HomeFinancial ExperiencesThat lady needed a dollar

That lady needed a dollar

I was out and about in Seattle yesterday when lunch time came. I decided to treat myself to Dick’s Drive In (the Seattle equivalent of In-N-Out). In true mom-and-pop fashion, Dick’s is a cash only joint.

As I was waiting in line to order my standard Deluxe cheeseburger, fry, and strawberry shake, I overheard the old lady in front of me ask the cashier if she was able purchase two Deluxe burgers for $6.

The cashier gave her devastating news and informed her that the after-tax the total would be $6.60.

Gramma was about to be denied double deluxes. 

This made me very sad for her.

I mean how cute that a 70-year-old woman was out for lunch by herself and wanted to indulge in two of the best burgers in town. How depressing that $0.60 was keeping her from living her Monday afternoon dream.

Ninja to the rescue. 

As she was looking at the menu trying to contemplate a new order, I intervened and gave her a light tap on the shoulder and said,

“Ma’am, I would love help you along on your burger journey by giving you this dollar.” 

Homegirl must have really wanted those two burgers ’cause she didn’t even bat an eye as she gladly accepted my donation. She gave me the $0.40 change that was tendered, thanked me, and went on her merry little way.

I like to think that I am responsible for two things in this situation…

1) A random act of kindness.

2) Helping raise her cholesterol level to dangerous amounts.

 Moral of the story: You don’t have to be wealthy to lend a helping hand. All it took in this situation was a $0.60 to help brighten someone’s day.

Have you brightened someone’s day lately, or had your day brightened by someone?



  1. I’ve bought coffee for the car behind me at the drive thru on several occasions, and let the guy behind me with 3 items go ahead of my full cart of groceries. Doesn’t take much to make someone smile 🙂

  2. You have to love it when you walk into Starbucks and the person in front of you pays for your drink and then pass that on to the next. Organically it seems to always create a chain reaction that goes several people deep in line. Really restores your faith in humanity. My most recent experience was being able to help dig someone’s car out of the snow. They had been plowed in and needed to get somewhere fast. You could really see the delight and appreciation in their eyes once I was able to help them get free.

  3. Its the little things. Way to be paying attention and not on your cell phone passing the time.

  4. We share a driveway with our retired neighbours (we live in a townhouse complex). Last year, we started shovelling their side of the driveway while doing ours, not only to help them, but to make it easier for both cars to get in and out. Unbeknowst to us, our neighbours have health issues that make shovelling snow particularly hard (she had to have a knee replacement, and he had heart surgery). They’ve bought us bouquets of flowers and bottles of wine, but we’ve told them no gifts necessary; we’re doing it to be neighbourly.

  5. That’s cool that you did that. We had a giant snowstorm this past winter, and my neighbor was out of town traveling. His wife and three daughters were home, so I went out and cleaned the snow off their car parked in the driveway. (They have a service, so no I did not do the driveway itself!)

  6. I think you’ll find that especially once you have a baby that people are exceptionally nice. I’m on mat. leave now with my second and it is a daily occurrence that strangers will help me with my bags, give up spots in line, or generally help me with anything that it looks like I may struggle with. On top of that the bulk of my kids wardrobes, toys, and gear have been donated by friends, co-workers or neighbours which is incredibly generous. I will pass that good fortune along as well when we no longer need our baby items.

  7. Same for me. It’s amazing how good it feels to help someone enjoy a little simple pleasure

  8. I bought a groupon to Great Wolf Lodge for a family of 6 for 2 nights and gave it to my nail lady. She is so hard working and has supported her family for 27 years as husband does not work at all and when I sat and bragged about going away to Aruba she commented that would be so nice I would love to take my kids to a pool for a day and relax – so I thought I can make that happen and did. I loved being able to do this for her everyone deserves a vacation.

  9. There are a lot of teen drivers in my part of suburbia. I like the think I’m doing everyone on the road an act of kindness by not honking at all their stupidity as I know the ones with their permits can be jumpy and honking could possibly trigger some sort of domino effect disaster.

  10. I loved it when my daughter saw a street children and while she was eating her food, she asked me tenderly if she could give it to one of the street children and when I said yes, I saw the big smile on her face. I know that I’m on the right track of raising my daughter and at the age of seven, she already knows how to give love to another.

  11. Every time I see a member of our military in uniform at a fast food/casual dining restaurant or a gas station, I pay for whatever they’re buying. It’s the absolute least that I can do to repay them for the sacrifices that they make.

  12. My first thought: “…but is it BETTER than In-N-Out?” 🙂

    Also, this story brought a smile to my face.

  13. I love doing stuff like that because it is so fun! Two recent examples:

    I was in line at Walmart early one morning when the young man if front of me was short a mere 26 cents for his power bar and drink. I fished the change out of my wallet to give to him only to realize in that moment that it was my friend’s son!

    There were also some filthy dirty, but friendly looking, men at the Laundromat not that long ago. I overheard them talking about what time to get in line for a hot meal at the mission later that night. I hurried to a nearby store and bought them boxed lunches and was able to catch them just as they were leaving the Laundromat. They seemed so surprised and grateful!

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