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My pay-it-forward experience

Letter to the Editor


A friend and I stopped at a fast food drive-in recently for something to drink. I put in my order, “a small soda,” and waited for the cashier to tell me the cost. “One dollar and forty cents,” she said.

I looked in my purse and remembered I had cleaned out all the change earlier, so I handed her two dollar bills.

She opened her cash drawer and a stricken look came over her face.

“I have no change,” she said. (Now, that is a first— a busy fast food place with no change.) “I’ll have to call someone.”

A voice behind me asked, “What is the problem?”

The cashier said, “I have no change.”

“Here,” the woman with the voice offered, “take what you need.”

She held out an ample handful of change. The cashier was flustered, I was protesting, the woman kept insisting, “really, take what you need; take the forty cents and give her a dollar back.” So, the young cashier counted out the money, gave me one of my dollars back and handed us our cups.

Since this lady had generously finished paying for my drink, I told her to go first and fill her cup with ice.

‘No,” she exclaimed, “I only drink Dr. Pepper with no ice!” And then, as if confiding a great secre t, she went on: “I only buy Vera Bradley purses. I have fifteen, and this one is wearing out and so I should buy another. Also, I only wear Sketchers and Birkenstocks; I have 40 pairs, all together.”

I made some kind of friendly remark and told her I really appreciated her finishing paying for my drink.

“Don’t mention it,” she laughed, “I love doing that. My old Subaru had a place where I could collect change for times like this, but my new one doesn’t have a place, so my niece made this coin purse for me.”

It was heavy with change.

I thanked her again and started toward the door.

“Where are you from?” she asked. “Coulee Dam,” I answered.

“I’m from Post Falls,” she said. “Have a good trip home.”

So, I had my soda, and I had met a really generous lady. How many people can say they know someone with 15 Vera Bradley purses, 40 pairs of Sketchers and Birkenstocks, who drives a new Subaru, had a niece that makes really sturdy coin purses and drinks Dr. Pepper, with no ice?

Now it is my turn, to pay-it-forward.

Darlene Morava

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