So I’ve been on crutches since mid May, when I broke a few bones in my leg (she says, casually). It’s hard, it hurts, I’m clumsy, bitch, moan, blah blah blah. Then…there’s the other part. People are so darned nice to you when you can’t walk.
I went to the Bay Street Apple store in Emeryville yesterday to get a new power cord for my iBook. This was the first time I’ve driven myself anyplace. The Lovely Laura has been doing all the driving, and I’m starting to make a test run here and there in preparation for my return to work. Anyway, I’m a klutz on crutches.. so getting out of the car, strapping on my backpack, pulling the crutches out, hobbling to the back of the car to get my laptop out of the trunk…it didn’t go particularly smoothly and I set off the car alarm. Nothing to see here folks, go back to your homes…
I lock the door and crutch, crutch, crutch my way across the street to the Apple store only to notice two long-ass lines stretching out of the store and down the street. I asked the iManager womanning the store if those were iPhone lines. “One is for iPhones, the other is for everything else.
Even if you just need to get a new power cord?
Even if you’re here to buy a new Mac?
Even if I want to buy 25 new Macs, all with cash, I’d have to wait in that line?
I tell her I have a broken leg and it wasn’t easy getting here. “Yeah, I can see that…” she said, and told me to have a seat on a folding chair right inside the door. In five minutes, one of the Mac clerks came over (heck, I was willing to walk to the cash register in the back of the store…) he took my iBook and broken power cord into the back; and returned a few minutes later with all my stuff, a new cord and some paperwork for me to sign, and I was on my way. Danggggg, as Baby Luke would say.
Crutches seem to bring out the compassion in people. Last weekend I was waiting outside the Home Depot with my cart full of stuff when a man walked over and asked if he could take it to the car and load it up for me. No thanks, my daughter is about to pull up, she’ll do it. And no, he wasn’t a mass murderer, his wife was with him. I think she told him to help me. Ditto in Target, earlier that day when I was in the motorized scooter they lend to the immobile…I was gazing up at the high shelf when a man walked over (again, urged by his wife) and said “Can I reach something for you?”
People gas up your gas tank for you. Okay, so it’s the law when you’ve got a disabled parking placard. But I didn’t ask for the help, I was about to do it myself when the really sweet Costco worker said “No, no, sit in the car, I’m happy to do it for you…” Happy? Seriously? He looked like he meant it.
I dunno. Maybe it’s just simple civility and I shouldn’t be so surprised. But seriously, I’m touched. It’s just so damned nice when people are so…so… you know, so nice. My daughter thinks it’s proof that people are mostly good, and the world is an okay place. Having come off the day I just had, I’m inclined to agree.
And I’m really happy (and a little shocked) that a kid I raised actually believes the world and the people in it are inherently good. To anyone who knows me (and my neurosis) I ask: how the hell did that happen?
(Smiley face goes here)
ps: Although I’m pretty sure my other child, if he reads this, will refute the premise and once again urge me to stop blogging and if I feel a need to keep my writing skills honed during recuperation, start writing term papers to sell to students or some similar enterprise. Hi Ben.