Paid it forward and paid for a stranger’s meal!

pay it forward

So, today, we’ve had our 21st wedding anniversary. ….very very lucky me! Within 6 months of our wedding back in 1996, we were expecting our first child and it was quite a shock to the system to find that having a childminder actually cost more than our mortgage! Getting used to having your own place can take a while, trying to balance your finances, etc. and there were times when money was short. I recall one day counting how many slices of bread we had to see if there was enough for breakfast and lunch…or would we need to fork out a whole 60p for a loaf of bread. Someone at my workplace must have cottoned on and she came back from her lunch break one day with a carrier bag of food. I’ve never forgotten that. Before tonight, I have paid it forward once. I was in ASDA about 10 years ago and there was a couple in front of me with a baby that couldn’t have been more than about a couple of weeks old. They had a few groceries and a pack of nappies but their debit card was rejected and they were clearly panicking about going to see if they could get cash from the machine instead……so I offered to pay for it.  Their smiles were pretty cool!

But tonight, we paid for a family’s meal. Just because we wanted to……completely anonymously. As we walked in to the restaurant, there was a family with 2 young girls, sitting so nicely and well-mannered. I don’t know. Something just made it feel right that I’d like the family to be given a gift. They were just ahead of us ordering the food and we spoke to our waitress who was a) taken aback but b) so accommodating! When the family had clearly finished, the waitress came over with the receipt for me to settle.

Now, I was intrigued about what would happen next! I did explain that I really wanted it to be anonymous. And, yes, I was desperate to watch what would happen but I just had to act like all was normal and act in the way that I would normally! But, in the corner of my eye, I could see smiles and some laughter, but it was only once the family had left and we were paying for our bill that I could interrogate the waitress!! It was so cool! It turns out that it was one of the girls’ birthday today and apparently the family were so. so touched and really wanted to say thank you. And she said that it had made her evening too. So, I just hope there’s a family out there tonight knowing that people do care and people just like to bring happiness to others sometimes.

This is the first of my ’50 things to do before I turn 50′ list that I’ve now accomplished. Tick!!!!

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