Random Acts of Antisocialism

13Aug08

So MizFit had a great post today about how we should all stop for a moment and take the time to make someone else’s day brighter in a way that we wouldn’t normally do.

I’ve decided to post my idea here, because I don’t know if she’s planning on doing a follow-up post, and I’m too lazy to ask. (Ha! This is not a mental fitness blog! My brain is firmly on the couch, watching an old Alf episode).

So all day long I’ve been thinking about this challenge. Some really great ideas were suggested – buying coffee for the person behind you, grabbing the tab for someone else at the restaurant, paying the toll for the people behind you…

(that last one was debunked in the comments, where one good samaritan actually slowed down and watched the next person hand over cash. Great job encouraging kindness, tollroads of America.)

Or buying something with proceeds going to charity, taking the time to compliment a stranger (and mean it).

But…well…I’m a pretty antisocial person.

I’m fairly outgoing among my friends (today I shared my Mexican Soup and New Fangled Farm Fry with the Coffee Lady, and I gave honest and delighted compliments to three people)…but that’s not exactly random.

I don’t compliment complete strangers unless it’s something superficial. “Adorable shoes!” I say. “Oh, that color looks lovely on you,” I exclaim.

But I never say some of the really great compliments. “You have the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen.” (That would have been to an overweight woman at the grocery store, who looked very self-conscious and unhappy. She was truly beautiful, in a classic sense. If there weren’t paintings of her, there should have been. But how do you say that to a stranger without coming across as a crazy stalker person? “Help, the lady with the turnips in her cart is complimenting me in very odd ways! Police!”)

Right, I’m getting off track. I don’t buy coffee, because I cannot trust myself within fifty feet of a peppermint white mocha frappuchino. So I can’t grab the tab for the person after me. I don’t eat out (because I’m too lazy to leave home after I get settled in) so I can’t do that one.

So what can I do?

The idea is that it’s something RANDOM. You know, to a stranger.

And as I payed for the groceries, the cashier gave me the extra slip of paper, and my brain did its familiar “Ye gods, when will they stop wasting so much paper on things I just throw away!? I don’t buy” and here I looked down to see what the coupon was for, “Dibs anyway! I’m on a diet! Stupid coupon machine!”

And then a lightbulb went off.

Dibs are pretty good. (Well, bad, but you know what I mean). Surely there was someone in the store, right that moment, buying Dibs. I’ll bet they wished they had that coupon.

I froze, my hand hovering over the trashcan.

How could I get the coupon to them? I couldn’t just hand it to the guy behind me in line – he was checking out, and all he had was milk. No, I needed to target my audience…

TAPE.

It’s not like I actually want to deal with the sticky moralities of having someone thank me for the coupon. Or (please no) give me funny looks for handing out the coupon (don’t laugh, this has happened to me before. And on a coupon for a theme park, that saved $30 per ticket. People got no respect, I tell ya.).

But if I brought a small roll of tape with me, the next time I came in the store, I could tape the coupon to the product it was for, and the next person to stumble across it would get a deal!

And what was even better, I could keep doing this. It cost me nothing but a roll of tape and a tiny bit of time.

And best of all – I never have to deal with people! No human interaction at all! The antisocial old man deep inside my soul gives a deep sigh of relief (just before shouting and running those irresponsible whippersnappers off my lawn).

Coupon recycling – do it!

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6 Responses to “Random Acts of Antisocialism”

  1. What a great idea!!

  2. That is a fabulous idea, because I get coupons all the time at Target, and I only use about half of them. And heck, I keep everything else in my purse, why not some tape to use when I make a quick run back to whatever aisle the product resides, and leave it there for the next lucky soul. Brilliant!! (Plus, I kind of tend toward the anti-social myself, so that is perfect)

  3. I totally feel the same way abot superficial comments. I mean, really, I almost complimented some girl on her skirt but I thought maybe she’d think I was hitting on her, so then I went to compliment the guy on his shades and I thought, again, he may think I’m hitting on him. So I kept mum. Sigh.

    However, your coupon recycling is brilliant! I love it! Much more inventive then my drop off tomatoes from my garden on my new neighbor’s porch. :)

  4. That is brilliant!

    One of my favourite random acts of kindness was when I had a car and bought all-day parking. If I got back to my car early and had lots of time left on the ticket, I would either give it to someone driving around looking for parking or leave it by the ticket machine so that someone could use it and save some cash.

    Didn’t benefit me in any way but seemed like a nice thing to do!

  5. @suzanne
    I was so happy I could think of something to do – I think this is one I’ll stick to, as well.

    @RooBabs
    *laughs* Another Kitchen Sink purse girl! <3 I even bought my laptop with “it must fit in my purse” in mind. Asus Eee, in case you’re curious.

    @FBG
    I know! Compliments don’t necessarily indicate an attempt to jump into someone’s pants. Unless, of course, the compliment is in regards to the awesomeness of the pants. Or the sculpted arse IN the pants.

    And if you were my neighbor, tomatoes would be an awesome gift.

    Last Friday was “National Leave Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”, in case you missed it.

  6. @gemfit
    Oh, that’s a good one, too! Especially with the price of parking these days. *shakes fist*


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