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.
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.