Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why my cockles are warm

I spent the past weekend helping a friend move. When I wasn't snickering about stuffing things in boxes or the merits of being on top, I was making myself surprisingly useful for a short chick devoid of upper body strength.

Around 8 p.m. Saturday night, we had most of the heavy furniture piled in the driveway behind the moving truck. I was considering faking a psychotic episode to avoid having my wimpy butt crushed beneath the queen-sized box spring, when all of a sudden, I heard the voice of an angel.

OK, it wasn't an angel. It was a tipsy guy en route to the bar down the street. Same thing, sometimes.

"Do you guys need a hand?" he called. He and his buddy stepped into the driveway and smiled at my friend. "Looks like your wife was about to try to lift that heavy dresser."

I looked around for the wife and realized they meant me. Concerned my friend might refuse assistance or clarify my marital status, I spoke up quickly.

"We'd love help," I gushed, shoving my hands in my pockets to hide my bare ring finger. "Thank you so much!"

And in five minutes, the guys had all the pain-in-the-ass heavy furniture loaded into the truck. I couldn't decide whether to weep with joy or follow them to the bar and buy them a beer. I was still considering it when they disappeared into the darkness.

While this isn't one of those touching tales of a stranger risking life and limb to save a toddler from a burning orphanage, it still warms the cockles of my heart.

(Incidentally, what is a cockle? Is it as filthy as it sounds? Because if so, my heart must have dozens of them).

Good Samaritan stories always serve as a good reminder to me that there are kind, generous people willing to do kind things for others even when there's nothing to be gained from it. It's enough to make me watch for ways I can pay it forward the next time I see someone in need of a helping hand.

Got any good heart-warming Good Samaritan stories of your own? Please share!

Let's all warm our cockles together.

20 comments :

Penrefe said...

I was once groped while waiting to be served in a bar.

Suddenly, this other guy appears behind me, grabs the groper (that's a word, right?) by the collar and knocks him out cold in one punch.

The guy disappeared into the crowd before I could thank him, maybe because the bouncers would've likely thrown him out, as well.

I returned to my friends and the night went on as usual.

Didn't see my 'White Knight' again though, so I never got to thank him. /sadface

widdershins said...

Cockles are shellfish. Make of that what you will. I dare you!

Sarah W said...

A round of applause to widdershins, who gave me my first diet Pepsi snort of the day!

Mac said...

Widdershins...you should have kept reading. The fifth meaning in my dictionary is 'one's innermost feelings'

Not good to give up too soon

Laina said...

Cockle: any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves, especially C. edule, the common edible species of Europe.

I was once sitting at home and heard a knock on the door. When I answered, a boy handed me cookies.

Patty Blount said...

I have back problems so, under doctor's orders, I'd begun using a rolling suitcase to hold my laptop and gym clothes. My office is full of heavy glass doors that I struggle to open on a good day - on a bad day, I may actually moan out loud. Worse, many of my coworkers just let the damn door close on you because it's too much trouble to hold it open.

One evening - a 'bad' back day - I had my handbag, my laptop bag on wheels and my gym bag piled on top of that, but couldn't get the door open.

A gentleman I have not seen since rushed over to open the door for me. As I walked through, I thanked him profusely but he didn't reply. I turned around and saw he was gone.

He'd stopped to open a door for me and he wasn't even going in the same direction. That's a gentleman!

This happened years ago and still reheats my cockles. :)

Penelope said...

These types of stories always warm my heart. When I see my son being kind to others without prompting - holding a door open for the elderly, talking to the kid at school that seems to be lonely, asking if we can adopt someone for the holidays and buy them presents - it quite literally brings me to tears.

Noelle Pierce said...

I love hearing these types of stories. Thanks for sharing, and reminding me that people aren't all bad.

LynnRush said...

I LOVE these kinds of stories. It's the little things that really make me smile. Sure it's not the saving a child from a burning building, but still. LOVE this.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I think people are incredible, really. I mean, maybe we're all born with some bad stuff we'll need to work on at some point, sure. But I also think we have a tremendous capacity for good, and I love hearing stories like this. :)

Sarah Allen said...

Baha :) Oh man, how are you so funny all the time? I love this story! And I'm liking the tipsy dude/angel combo...story ideas sparking.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Sonja Foust said...

Good story!

Here's my Good Samaritan story:

I was flying by myself for the first time in my life and I was on this TINY little airplane, like smaller than a bus by far, and we took off and immediately flew into super scary turbulence. I had a death-grip on my seat arms and I'm sure I was all white and sweaty.

The old guy with a big white beard (think skinny Santa) next to me must have seen me getting close to flipping out and he started making conversation with me. He didn't mention anything about the turbulence or ask me if I was scared-- he just distracted me. It was just what I needed.

-Sonja

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Nora said...

I haven't met any good Samaritans lately, but I'm glad to hear that there are still plenty of them out there. They restore my faith in mankind. I try to do good deeds myself whenever possible. It's the little gestures that count.

Meredith said...

I was flying cross county to SFO many years back, having a lovely conversation with the really nice guy next to me.

About halfway there, I decided to try to sleep. Since I was in the middle seat I fidgeted while trying to get comfortable. The guy said I could rest my head on his shoulder if I wanted. I declined, but thanked him.

When I got off the plane, I mentioned this to my fiance (now husband), who looked at me like I had two heads. "He was hitting on you."

"No way! He was being sweet."

We can still argue about it to this day. I'm right, though.

dikvipreal said...

Thank you for sharing.

~ M said...

When I was in grad school, I was in a car with two friends when the car broke down on a busy, up-hill street on campus.

We got out and started pushing, but with only two of us (and I can't claim I was much help) trying to get the car up the hill, it wasn't going anywhere.

As we struggled, random college kids who were walking by just joined in. We didn't even have to ask. After about five minutes, we had four guys, backpacks still on, headphones still in their ears, pushing the car up the hill and off the road. We couldn't have been more grateful.

Allie Sanders said...

Every winter I end up working the morning after a big storm. While I don't mind shoveling (after the first storm when I get stupid and forget the shoveling while at work protocols) at least once a year someone comes along and steals the shovel from me, forcing me back into the warm store while they finish clearing the stairs and ramp. Every year I just want to throw myself on the person and hug them. I usually manage to refrain but the urge is there because really, who would choose to be outside in the show doing manual labor when they can be curled up in a chair? Sometimes they are customers I know but other times it has been someone watching me shovel and they get out of their car in the parking lot to help before setting the shovel back inside the door and leaving without even letting me thank them. Sometimes people are just amazing.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I blew a tire out on a busy highway. While my husband knows how to change a tire, he opened the trunk and realized that somehow in the last year we lost our jack.

Stranded and hoping for a kind Samaritan with a car jack, my husband waved at cars whizzing by us. Many cars didn't even bothering to move into the far lane.

Before long, a man in his Sunday church clothes pulled over. He not only loaned us his jack, he coached my husband on how to change the tire without breaking his back. When we thanked him, he insisted we take the jack with us in case we needed it. I was blown away by his kindness, patience, and generosity. What an awesome guy.

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

The other day at the grocery store, I went to pick up some toilet paper (the big pack, of course). Sitting right on top of my favorite brand was a coupon for $3 off. Seems that someone couldn't use it so they left it so someone else could benefit. Seriously, it made my day. Now I plan to do the same so others can know the joy of unexpected discounts. :)