The Kindness of "Strangers"*

I am, without a doubt, a glass half-empty kind of person. I am a pessimist, and most often I don't anticipate but rather expect the world to kick me in the teeth every chance it gets. It's not so much that I've led this awful life filled with devastation and disappointments. I've had my fair share, but so has everyone else. It's just that I tend to expect the worst (instead of the best) of people until they prove me wrong.

Yesterday, I received a mysterious package from Barnes and Noble in the mail. It was a book: Raising Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care. But for a good hour after it arrived, I had no idea who sent it. There was no sales slip included, or so I thought. I emailed my mom and then later my sister. Neither had sent it. I then paged through the book and finally discovered the sender.

The book's sender was Lisanne, my blog's talented designer.

Now for a little background. Prior to about a year ago, my blog's design was standard Blogger fare. I wanted to personalize it a bit, and asked for some suggestions of companies or individuals who did this kind of work. Shannon recommended her friend Lisanne, whose own blog sports ever-changing and unique designs, and I contacted her to inquire about her rates. She said she would not charge me to redesign my blog because she simply enjoys playing around with design software and images. She redesigned my blog for free. And though we've never met "in real life" she was able to capture exactly what I envisioned for my blog. I sent her two books I thought she would enjoy as a token way to say "thank you" for her work.

Fast-forward to this year. I wanted to update the photos of Isabella in my blog's header, but of course had absolutely no idea how to do it on my own. I contacted Lisanne again, and she said she would be more than happy to add new photos. And she did.

Lisanne included a note on the book's sales slip apologizing for taking longer than she expected to complete the new header (which, mind you, she was again doing for free). She has her own freelance business and two small children at home with her all day long, and yet she found the time in her insanely busy schedule to help me out. She unselfishly gave of her valuable free time (and as a mom who works from home, I know all too well how incredibly precious this time is) with nothing to gain.

And she sent me a book because she thought it had taken her too long to complete the work.

It's moments like these that restore my faith in the true goodness of people. The gift was completely unexpected, and completely unnecessary, and as I told her in my thank-you email, she was the one doing me the favor, not the other way around. This was a book that I've had on my wish list at an online retailer that I shall not name. (Here are the details concerning why, if you're interested.) I use the retailer's wish list feature as a way to quickly keep track of the books or products I want to buy elsewhere. But the bottom line is that this is a book I've wanted for awhile, even though Lisanne had no way of knowing this.

It must be my week for surprises, because Melissa also sent me this cute shirt (along with some stickers) for Isabella. Her daughter drew part of the winning design.

So, thanks, Lisanne and Melissa, for making me realize that amidst the muck of every day life, there are people like you in the world who make it so much more bearable for people like me who tend to doubt that your kind exists.

*The Kindness of Strangers is a great song by the very under-rated indie band, American Analog Set. Check out the tune here.

11 Responses to “The Kindness of "Strangers"*”

  1. # Anonymous Ness

    That Lisanne is *somethin'* else. She has helped me out so many times. She always makes time for people - she is one really special girl!  

  2. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I definitely consider myself a realist as opposed to a pessimist or optimist. I believe that if I work hard and do not give up, I will achieve my goals. That said, I do have very high expectations of people I know and love and they often let me down. Many times it is the people I never expect, the ones who I barely know who come through the strongest.  

  3. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    I agree with My Wombinations. I'm also a realists and expect a lot from the people know. But for some reason, it's that familiarity that makes certain people think they can let you down without consequence.

    I like doing nice things for people, especially my friends. I'm happy you figured out who sent the book, and I'm pleased Isabella likes her shirt and stickers. :-)  

  4. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    YIKES! Can you tell I've not had enough coffee this morning?? So many typos!  

  5. # Blogger NaNiNaNi

    Hi I've put my wishlist and embed on my blog. Check it out this web widget  

  6. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    That was so nice! And the new pics on your blog header are so cute. Whenever I get anything in the mail, I get excited (except for bills, of course.) I've been signing up for all sorts of freebies, so I usually get one nice surprise a week.  

  7. # Blogger Damselfly

    It's so cool when you're surprised by something nice for a change, eh?  

  8. # Blogger Mom24

    You just seem like the kind of person who inspires good acts. I'm glad you've gotten to enjoy some of them.  

  9. # Anonymous aande

    Isn't it great... all of the amazing people you find out in the blogosphere?  

  10. # Anonymous Lisanne

    Aww!!! I'm sitting here all teary-eyed after reading this entry! Thank you, Kristi!!! It means SO very much to me that you said those words!!! I'm just *so* amazed at this post and that you mentioned me. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!!  

  11. # Blogger Shannon

    told ya that girl rocked lol...  

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