The Look of Surprise….Priceless

I received a little surprise today for something that Sal did, and it was awesome. I’ll start from the beginning.  A couple of weeks ago a neighbor from a couple of houses down asked Sal if he could change his tire; he was on his way to church with his wife and couldn’t do it. After changing his tire, the man offered him money. Sal said no, he offered a little less, Sal still said no. After the no luck negotiation the man and his wife were off to church. We didn’t think much more of it.

Skip to today.  Roman had just woken up from his nap and was on the potty when the doorbell rang. V started barking and Roman jumped off the toilet mid kaka. I’m thinking to myself…lovely, I really need to disconnect that damn doorbell. As I gather Roman’s little naked self up, and walk to the door I’m also trying to push V behind me. V seems to think that everyone that comes over wants to play with a 60 pound pit bull. Not so.

So I open the door with one naked boy on my hip and a big puppy by the collar. An older gentleman with white hair, a round face, and blue eyes stood in front of me. I will call him surprised Nice Man (SNM) for the purpose of narration. The conversation follows bellow.

SNM: Um, I think maybe your dad…. may have done something, well….helped my dad change his tire a while back.
Me: Oh! No, that was my husband. (Roman began repeating everything I’m saying along with hand gestures to complete the effect)
SNM: Oh….uh….(looking super surprised and a lot confused), we really wanted to uh…..thank you. We really appreciated it. He’s handing me a card as he’s stuttering through this.
Me: We really don’t want anything for it. It wasnt a problem. I’m not taking the card.
SNM: No, it was really nice. Please take this. I take the card. Thank you for being such good neighbors to him.
Me: Thank you, we try, but we really don’t want anything.
SNM: It’s nothing, and thank you again. He’s beginning to walk away at this point.
Me: No problem, goodbye.

Sal, was gone playing soccer at the time so he didn’t get to accept or open the card. Inside the card, as you can see, was a gift-card for Wal-Mart along with a sweet note. It was so nice, and completely unexpected. We had honestly forgotten all about it. The gesture warmed my heart. People don’t do this kind of thing anymore, including me. I have the best intentions, but don’t always get around to showing my gratitude.

While the card was nice, it wasnt the best thing. The BEST thing was the look on his face. I’m not sure if he was expecting someone so young. Okay, I’m no spring chicken at almost 30, but Sal and I have done well for ourselves and live in a beautiful house with a little family to fill it.  As I was talking to Sal, we wondered how he would have reacted to see a young mexican with tattoo’s on both arms (almost sleeves) open the door and say it was him who changed the tire. See….I dont think the tire was the important thing here, that was merely being a good human, the important thing was the changing of perception. You could clearly see the surprise on his face when I said it was my husband who changed it, not my father. I only wish Sal would have been here to answer the door and push the envelope of perception a little further.

Tattoo’s, skin color, age, clothes, living situation, these things don’t make a person. A person expresses his own thoughts, ideas, feelings, through these things.  I love seeing someone who is expecting a certain “type”, or close minded, sheltered, or simply self-righteous realize that people of all walks can be good. It restores my faith in humanity a little, as I’m sure it does theirs.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Photo By Holly
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 05:32:37

    What a beautiful story! For the most part, people are very good, no matter what someone’s first impression of them is. Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I smile at people who would normally come across as “intimidating” – and I usually get a smile back! Suddenly, they seem like big teddy bears!! 🙂


  2. nigel
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 00:53:10

    Nice work…


  3. David Williams
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 06:19:11

    That is totally cool, way to go Sal!


  4. Robin
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 06:29:18

    I love this story. It’s wonderful. 🙂


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