Thank you, kind stranger


This morning I was standing in the rain, struggling to unlock my car, when I remembered what happened yesterday.

I was on my way to a writing workshop at Jack & Tony’s, in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. I couldn’t find my umbrella, and so even though it’s walkable from my home, I drove and found myself circling the block a few times, looking for a space nearby, before finally settling for parking around the corner.

I hustled out of my car and hopped over to the parking kiosk to get a ticket for my dashboard. I got there maybe a second and a half before a tall man in a rain jacket who stepped behind me to wait in line, covering me with his umbrella.

I thanked him and, after a couple minutes of the machine not liking my card, I turned around in a fluster to apologize for how long it was taking.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” he said kindly, and shrugged. “I’m not waiting for a ticket, I just didn’t want you to get soaking wet.”

“Really?!” I asked rather loudly. “Thank you so much! Oh my gosh, that is–”

At that moment the sound of my ticket clicking out for me to take caught my attention. I turned around, grabbed it, and thanked the man again. I stepped out from underneath the protection of his umbrella and quickly shuffled toward my car, as he continued on in the opposite direction.

And that was that.

One brief act of kindness to prove once again that Chivalry is not, in fact, dead. It is alive and well – and sometimes carrying an umbrella.

(In hindsight, I wished I’d asked him to walk me to Jack & Tony’s, too, but hey – live and learn.)

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