a cup of kindness

I stared at her. I’d never heard those words before.

Well, I’d heard the words before, but not in that order.

“The lady in the car in front of you paid for your coffee.” The words had come from the barista working the Starbucks drive-thru window.

My first thought was “why?” but then I remembered that people sometimes like to do nice things for other people. I forget that sometimes while I’m trying not to be killed by self-absorbed drivers on my commute to work.

I recovered from my shock. “Can I pay for the person behind me?”

“Sure,” the barista answered as I handed her my card.

I won’t lie, it made my day. Suddenly a cold, dreary Monday felt kind of awesome. I’d had a random, positive encounter with another human.

I’d never had a stranger pay for my coffee before. The thought had occurred to me, of covering someone else’s coffee. But then I thought, Do people actually do that or will they think I’m some sort of nutty millionaire or something?

It’s tough, sometimes, to find the right balance, that perfect spot between creepy nice and self-absorbed jerk. And on Monday, January 13, I got to benefit from someone else finding just the right balance.

Here’s to you, lady in the dark sedan. You inspired me.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, this is the face I always make when I drink coffee. Even if it’s only in my mind.)

Halee with coffee


  1. Laurie Tomlinson (@LaurieTomlinson)
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 11:38:59

    Love it when this happens! I’m glad it was a chain reaction for you and you paid it forward!

    Maybe I will start going to Starbucks just so I can do this for someone 🙂


  2. halee
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 22:18:59

    Laurie, that would be awesome! Or I’m sure you could find a way to do it at your local coffee shop.


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