The Good Deed


I did something good today. You could even use the term “good deed”. And you know what they say about good deeds–They’re not complete unless you can brag about them to everyone on social media.

It’s new year’s eve and I’m having people over tonight. I had been putting off going to the grocery store since it’s 25 degrees, more than a block away, and well, I’m lazy. Finally, 3 hours of Everybody Loves Raymond reruns and several cups of tea, I sucked it up and made my way to the store.

It was less than a block from my place when I saw it. A guy in front of me kind of stopped, and then pulled out his phone. I didn’t think much of it until a few seconds later when I noticed a beautiful, fresh and once-folded $10 bill laying on the ice. My first instinct: I looked around for anyone nearby and I snatched it up.

I had a few different thoughts running through my head: I was $10 richer. This will be a good dent in my new year’s grocery expenses. A bottle of New Amsterdam vodka is on sale for $9.99. What else can I buy with this? This is so cool–I’ve never found more than a quarter on the ground.

All my excited thoughts about my new find quickly diminished as I realized that it probably belonged to the young guy ahead of me who had stopped to pull out his phone. I couldn’t enjoy the money if I knew it was his and I didn’t give it back. If I came upon it 20 seconds later, and no one was around, I wouldn’t have even idea who’s it was and would have skipped along happily to the store.

But still-how did I know it belonged to him? I had an idea, but I didn’t see it fall from him directly. I looked up. He was crossing the street and popped into the 7-Eleven across the street. I decided to do what any rational human being would do: Follow this stranger into a convenience store.

I had to see if he was really missing something or if the money had been on the ground before him.

He was in line at the counter, waiting to purchase a few snack items. I browsed the single-serving cereal section while keeping an eye on him. I watched him pull his phone out of his pocket, followed by his wallet, and a pack of gum. He kept digging in there.

I’m told by my boyfriend that it was just slightly creepy that I followed him into the store. But wait–the creepiness will be outweighed by the moment that followed.

I said “Excuse me, did you have a $10 bill?”

He said, “Yes I did”.

I’m also told I should not have told him the exact amount–but I watched the guy dig through his pockets. He had been right in front of me, and he was definitely looking for something he couldn’t find. Either way, it was not my money, and I felt very good about giving it back to its rightful owner.

If Karma exists, I hope that one day $10 (give a few 0’s) magically appears in my checking account.

Or, if one day I drop, among the many receipts and wrappers in my pocket a bill that happens to be in the mix, I hope the person behind me will follow me and give it back.

I’ll settle for that.


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