Thursday, May 26, 2016

Chivalry is Not Dead

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending part of my day with my good friend Jackie and two of her children. Her daughter is three (almost four!) and her baby boy is almost five months old. We ran a few errands and then went to Costco. Since Jackie is the mother of five children and I am the mother of four, you can imagine that we had quite a bit in our shopping carts. By the end of the trip, Jackie had two shopping carts full, and I had one plum full, too.

The children were amazing through the whole day, but by the end of our Costco experience (and it was an experience: think Memorial Day), the baby had started to fuss, so Jackie put him in a sling.

We checked out and proceeded to exit the building, with all three shopping carts in tow. It was also raining...as in, downpour. As we made our way through the parking lot, we resembled a train. I pushed my cart, and reached behind me for one of Jackie's, which she also pushed, and then reached behind for her second. Meanwhile, the baby was in the sling, and the cutie-patootie little girl walked close by.

Right as we reached Jackie's van, a gentlemen from somewhere in the parking lot ran up to us with an umbrella! He came out of nowhere, and held the umbrella over my head. After I got into the van with the children, he held it for Jackie to put away the groceries. Neither of us knew him, but that didn't stop him from offering his help. It was such a refreshing experience and a combination of MN Nice and old-fashioned chivalry.

I love this picture of Prince William
holding an umbrella over his wife
while in New Zealand.
After the groceries were stored, and the baby was fed, we went back into Costco to grab a quick bite to eat. While we were sitting there, Jackie remembered another item she had wanted to buy and asked me to run back and get it for her while she brought the kids to the van. I went to the bakery department and picked up what she requested, then I came back to the cash registers and--Wow! The lines up front had multiplied. We were easily five or six customers deep at every register. My arms were loaded with the bakery items, and they weren't light.

But that's when the second act of chivalry happened.

As I was standing there, a gentleman ahead of me quietly moved all his items out of the child seat area of his cart, into the basket, and then invited me to set down my load until it was my turn to pay. He didn't say anything else, or try to strike up a conversation. We simply moved forward in line. After he placed all his items on the conveyor belt, he put a separating bar down, and then put the bakery items next. I said thank you, and he nodded. And then he paid for his items and left.

By the time Jackie and I pulled out of the parking lot, it had stopped raining. As we drove home, I continued to think about those gentlemen who had done such simple acts of kindness. Their thoughtfulness went a long way in easing our burdens and lifting my spirits. It has made me conscious of looking for ways to help others in simple, day-to-day activities, too. Often, those are the most impactful.

Your Turn: Has a stranger ever done an act of kindness for you? What have you done to ease the burden of someone else? I'd love to hear some stories.

Gabrielle Meyer
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2 comments:

  1. How kind!!! Once when I was flying( with a baby) to San Francisco to visit my best friend, the man in the seat next to me just about fell apart at how much he missed his kids. He held my son while I ate, went to the washroom, stretched my legs, etc. I mean, I knew he wasn't going to steal my son, as he had nowhere to go. At the end of the flight, he repeatedly thanked me for letting him play with my baby. I mean, AWWW.

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    Replies
    1. Awww is right! Isn't it amazing how his kindness still echoes in your heart today? Love this story, Jennifer. :)

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