Saturday, August 7, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor?

Yesterday I was a bit out of sorts.

Being out of sorts is a very expensive state of mind, apparently.
Once I was feeling a bit out of sorts and I had a car accident. Don't worry, I didn't have a car accident yesterday. No, yesterday being out of sorts cost me one diamond earring and $12.00. The diamond earring was my own fault. I was trying on earrings and put the earring down while I did so, and then (You are already shaking your head at me, I can tell. Yes you are.) I walked away and left the earring - MY EARRING - lying on the counter. I suck. Let's just face it.

Then we went to a cute little consignment store, and I bought a cute little outfit, and the total came to $8.32. I handed the cute girl at the register $20.32, and she was taking forever to give me my change, and I was getting all kinds of annoyed trying to explain that the sales tax for two items at $4 each WAS the same as one item at $8, and eventually I just had to walk away for a minute as she stared into space and counted out lud silently to herself. I went over to look at shoes while she figured out how to make change because THE MATHS THEY R HARD and then I got distracted and then my friend wandered out and I followed her.

I know. Stupid.
Stupid stupid stupid. And it's all my fault. But here's the thing:

This is a small town. With small stores, independently owned. I live, work and shop here every day. And when you shop at these stores, people do TAKE CARE OF YOU. I am lulled into such a false sense of security living here. When people leave their credit card or their stuff (purse, camera, wallet, video game, and yes - we have several lost earrings in our cash register) at the restaurant, I always chase after them. Through the rain, in the dark of night or the heat of day, I ALWAYS run after people to give them what is theirs. Always. Because our town is like that. And that is why when I called this morning, they had my beloved earring sitting behind the counter. I was relieved, and thrilled, and seriously - I kind of want to go kiss the girl who put my earring safely away for me. She validated my faith in being neighborly, in doing the right thing and making a little effort.

Now with the earring, I left it on a counter in a busy store and that girl who was working there may not have found it for quite some time, and in the end she DID put it away and wait for me to return. But I KNOW that girl at the consignment store knew she owed me money. She may not have had any idea HOW MUCH (I wonder if she is still counting?) but she knew she owed me. And she watched me walk out th door and walk down the stairs and walk out on to the street, and never got my attention and said "Excuse me, you forgot your change!"

I have never NOT run after someone who left something behind that clearly they did NOT intend to. It's not like I vaporized, I didn't flip open my cell and say "beam me up, Sami". I was walking with a group of 10 people, we were moving slowly, the stores were pretty isolated, and this is not a city - I didn't disappear into the maddening crowd. I WAS the maddening crowd. My point is, it would have been pretty easy to let me know I had forgotten something. So I will go back to the store today, and just hope that she did the right thing, that my money was there with a little note saying "this wacky chick who was totally out of it walked out without her change. Dipshit. If she comes back, here's her money and her receipt. Not that she deserves it."

See, it's not that I expect people to chase after me as I blythely wander my way through life wide eyed and innocent (HAH ! HAH HAH!) scattering money and diamonds behind me like a trail of fucking breadcrumbs but, you know. Karma.
I'm just saying.

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