posted by dave on Friday, October 20, 2006 at 1:00 AM in category general

Tonight I was looking for something in my old emails. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find this:

Reminds me of this girl I dated briefly right after my divorce. She had the unfortunate name of [same as my ex-wife], and she was kind of a [use your imagination]. The latter is the reason that we broke up. Anyway, one night shortly after we broke up, I came home from pool league and [the girl] and her friend had filled my entire living room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and bedroom, up to a height of about four feet, with balloons.

It was really incredible. They must have started the minute I left for league and worked non-stop for several hours. I guess my roommate had let them in.

Ha, that just made me smile to think about. Maybe I should write an entry about it.

That email was written in June 2006. Weird, it really seems like it was much earlier than that.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that were I to think back I'd be very hard-pressed to ever come up with anything that anyone has ever done for me that was as nice as that. I mean, it really lifted my spirits during a time which was up to that point the saddest time in my life. And the amazing thing was that it wasn't a ploy to get me to take her back. She did it just because she wanted me to feel better. We were finished before we'd ever really started, but it was still important to her that I be happy for a while.

It worked. Even though I had to spend a couple of hours popping balloons, and even though I had to buy a new vacuum cleaner after the first one burned out from trying to deal with all the balloon fragments, it really worked.

Thinking about this tonight, I tried to recall the nicest thing I'd ever done for someone else. And not just the nicest thing, but the most selfless thing as well.

I can think of lots of little things. I am a decent person after all. But I'm having a hard time coming up with anything that's nearly as impressive as those balloons.

This one time a couple of years ago I overheard an elderly couple getting bad directions from a gas station employee. I followed them to their car and told them that I hadn't been able to help but overhear, and that I was going their way, and that they could just follow me to their Son's wedding rehearsal. I then drove 30 minutes out of my way so they could follow me. They said I was a real good Samaritan.

Right now, that's the best I can come up with.

I can do better than that. Perhaps I have done better than that, but the memory eludes me. Either way, I want to do something nice. I want to do something for someone that makes them smile when they think about it in 20 years.

Maybe nice and selfless can't be done on purpose. Maybe, by stating this goal, I turn it into a selfish one.

I dunno.

Time for bed.

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