Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Ways of Giving: It's Just a Plastic Bag

Today I really felt awkward about my gifting... At church this weekend the pastor pointed out the resistance of Americans to accept a hand out.  He said they were trying to give out tacos in downtown Des Moines and a surprising amount of people said no! (I will note that I was not aware of these free tacos... and I would have taken one.) But that was in the back of my mind as I went to offer a gift to a girl I didn't know. 
I was at Dahls the other day shopping and I brought in the only bag I had in my car to load up my groceries in.  It just happened to be a bag I got at Mood in New York. 
Mood is a fabric store that my mom and I specifically targeted during our latest trip to NYC to see my little brother.  (I have to hold back from gushing about my favorite (only) brother.  He just got home for Christmas and I can't wait to see him!)
Mood is also the fabric store that the contestants on Project Runway buy their fabric from, and their iconic (eh?) bags get a lot of air time. 
Well, I brought that bag in, and the check-out girl perked up a little bit and made some conversation about Project Runway as she rung up my groceries.  She asked if it was THE SAME Mood that they went to in PR.  We talked about our love for the show. 
Well, I was looking at the crumpled plastic bag last night and I thought to myself, I should give this to that girl at Dahls!  But the more I thought about it, the dumber it seemed. 
My Bag
Why would a girl I don't know want a plastic bag... Maybe she was just making conversation... 
Anyway, I fought those little voices in my head that were saying, "she is just going to throw this away as soon as she gets home." "She is going to think you think she's a charity case." And walked into Dahls. 
I grabbed a few things I needed and I went to her lane.  I went to explain it to her, and she was a little confused.  I've come through her lane before.  She's deaf, and I know she reads lips pretty well... But I think there's only so much you can expect to converse about in the grocery lane, and "this is for you" isn't usually in there. 
After a little "is this what you're saying?" She finally realized what I was getting at, and remembered the interaction.  She said she would put it in a safe place, thanked me, and we talked a little about our favorite contestants.  I was nervous, so I couldn't think of any details... So the conversation was a little awkward.  But I did it.  And ya know what? She can throw it away if she wants.  That's probably what I would end up doing in a few months after one of the handles falls off and I drop my eggs in the parking lot...
But she might really like it.  She might use it to carry her gifts to a Christmas party.  Someone else might recognize it and she might have another conversation with a PR fan.  Either way, I did it.  And there's a chance I made her happy.  And that's good enough for me. 

1 comment:

  1. You know what? This might be your most true gift yet. Because it involved risk. It wasn't comfortable. And you gave away something that belonged to you.