How Being Nice To A Stranger Is My Mother's Day Gift
I am really close with my mom. We don’t share clothes (she is a few sizes smaller than me…sigh…) but we talk openly and honestly about everything. I know when she’s sick of washing stains out of my dad’s clothes, and she knows when I’m ovulating. There isn’t a topic I’d be too shy about or ashamed of to bring up around my mom. She’s my mom, and she’s a great listener and a true friend.
With any honest, close, and life long relationship, you get to know every side of a person. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge, but the people who are closest to me in life (my mom, my best friend, any dairy queen employee) know that I can be a cranky, grumpy, moody, obnoxious little snot. So of course, over the last twenty-ish years my mom has seen me throw hissy fits in shoe stores, throw a gameboy at my older sister and act like an all around brat to some her relatives. My mom and I have had a fight in just about every Banana Republic dressing room in the Midwest. These things don’t happen a lot or often, but once in a while is just enough to leave a lasting impression. (I also threw a gameboy at my sister’s boyfriend.)
Last night during my Saturday night phone call with my parents, my mom told me that a friend of hers met a woman who happened to have met me on her trip to Los Angeles. She gushed about what a sweet, nice and funny person I was. I have never heard my mom so impressed. It made me feel amazing. For no real reason (other than why wouldn’t you? but sometimes we forget…), I took an extra minute to express gratitude and appreciation for a stranger. I didn’t think much of it, just that I was being a pleasant person who was contributing an ounce of the joy in the world. It came back to me in such an endearing way that made my mom feel good, proud and happy, how could I not always be nice to everyone? I’m no Justin Timberlake, but it seems to me that this is a classic lesson in “what goes around comes around.”
What I hope we take away from this is simply;
1. Going out of your way to be nice to people feels good. 2. But it feels even better when your mom hears about it by chance. 3. I’m glad I ruined two gameboys because they’re only worth like $20 on ebay now anyway.
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