tuesday topics: seven acts of kindness

January 23, 2017

one. i cling to some compliments like they're buoys in tempestuous waters. one of my writing friends compared my writing style to rainbow rowell. her writing friends have even taken to referring me as her rainbow rowell girl, which is really nice... and also a little intimidating, but i'm choosing to focus on the nice part. one of my blogging friends paid me this compliment, and yall, i read that thing at least once a month. then there are the compliments in the second and third items on this post. and another of my blogging friends is always telling me how good a writer i am, which i love.

two. aside from those given me by the men in my family, i've been given flowers from other men four times in my adult life. the first time was a single, long-stem red rose from a man with whom i was quite taken. i'd wanted to go somewhere nice for dinner with him, but when i got home from work that day, i realized all of my nice clothes no longer fit, so i called him and asked to cancel the reservations and go somewhere casual like the outback or something, threw on a red t-shirt -- one of my favorites at the time that had some kind of a devilish grin on it and the words lead me not into temptation i can find it myself -- a ragged pair of blue jeans and my boots and got my sloppy self to his place. he had that lone rose for me. said it was because i'd been late. that was a good day.

the next two instances came a couple of years later from a guy i wasn't nearly as interested in knowing. he was probably a good guy, but he bored the hell out of me. not long after we'd started dating, somehow he'd found out the address of my employment and sent me a huge bouquet of a dozen long-stem red roses. they were gorgeous. the next week i got another bouquet, this time of assorted flowers he said was called a european blend, for my european heritage, which was really thoughtful. they were stunning arrangements. i liked that he thought enough of me to send them. i wish i could've appreciated them more, him more.

the last time was a little over six years ago. a friend of the family had asked me to get him a particular dvd, which i did. i wasn't able to give it to him myself, so i gave it to my parents to pass along. the friend tried to give my parents money to give to me, but i didn't want it, and they didn't take it. he sent my mom and i these with the following note:

to let you know your kind
hearts and generous ways do
not go unnoticed.
thank you for being you.

i saved the picture and the note because he's battling leukemia and losing, and the war has been a lengthy one. i'm actually amazed he's still with us. but i know every day he's robbed a little more of his lust for life, of his wondrous spirit. i saved this because i wanted to save a little bit of that.

three. for my birthday this year, the folks are giving me the opportunity to attend the unicorn writers conference at manhattan college in new york, and two bonus days to tour new york city, as i've never been. i went to facebook this morning and asked which of my friends have been to nyc and have gotten tons of suggestions on where to go and stay. i'm pretty grateful for the assistance. it's really nice when folks can chip in this way. it's pretty damned awesome that my parents have afforded me so many travel opportunities. due to their generosity, i've been to disneyland twice, disneyworld twice, london twice, wales, germany, france, spain, st. thomas, cozumel and cancun and countless destinations in the united states. i've seen a LOT of things.

four. this story. it's an oldie but a goodie.

... he was nearly finished with book one when juniper had another awful night. we were rushing to the hospital when he started crying at the wheel. "what if she never hears the end of the story?" he said. "what if she never learns how it ends?"

five. and this one.

... it was at this point that i witnessed the magic of what happens when what appears to be a subdued, refined, fancy-pants new york city fine dining-and-drinking establishment gets all the fucking way done with a creeper...

i've reread those two tales dozens of times.

six. a while back, i got to write stories like this and that about my neighborhood.

seven. conversations like this one, from my journalism days, with my father:

me, on the way to the refrigerator for my morning coffee (aka dr. pepper) 
dad: good morning! you got an article in the paper today. 
me: i know. 
dad: but you split an infinitive. 

because it's nice to have friends feed your ego, but it's nice to have folks keep you humble, too.

share some stories of kindness with lauren and me!


  1. I love that note and flowers from your friend that is now fighting leukemia. So sad but sounds like a beautiful spirit. HAHA and your dad about that article...too funny. To boldly go and split and infinitive...