No Gift For My Birthday? Don’t Worry. I’ve Got The Perfect Idea!

Guess what?

It’s my birthday!

No. Really. It is. Today. My birthday.

Awww, don’t feel bad that you didn’t get me anything. I just sprung it on you – I gave you no time to shop. But you can make it up to me. I have an idea for a really awesome gift for yours truly. Hang on until the end of this post and I’ll let you know what it is.

You have to suffer through this little story first…

I was at the grocery store. Again. My cupboard is bare. (Little old Mother Hubbard that I am.) I have participated in 3 (count ’em, 1-2-3) canned good drives already and it’s only the first of December. So, I was at the grocery store buying “spare” canned goods for the drive this weekend. And I pulled up to a stoplight.

A man is standing there with a cardboard sign, “Stranded. Need Help!”

A woman a few cars up, rolls down her window and hands him a small wad of cash. He takes it. Nods his thanks. I’m sitting in my car with bags of canned goods. I can’t hand him a can. (I’m guessing he doesn’t have a can-opener on him) And I can’t hand him cash.

Well, I could. But I’m a Give-A-Man-A-Fish-He-Eats-For-A-Day-But-Teach-A-Man-To-Fish-He Eats-For-A-Lifetime kind of girl.

And I’m on my way to Starbucks, right across the street. (Spoiled little suburbanite – that’s me!) So, I’ll get him a coffee. It’s cold, wet and rainy. A cup of coffee will warm him up a bit.

I’m waiting in line. And it’s a scene straight out of “Animal House.”

Angel Jane: A cup of coffee? Don’t be such a cheap skate. Get him some food!

Devil Jane: Food? What he really wants is cash to support his meth habit. Put your money away.

Angel Jane: But what if he really needs help?

Devil Jane: There are two churches right down the street. Goodwill around the corner. And a whole host of other charitable organizations just itching to help someone this time of year. AND – you’ve already donated to a bunch of them already. If he needs help, it’s easy to find.

Angel Jane: A little food. What’s the harm in that? Now…how about the protein plate? Apples, cheese, hardboiled egg and grapes. It’s only $4.75!

Devil Jane: A protein plate? Are you kidding? He wants another beer I’m tellin’ ya. Now put your money away!

(I put my $10 back in my wallet and pull out a $20)

Angel Jane: She’s right. A protein plate is silly. And the Turkey/Swiss sandwich is only $5.95. Get that. It’s more filling.

Devil Jane:  He wants cash. For drugs. Put that money back in your wallet!

This goes on for quite a while. The drive-thru line is long. And I’m honestly pulling out a $10, putting it back in my wallet and then pulling out a $20, putting that back and pulling out the $10 again. On and on it goes.

Finally, it’s my turn. I hand the cashier my $20. (Angel Jane won!)

“The woman ahead of you paid for your drink,” the barista says to me, “She wanted me to wish you a Merry Christmas!”

Someone pulled a Random Act of Kindness on Jane! Me! Lil’ ol’ me! Three days before my birthday! Woo-hoo!

“Then I’m really supposed to do this,” I say to the cashier. “Can I please have a turkey sandwich, as well?”

I pay for the sandwich. (Still so stunned that someone bought me a coffee that I don’t think to pay for the car behind me until I’m driving away. Doh!)

And as I’m waiting at the light to cross the intersection I see the police car picking him up. Apparently, stranded beggars are not allowed on this street corner.

So, I tried. And after that whole exchange between Angel me and Devil me I’ve decided Angel me should win. With a sandwich, at least. I will still not hand out cash but what’s the harm in handing someone a sandwich?

And did I tell you it’s my birthday?

Can you guess what I want for my birthday?

(Ah. You know me so well!)

