superhero!

  26. kris prettyalltrue.com

    Ok, I am back to apologize. Snort.

    I tried very hard to curl my fingers back from the keyboard, but they would not be stopped.

    You know I love you. To the moon and back.

    Much love, taunting one.

    Much love.

  27. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Many, many thanks!

  28. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Ugh. I'm not entirely sure I'd be willing to do a garage sale. ;-)

    And thank you!

  29. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    Yay! Go out and superhero it up. No cape necessary!

  30. Adrienne nopointsforstyle.com

    OK, I remember posting this comment, but I can't find it, and apparently? I'm not quite smart enough for this commenting system.

    Hey, Nichole? I will probably never get a nicer introduction than that if I live to be 105 years old. Thank you from the bottom of my heart; it's my privilege to know you and call you my friend.

    And much love. Very very much of that.

  31. MamaOnDaGo mamaondago.blogspot.com/

    Life is full of small moments. Often times we are just too busy and blind to seize them. Thank you for reminding me to go through my day with open eyes and a bigger heart so I don’t miss any of these small moments.

  32. Adrienne in Redbook? Well, I cannot wait to read that interview! And I bet she did not chew her words. (Hello, French expression, never heard it? Well it means you say it like it is. Of course!)

    I really like this post, random acts of kindness… My husband is a Superhero, he routinely picks up the check of a small family with young children at some local restaurant, without showing that he is. It makes him all giggly when we leave — just like you experienced I presume, Adrienne.

    I tend to be more practical, every few months or so, I strip the kitchen cupboards of every and all foods we have not touched in weeks and give them to a homeless shelter before they expire, and always before we ever happen to miss them… We're just so blessed to have what we have.

    Seriously, you have a lifetime reader. That's to both of you ladies.

  33. Fadra allthingsfadra.com

    Okay. My turn. I'm so busy in my own little blogging world that I forget how great the other writers out there are. This is an awesome story and I get that you don't do these things for the thanks or for the public gratitude. You do it because you want to do something good. And it makes you feel good to make others feel good. I'm the same way. I had tons of powdered baby formula (free samples) that I didn't use. I put an ad in Craigslist to find people who were really needy to give it to. There were plenty of people who will sell it. I found some hard luck cases and was happy to give it away. And when I had more people than formula? I went out and bought some to give out. And they never knew the difference. I love good stuff.

Add a comment

(required, won’t be displayed)

About this post