Sunday, April 16, 2006

The magic $10

Last night, on my way to do another errand, I stopped at Target to buy some batteries for G's book light. Apparently I picked up some sort of super-duper nuclear-powered batteries, because they scanned at $9.99, which seemed a bit rich for four AAAs. I decided to pass on them, and since I didn't want to wait in the 20-minute-long line again, I paid for the other item I was buying and left.

Just before I got to my car, a woman called to me across the parking lot and asked if I could spare any money. She and the other woman with her were trying to collect enough to get a motel room for the night, she said. They had a vaguely downtrodden look and were carrying their stuff in black plastic garbage bags, so it certainly could have been true, and even if it weren't, it wouldn't have made a difference to me. So, I stopped and checked to see what I could give them. I had a ten and a one and I knew it'd take them forever to raise enough for a room if they had to get it a dollar at a time, so I gave the woman the ten and said "Good luck." She said thanks, and I got into the car thinking that it was pretty funny that I'd just handed over the $10 I wouldn't spend on batteries to a stranger in a parking lot.

Anyway, I drove on to my next stop, which was a fast-food place, and ordered food to take home. I was sure I'd have to use my ATM card because I'd given the parking-lot lady all my cash, but when I pulled up to the drive-through window, I thought "Why not look again, just to be sure?" So I opened my wallet, and there, folded and stuffed down inside, was a crisp new $10 bill. I know I hadn't had it earlier in the day, when I took out my last $20 to spend (the $10 I gave the woman had been my change from that twenty).

Sometimes karma is kind.

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