Category: Non-Dialogue

A Letter From A Reader

| CA, USA | Health & Body, Non-Dialogue

I have disabling depression and anxiety. I have several self-care behaviors to help with them. I go for massages for my muscle knots and try to exercise as much as possible. I have pets I care for daily and my husband who is an angel of understanding.

Every day I have a routine that helps me keep moving and out from under the immobilizing storm clouds. I feed my birds, my dog, clean the kitchen up. I do my yoga, then sit at the computer with my coffee and go on the Internet.

Humor is an amazing antidepressant and so I always head over to Notalwayshopeless.com and the related sites of Not Always Working or Right, Related, Learning, or Friendly. The rich tapestry of human experience, both positive and negative, helps me stay balanced and in touch with others, even though I can’t speak to any of the narrators of their experiences.

I can only hope that the person(s) who run those sites understand that it is a great thing they do, and though it is anecdotal, what a great window into humanity this is for us all.

Thank you to those who do this, I hope they get to see this and receive my thanks. You keep me not always hopeless.

Pale Potential Papa

| IL, USA | Awesome, Employees, Non-Dialogue

I’d been at work almost 14 hours one day, and was pretty worn out. People tell me that I tend to turn rather pale when I’m tired.

I am on the road, and my wife calls me.

“Please don’t freak out, but I need you to pick up a pregnancy test. The one I used tonight said it was positive, but I want to make sure…”

I head to a local big box store, and find a multi-pack of tests, so I buy that one. My wife has wanted a baby for years, and I’m sure she’ll want to triple check.

By now I’m exhausted, but I am not stressed or upset.

I go to the cashier, and she rings up the tests, and we’re waiting for the credit card to process.

I haven’t said much to the cashier, and she seems too tired or bored to even notice me.

The cashier then glances up at my face and does a double take. She seems concerned when and stares at me for a few beats.

She suddenly looks at the bag that is holding the pregnancy tests, then back at me.

She hands me my receipt, and as fast as she can, grabs the bag with the tests, wraps the bag tightly around the box, then drops the bag into another bag trying to hide what’s inside.

When she goes to hand me the double-bagged tests, she decides to wrap the whole thing tightly back up again, and hands me everything as a tiny bundle.

I laugh a little, smile at her, and tell her I’m okay. She looks a bit sad and sheepish.

I then thank her and head home.

This was five years ago; it ended up being that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

I still think of that cashier’s attempt at helping the quite, pale, stressed-out-looking man that I was that night, and it makes me smile…

Hugs For The Holidays

| Charleston, WV, USA | Holidays, Non-Dialogue

I am a cashier at a department store. It is near the beginning of November, and people have already begun Christmas shopping. A woman comes up to my register, and as I am ringing up her items, we begin to talk.

I ask her if she’s started Christmas shopping yet, noting the multiple children’s toys on the counter. With a shake of her head, she says that they’re for her nieces and nephews. She looks upset, so I ask her if something is wrong. She tells me that her fiancé had been taken off of life support a few weeks previously, having been declared brain-dead after an accident.

Since there are few customers in the store at the moment, she tells me about her fiancé. I listen and offer my condolences, knowing what it is like to face the holidays for the first time without someone you love. As she gathers her things and is getting ready to leave, I ask her if it would be all right if I gave her a hug. She says yes, so I walk around the counter and hug her. She has tears in her eyes when the hug ends, and she thanks me before leaving the store.

Last week, the woman came into the store and again ended up at my register. She recognized me immediately and smiled, thanking me for my support. If you’re somehow reading this, I’m glad I could help you feel better, ma’am, and I’m sorry for your loss. The holidays are rough when you’ve just lost someone you loved, but you can get through it.

Not So Random Acts Of Kindness

| Liberty, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome, Food & Drink, Non-Dialogue

I am a young (21-year-old, married) mother of the most adorable seven-month-old baby girl. I recently found out that I am pregnant again and am feeling pretty miserable. In addition, my husband left on a business trip the week before and got delayed for another two days, adding up to almost two weeks. So, all in all, I am not a very happy camper.

Since my husband has the car, Baby and I joined my parents at a trip to [Large Grocery Chain]. As we are leaving I realize that I have forgotten to pay for a couple of baby items, so I go back to the cashier that served me and explain the situation. Since she is already serving the white-haired gentleman behind me, I step aside to wait until they are done.

The gentleman takes my items from the bagging area, has the cashier swipe them and hands them to me. I am so surprised that I sort of squeak out a thank you and just stare. My mom immediately protests and pulls out cash to repay him. He looks at her, smiles and says, “Haven’t you heard of random acts of kindness?”

His random act of kindness really meant a lot more to this random young woman than he can ever imagine.

Love Trumps Hate

| IL, USA | Kind Strangers, Non-Dialogue, Politics

I’m an Indian-American. It is November 9, 2016, the day after an unthinkable presidential election just happened.

After spending the morning in shock and anger, and apologizing to my Muslim friends for this horrible election, I head out for lunch. I deliberately choose a small Thai restaurant… one that doesn’t have blaring TVs.

When I enter, I am dismayed to see that I am the only non-white customer. Feeling very nervous and wary, I ask for a table away from these other customers, and brace myself for some very unpleasant, overheard “celebratory election conversations.”

Instead, I heard nothing but normal, everyday discussions, on families, Thanksgiving, etc. As they left the restaurant, several people also smiled at me in the familiar “quick hello” way I’ve known all my life in America.

I am very grateful to these customers, for giving me some peace of mind and hope, on a day when I needed it the most.

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