Restoring faith in strangers … at Wal-Mart no less!

8 07 2008

Whatever your thoughts about Walmart, just put them aside for a sec and have your faith in people restored.

I was coming from the gym and stopped at the Walmart on Hamden by my house because I simply love the Danskin long body workout bras! Ha! Said the B word! I digress. I also needed candles, so there I was. I had a handful of things and this guy with a bottle of aspirin was behind me … “Hey – go ahead of me, this is nutty!” He laughed … reeking of cigarettes … and told me a goofy story. Ok … cool.

I was thinking about a number of things … espeically that I’ve been feeling a lot better about a lot of things … and I drove down the hill to the street that circles the store. There was this beat up car with this gal inside who didn’t look much more than maybe 18. She was tiny and her car was dead. People were fliping her off and honking but she couldn’t do anything. I rolled down (yes I said ROLLED, I have an old car) the window and asked if she was OK. She wasn’t and I told her I’d be right back.

To quote Sammy Hagar … “I pulled my best illegal move” and flipped the car around, jammed back up the hill, left my warm-up jacket in the car and was just about to head back down. There was a guy in the lot and he agreed to meet me there after he put his purchases in the car. Down the hill I flew.

If you don’t know me personally, I’m about 5’9 or 10″, largish build and can move. I’m no pixie. Even worse, I’m wearing a blue and white tank top jog bra thing and black sweats! I got down to the girl and realized her English was pretty good, but it would have been better if I’d known some Japanese! Where were my neighbors when I needed them. “I’ve got a guy coming down. Call the AAA (she had a card on the seat) and we’ll get you moved. OK?” She immediately started calling the AAA after I got her to stay in the car.

Directing traffic I was amazed that these huge, burly guys in their whatever cars just stared at the tall blonde chick directing traffic and the tiny Asian chick in the car. No offer to help, nothing. Their windows were down and I did hear a couple of coments which could be construed as compliments if you like fat, burly, furry guys who smoke and don’t stop to help people. Drive on by … just keep going because it might embarrass your fragile ego to know a chick is going to be pushing this car alone if she has to! I also noticed that either direction where we could take her had a hill – but the one on the far side of the street was a lot smaller.

Next thing I knew, the guy I’d asked in the parking lot was next to me. He came barely up to my shoulder and said “Wow you’re tall.” I laughed and said I just wear clothes that make me look it. Another guy was walking down the hill and offered to help and a gal in a huge truck offered her help too. Four people who had never met one another getting a fifth out of trouble outside the Walmart parking lot at 6 p.m.

I let the girl in the car know she had to stay in, steer, put the car in neutral and take the parking break off when I told her to. She was OK and said “Only you, ok?” I laughed … ok – I guess I’m in charge. The other gal took the passanger side, the boys were center and right rear and I took left rear so she could hear me as we were turning to the left. It appeared her window wouldn’t go down. 

Go … GO … GO!!! Boogiety Boogiety!

We started pushing and the gal on the door said “Oh my gosh, we’re not going to make it up the hill.” My reply “OH YES WE ARE … Let’s go Boys!!!” I was very thankful I was actually in a pair of running shoes – my old Addidas racing flats actually – because we dug in and got the car up the hill and in the parking spot. HOWEVER – it wasn’t without an silly thing – I had my huge knott of keys in my hand and they fell just before we started the hill. The younger of the guys said “What’s that?” “My keys PUSH! Let’s keep it rolling!” “Aren’t you going to get them?” he quirried … “Um … later … PUSH!” They weren’t going anywhere and we were losing some momentum with the chat! Boys … gotta have control of the keys I guess!

Whoo hoooooo!!!!! We slid the car right up where we wanted it to got with ease!

The kid that asked me about the keys said “Ma’am” ooh I hate “ma’am” … sounds so old. It’s a polite reference when talking with a grandmotherly woman … but I am aging … Ok … Ma’am … get over it he was being polite. “I hope I’m not embarrassing you, but how old are you?” I asked him to guess and said I wouldn’t be offended. He guessed 30 and nearly fell over when I said I was turning 44 in October. “You’re kidding! You directed traffic, pushed a car, kept us motivated and all this and you’re the same age as my mom who won’t lift anything saying she’s too old!” I laughed and said “So – I think I deserve to get myself a manicure, hu?!” The boys left, the girl was going to be OK.

I shouldn’t be surprised that people didn’t stop to help this poor girl.  The other gal had broken down in the same place the week before and nobody stopped but took the time to flip her off. I broke down last year a few blocks over in the middle of Yosemite and had to get myself across traffic with no help and push myself through the gas station.

After all the selfishness in the world, I smiled on my way home … every so often people surprise you. It felt really good to help and I’m glad I asked that one guy to help.

Yeah, yeah … here goes Lizzy … taking care of the world … one mishap at a time!  I’ve got to feed the dog!

Good vibes — pass them on!

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