8. Random Acts of Kindness
I know I perform random acts of kindness whenever an opportunity presents itself, and these range anywhere from giving strangers a big smile to helping someone cross the street or giving away store coupons to the next person in line who has a huge purchase and no coupons. But I have not, to my knowledge, personally been the recipient of a random act of kindness. Until today.
It being Sunday and a day off from work, I decided to make it my laundry day as well. I had kept track of the wash cycle time and went down to the basement to transfer my laundry to the dryers, which would take 45 minutes to an hour. Back in my apartment, I continued browsing through magazines, to look for inspiration for my next painting.
As expected, I completely lost track of the time. I forgot what time I put my laundry in the dryers, so I estimated that I should be able to take it out around half past one. But I was in my book room, which was also my art supply room and just-about-anything-else room, which had a clock that I kept on “normal” time. (Every other clock in the apartment was on Daylight Savings Time.)
What else should happen, but I started nodding off as I browsed through old magazines. By the time I’d shaken the heaviness from my eyelids and looked up at the clock, it was nearly two, so I hustled to the to the basement, hoping I wasn’t keeping anyone from using the machines. I could hear the dryers still spinning, but it sounded like they were near the end of their cycle, or someone else had started laundry. Wasn’t I surprised to find all my laundry from one dryer neatly placed in my basket, and the sheets and other beddings from the other dryer folded and neatly piled on top of the dryer, waiting for me.
This was a really pleasant surprise, and I have to say that it has made my day!
It also made me wonder who would have done it….I have a guess, but I can’t be totally sure. I know that on the rare occasions someone got to my laundry before I did and took it out of the dryer so they could use it, they’d just taken it out and piled it up on the dryer…it seemed the usual practice in the building, and what I would also do, every time someone left their laundry in the washer or dryer (and didn’t move or claim it for at least 15 minutes of waiting). But to actually fold someone else’s laundry! I know I’ve been tempted to do it myself, but I’d always been careful about doing that, because I was wary of handling other people’s laundry, in case they felt it was a violation of their privacy or they didn’t want people they didn’t really know handling their clothes. So with being politic as an excuse, I never really did it.
It has made me think twice about how I deal with other people’s overstaying laundry. If I did it, though, I’d probably always be doing it…and it takes a good deal of time, and they might just get used to it!
Still, I think it was a lovely gesture. The first thing I wanted to do was to write a little thank you note and slip it down before the good-deed-doer’s laundry was done, but have decided against it. Simply because doing that would ruin the magic of randomness and unexpected kindness.