Patient, Fine, Balanced, Kind

In Opinion/Personal, Personal, Random, Uncategorized on September 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm


Moody, vaguely emo, alternative music spiked in popularity since I was in college.  The above quote is a variation of one such artist, Bon Iver, and what I understand to be one of his most popular songs, Skinny Love.  The exact lyrics are : “And I told you to be patient.  And I told you to be fine.  And I told you to be balanced.  And I told you to be kind.”  I’m not extremely familiar with the song, in all honesty.  I have no idea what the lyrics exactly mean, but I’m sure there are multiple theories and thousands of personal meanings to individual people who connect with it.  Regardless of all that, this one section, and the above shortened quote, serves as a very nice mantra on its own.  This morning, I was given a personal and real life experience on how this little phrase can be rewarding, even on a small-scale.

My day was starting as usual.  I woke up and groggily threw myself together, wishing I had been able to fall asleep earlier last night.  I had used the last of my coffee grounds a week ago and somehow keep forgetting to buy more, so I had to rush to get ready and leave a few minutes early so I could make a run through Starbucks on my way downtown and still make it on time for my 8:30 am meeting.  My make-up was minimal, my hair was a mess despite my attempts to smooth it into a bun and slick if back with a headband.  I didn’t have time or energy to care.  It was almost 8 am, meaning if I didn’t go now, I wouldn’t be getting any coffee, and every molecule in my body was screaming for a wonderfully warm and caramelly beverage.

Somehow, I managed to leave my house with all the paperwork I needed for the whole day, which was a feat on its own.  I take the back streets to the nearest Starbucks, avoiding as many stop lights as possible because the lights in my town stay green for 2 second and red for 5 minutes.  The drive-through line at the Starbucks is 4 cars long when I pull in.  I come in from the right, the drive-through is on the left, so I have to full circle the parking lot to get in line.  A car in front of me slowly goes to pull out of the parking lot, blocking the drive-through entrance for me and as they finally pull out and my spot opens and I begin to inch forward, that’s when I see it.  An SUV pulling in from the street on the left, meaning they have full access to the drive-through line.  Pulling right in to what is supposed to be my spot in line.  I immediately get annoyed.  I’m dying for my coffee and I’m on a tight schedule this morning.  It’s already almost 8:15 am.  But then the SUV stops and the lady in the driver seat notices I’m still waiting to pull into line.  She points to the line, then to me, and I know she’s asking if I was waiting to pull in.  She’s half in the road and half in the drive-through already, so obviously I’m not going to be that crazy rude city person and make her back up so I can have “my spot.”  I wave her on, indicating for her to go ahead and jump in line.  I pull in behind her and wait for my turn to order.

Finally, I place my order.  1 grande caramel macchiato, please.  $4 and some odd change.  I then wait again as the cars in front of me roll up to the window, hand out their cash or cards, or even iPhones so their Starbucks member cards can be scanned.  As I roll up for my turn, I’m digging my wallet out, looking for my bank card.  The window is open already and the Starbucks employee is holding my coffee.  But she doesn’t give me the price again, as they normally do.  She doesn’t reach out for my payment.  She holds out the coffee immediately and simply says, “The lady in front of you already paid for your coffee.  She asked me to tell you to have a nice day.”  I was totally caught off guard and just mumbled, “Oh, wow.  Thank you,”  as I stuffed my wallet away and accepted my cup of coffee.  As I was pulling out, I couldn’t help but smile, all my grumpiness of lack of sleep and bad traffic washed away.  Even though I was in caffiene withdrawal and running out of time, I had just gotten a free coffee for being patient and kind enough to be generous with my drive-through spot.

When I got to the stop light to get back onto the main road, I ended up pulling up right next to the same lady, as we were turning in different directions.  I rolled my window down and honked quickly to catch her attention, and when she looked I simply waved and mouthed, “thank you,” to her.  She smiled, nodded, and waved back just before I pulled out into a gap in traffic, leaving her still waiting at the red light.  And this made me think about this quote above.  As I have said before, being a good person will bring good things to you.  A spot in line and a cup of coffee are only small things, so just imagine what ti could be if people helped others like this or repaid kindness like this on a bigger scale, and not for recognition, but just for the ability to do it.  I’ve always believed in this way, and it literally makes my day when I get to experience the proof of it, no matter how big or small it is in the grand scheme of things.

  1. […] Patient, Fine, Balanced, Kind (imthatkay.wordpress.com) […]


  2. I like that song, but not as much as I loved reading your post. People are nicer than we think- that’s what the generous lady thought, and that’s what you thought too. Now I’m off to make myself a coffee.



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