Yes. I’d like all of you to spread a random acts over the weekend. Yes you, Angel Joe, Angel Wendy, Angel Shannon, Angel Elastamom and Angel Steven! No hiding Angel subwow, Angel Lisa, Angel Mel, Angel Jeanne, Angel Rudrip and Angel Gale. C’mon Angels Kenzie and Katybeth and Kristen and Carol. Calling Angel Thoughtsappear, Angel Aiden, Angel Teachergirl, Angel Lynn, Angel Beary, Angel Lies. And even two of my favorite, lovable (and self-proclaimed) curmudgeons Angel Shout and Angel Kitch. No ducking out on this one! (Boy. Aren’t you all sorry you welcomed me back? 😉 )

ALL of you Angel Jane readers out there – c’mon. It’ll be fun! A little joy for a stranger. It doesn’t have to be a cup of (overpriced) coffee. It could be a sandwich. Or loading their groceries while they buckle their kids in the car. Or purchasing a little poinsettia plant and leaving it anonymously on your elderly neighbor’s doorstep. You could make cookies for your local firefighters. Pay the toll for the person behind you or put quarters in the parking meter. Bring some books you’ve already read to a nursing home. Or one of your brilliant ideas. Any charitable act will do!

That’s all I want for my birthday. Because you all know how much I love a little Random Act of Kindess. Nothin’ big. Nothin’ fancy. But something that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit, too!


Filed under Be-Causes, Completely Random, Holiday, How We Roll, Observations

35 responses to “No Gift For My Birthday? Don’t Worry. I’ve Got The Perfect Idea!

  1. Wow. That is quite the challenge you gave me there – but for you, for your birthday, I’ll give it my best shot.

    Happy birthday!

  2. Steven Harris

    Happy birthday! Have a lovely, warm inside and outside day. And yes, your present is a great idea. I won’t even need to wrap it so that’ll save trees too 😀

  3. Argh! You want me to be nice? Damn you! Harumph. Well, okay, only for you, darling. I might blow a brain vessel, but I’ll do it.

  4. Happy Birthday Jane! Now I just have to decide what to do! 😉

  5. Mel

    Happy Birthday Jane! Thanks for the nudge – I’ve been feeling the need to do some good lately myself! I will be glad to do something in your honor.
    Hope you have a great day.

  6. Happy Birthday Jane! Love this! And of course, in honor of your birthday, I will be happy to do a random act. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating with your loved ones.

  7. Happy Birth Day to you! And now the gauntlet has been thrown down. Hmmmm, what to do that will really impress Angel Jane? I’ll give it my best shot. 😀

  8. I’m in! I’m in! Can’t wait to do this! Will report back at the end of the weekend to let you know what I did.

    • Oh, and Happy Birthday!!

    • Still working on this. Offered an old woman a ride on a brutally cold day and she turned me down. Tried to give cash for lunch to a woman whose kid was in the PICU yesterday, but the nurse wouldn’t let me. I’m trying…. but no luck yet.

    • Me again. Just wanted you to know that I think I’ve fulfilled my Angel Gale obligation. However, it is something I’m doing for a fellow blogger so I’m disinclined to get into the details here. But someone needed help, and I am able to help. Happily, I offered my help to this person without thinking of this RAOK challenge. It was only after I began it that I decided it was as kind as anything else I might do.

      As I struggled to find the right RAOK opportunity I stumbled onto a thought that might interest you. We associate RAOKs with anonymity. And so I am prone to wonder, can you do a random act of kindness for someone who knows it is you at the other end?

  9. Oh bloody hell, I wish you’d never come back now!

    Joking!! I could be nice to my mother would that count? Ok, I’ll think of something, and let you know what wonderful deed I’ve done, if I can get out of the house that is.

    I’m snowed in. No really.

    Happy birthday!

    What have you got lined up for us to do on Christmas day?

  10. Happy Birthday!!! I’m already up on the random acts. I try to do one every day the month of December. I figure a lot of folks need a little boost during the holiday season. Perhaps I should spread it out through the year.

    Your “devil” is not really a devil. She’s the one who looks at things more realistically than your angel. I struggle with mine all the time. My “devil” is a bit skeptical of pan handlers.

  11. Jane. this is so sweet and selfless of you! I am going to do my best to make this happen sometime this week. I wanna make you proud :).

  12. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY fabulous lady!!

  13. Happy Birthday to you. Paying it forward ! A most excellent way to celebrate your birthday!

  14. My daughter’s birthday is in August. One year she asked that, in lieu of birthday presents, her friends and family give her a variety of essential school supplies. They weren’t for her of course, but she used them to fill the backpacks she bought for kids living in a shelter for battered women. I drove her to the shelter to deliver them and remember standing off to the side, tears in my eyes as she carried them into the shelter’s office. I have a feeling she won’t forget that birthday. Happy Birthday Jane!

