I’m No Southern Belle, But I Do Rely on the Kindness of Strangers

It’s been a crazy week of major ups and downs, and I am utterly exhausted from so much emotional upheaval. As usual, when life decided to rain some poop down on my life, it went ahead and released a deluge. Things both of large and small importance were going wrong left and right: my contract with Expedia (which paid the bills) ended without possibility for extension, my car died, my vacuum cleaner broke, my contract liaison quit his job and left me up said poop creek without a paddle, and my purse was taken. Over the weekend, I was feeling pretty crummy about life in general and now, just a few days later, my faith in life and humanity and several other grand abstractions have been restored. Why? Because my luck seems to have turned, and because I have been reminded that there are still nice people in the world.


Though there are still some mighty mean people out there (including the auto mechanic who tried to screw me over for $6000 worth of unnecessary repairs), I was reminded this past weekend that there are indeed some kind, decent human beings out there who are not constantly looking for ways to dick other people over.

Here’s how it all went down: I was taking care of my brother’s dog, Gretel, over the weekend while dealing with the stress of unemployment and a seemingly-defunct vehicle, and decided on Saturday to take Gretel and Mona to the dog park for a good long walk. Because Gretel is still only seven months old and not at all accustomed to her rapidly growing body, she needs help getting into the car. I took my purse off, set it on the ground, and bent over to pick Gretel up and lift her into the car. Then, I closed the tailgate and walked to the driver’s seat, leaving my purse behind me exactly where I’d left it on the street. I realized only a few blocks away what a completely idiotic thing I’d done, and turned around, my heart beating so loudly in my own ears I could barely see straight. I’d maybe traveled four blocks, taking a total of about five minutes to get back to my parking spot in front of my house, but the purse was already gone. The spot where it should have been was empty. Homeless gentlemen walk down my street all day, so I was certain that it was gone for good—my favorite purse ever, filled with tons of my everyday crap inside including my writing notebook, I.D., credit cards, checkbook, insurance, and cash—all gone.

I walked inside my house, dropped to the floor in a puddle of self-pity and cried, the dogs looking on in confusion not necessarily about why I was behaving this way but because they couldn’t understand why we hadn’t ended up at the dog park. I called the bank first and froze my accounts, then cried some more. The funny thing about having a bunch of things go wrong all at the same time is that the context in which each new bad thing resides becomes exponentially more shitty. I wouldn’t have cared so much about my car dying if I had a solid, steady job lined up for me, and I wouldn’t have cried so much about my purse being stolen if I weren’t already so stressed about being jobless with a dead car. In those moments, everything becomes dark and scary.

But then the tides turned. The nicest woman in the whole world sent me a Facebook message, saying that she’d found my purse and was hoping to meet up with me to give it back. A few hours later, I had my purse—with not even a single penny missing—back in my possession. The way I figure it, she must have seen my purse immediately after I drove away, and was gone again by the time I made it back around the block. How lucky is that? Incredible! The next day, I learned that actually, my car needs only about $300 worth of repairs rather than $6000 and that actually, it’s in pretty good shape for a nine year-old car. Some much-needed freelance editing work came my way last night, and just like that in a matter of days, things are (mostly) righted again.

It would be great if I could next get a book contract, a high-paying, full-time job, and a man who is not a total schmuck, but I know better than to be greedy. For the moment, I feel pretty damn grateful and lucky to see things heading back in the right direction.

6 thoughts on “I’m No Southern Belle, But I Do Rely on the Kindness of Strangers

  1. told you. doors close and windows open even if its only from someone throwing a random act of kindness your way. glad your smerking a little bit…we’ll have to work on those smiles.

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