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People Are Nice! Really, They Are!
October 4, 2019

We marched into Von Maur armed with our list. We had perused Rick’s closet and made a pile for Goodwill; assessed need. We were set for my love’s annual shopping trip for clothing. His organized nature, classic style (as in he buys the exact same thing every year) and the fact that his size hasn’t changed since I met him, assured that this once-a-year foray to the mall wouldn’t take long.

Nor would it be painful, but that didn’t stop him from acting as if he was bound for a root canal.

We started in the shoe department and like a honing pigeon, Rick flew to the Born, Nigel Boot. Brown. Shoe Lady was helping another couple, but Rick’s swoop caught her attention and she made instant eye contact. Smiled. He held up the soft, leather boot, “10 1/2?”

She made a face but said nothing.


She nodded, excused herself, and went to the stockroom. I whispered, “what did that facial expression mean? We are out of 10 1/2’s? They don’t come in half sizes? What?” Rick, in major task mode, wasn’t up for a speculative conversation. We settled into chairs just as I overheard the man of the other couple say, “I’m not sure. I usually wear a 10 but these 10 1/2’s feel right to me.” I peeked over. Yup. Born, Nigel Boot. Brown.

Rick shook his head and told Shoe Lady he was going to need a 1/2 size smaller. She shrugged in apology, nodded her head in the direction of Customer #1 and said, “he has them.” By then he was walking toward us and the mirror.

Within 10 minutes, Customer #1, armed with the knowledge we were about to leave town and couldn’t wait the 7 days it would take to have the shoes sent to us, took the shoe from his foot, put it in the box and handed it to Rick. “I can wait,” he said. And his partner-in-shopping encouraged his decision. “We’re not in any hurry,” she said.

Shoe Lady shook her head and said to the 4 of us who were now in a huddle over the shoe box, “This doesn’t happen. People are not usually this nice.”

I will always believe it’s our core nature to be nice. That’s how we are designed. And I firmly believe in these times, we are desperate for reminders and stories of generosity beg to be told. Celebrated.  To the couple from Columbus, IN who were shopping in the shoe department at the Greenwood Von Maur this Friday afternoon, I say thank you. And may the keepers of Karma bless you. And may we all be warmed by your act of kindness toward a stranger.

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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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