  15. Well, I just read your blog so this was not a purposeful act in regards to your blog but I did give blood today. Does that count? Glad to have you back from vacation.

  16. Happy Birthday!
    Can I have until Monday afternoon? I am dragging around three little guys.
    And you are super sweet!

  17. Happy birthday, Jane!

    (Thanks for not tagging me in this post. Whew!)

    By the way, love your photo. Very festive!

  18. Tom Hulce rocked in Animal House. 🙂

    Happy, happy to you! It’s my birthday, too! (Not the exact day but in very close proximity.)

    Your ROAK story truly amazed me. Personally I’ve never experienced anything like that. I thought things like that only existed in the land of unicorns surfing rainbows and such.

    I have, however, been on the giving side of ROAK. Believe it or not, I like to be nice, even though karma has brutalized me, I haven’t totally given up. Yet.

    By the way, what I want for my birthday is a new computer monitor. Mine got ruined because I was drinking my Welch’s Grape Juice when I read the words, “Angel Shouts.” Now your blog has a purplish hue. That was bad of you. Very very bad.

    Even so, no, I’m not regretting welcoming you back. It just wasn’t the same without you.

    I’ll see what I can come up with on the ROAK task and report back when done. I’ll even print a nice card that says, “This random act of kindness was forced into existence on behalf of Jane.”

    Now I’m off to check out the “curmudgeon” TheKitchenWitch. I suspect that good times are ahead!

  19. I realized that there are two service people we usually take for granted, without whom we’d be stuck. The mail carrier and the trash collectors. So, when my mail carrier delivered my mail, she found a thank you card tied up with candy canes in the box. The trash collectors found a thank you card and candy canes tied on all the bags.

  20. I’m very far behind in reading or blogging, so here’s my wish that you had a very happy birthday, and I accept your challenge!

  21. Happy Belated Birthday! I was in FL for an extended weekend, but I’m back now.

    Can I do my angel deed this weekend? Is it too late? I’ll do two to make up for missing last weekend!

  22. jterrill

    Happy Belated Birthday! I have kept your birthday request close at hand for the past 6 days. I am a believer that birthdays should last for at least a week. Your first birthday gift was a Grande Peppermint Mocha delivered to a young lady in our office going thru a very difficult time. Your second birthday gift was a huge batch of homemade candy delivered annonymously to a special little boy who won’t be with us very much longer. Your third birthday gift was the simple offer to let someone go ahead of me in line at the very busy $1 store. You would have thought I had given him $100. The next gift was the gift of grace extended to the lady who rammed her car into mine in the drive thru line. Did I mention she was in front of me? I have enjoyed celebrating your birthday I hope you have enjoyed it as well.

  23. Happy belated birthday! I accept your challenge: I was planning to leave cookies in my neighbor’s mailboxes, but I’ll try to think up a ‘birthday present’ for you!

  24. Happy belated birthday! Here’s the deal: December is your birthday month! 🙂

    I am like you: I worry about giving money straight away. I also resent being taken “hostage” at grocery checkout for the fundraising they have all year round. Then of course I feel guilty for feeling resentful…

    I have heard and been intrigued by the Pay it Forward thing at drive-throughs. I am IN. I will heed your call Angel Jane… BUT. Here it comes… Now the neurosis inside me is stressing: how do you do this? How would you know what kind of drink the next person is going to order? If you don’t know, how do you pay for their drink? Do you just pay an extra say $5? What if they only want a simple coffee (yeah, not likely, but Starbucks still has SIMPLE coffee on their menu!) How about people at Starbucks? Will they look at you like you are crazy? Do they get it? Or do you have to explain it? So I’d better do this from a drive-through and not inside the store right? I can just see me making a fool of myself trying to explain this concept to a Starbucks person…

  25. Pingback: Happy belated birthday, Jane | A World of Lies

  26. Pingback: Hyppo and Critter: Resolutions « Shouts from the Abyss

  27. Pingback: Mission Random Act of Kindness Firefighter Style « Thoughts Appear

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