Friday, November 18, 2005

Good Deeds, Good Day

I had an interesting day today, on three very different fronts.

First: my wife delivered a healthy baby boy.

Yes, my wife, since we're not actually divorced, but we've been separated for over 2 years. The boy's not mine, of course; her boyfriend of two years is the father. I'm very happy for them, and my daughters, who have a new baby brother.

I talked to my daughters, and they are just happy as bugs-in-a-rug over the whole thing. I even got a phone call from the father, to let me know everything went well, and the boy was healthy, and momma was doing well.

People ask me if I'm "OK" with it. I tell them, of course I am. We're married in paper only, and the father is a good man. Its an unconventional situation, but it works for us. The boy is an innocent new life in the world, and I wish them all only the very best. After all, he is my daughter's brother.

But, even though I'm OK with it... it's still just kinda odd, ya know? OK, but odd.

Second: One of my daughter's friends is being evicted from her apartment. I know she and her mom have been having a tough time of things, and being evicted is a tough thing. My friend's mom seems to have some issues (homelessness in the past, drug use, drinking, minor mental issues, etc), but she's a dedicated mom, and trying very hard to get on her feet and straighten out.

I got a call last night from my daughter's friend. She said hello to me, and after a moment of hemming and hawing, said it was difficult to ask, but did I have a credit card?

Yes, I said.

Seems she and her mom have been having a hard time renting a U-Haul truck. Obviously, without a credit card, U-Haul won't rent to you. The girl said all her mom's friends either didn't have a credit card, or had turned them down since they didn't know them well enough (read "trust" well enough). The girl had even called a few of HER friends' parents to ask. All turned them down. I got the feeling I was a very last resort. I really don't know the girl very well, and have never met her mother, either.

But, her voice. Man... how do you say "no" to that true, last ditch sound of desperation? So, I didn't. I said of course I'll help.

I got on the web and made reservations for a truck this evening, and called the mom back. Again, the sound of her voice when she found out someone was going to help convinced me I was really doing the right thing. Even if I never see the cost of the U-Haul in return (she said she'd pay for it, just had to get someone to reserve it for her), it's worth it.

I picked her up this evening and took her over to pick it up. She was very appreciative. She talked about how her boyfriend was in jail (a parolee on the run for over a year... sigh), and how things were tough, but she had just enough to pay for the truck and get moved tomorrow. Sigh. I wished her good luck.

Third: After I go the U-Haul for the lady, I went to the grocery store. I bought groceries and didn't even look at the price on the register. I just swiped my card, punched the ATM buttons, collected my groceries and the receipt, and left.

If you know me and money, you'd know.... that is downright out of character for me. I'm the type that adds prices up as I'm putting things in the cart, and I'm usually within a buck or two at the checkout. If I'm not, I dutifully check the receipt for errors, and will politely argue over a buck if I think I'm right.

But today I didn't even look, and as I was driving away from the store and realized I don't know how much I paid for the groceries, it just struck me as so freakin' odd! I just laid out a potential $100 for a complete stranger for a truck (I'm fully prepared to lose the money, in case she skips out on the bill) , and bought groceries without a care to how much they cost.

That's just not like me! It's a good thing, I think, but just not like me!

Anyway, a good birth, a good deed, and a good bill. I think I'll have supper and a beer, and enjoy my fire tonight.