A Little Story I’d Like To Share

UnknownI was on my way to a laundry with my bath mat cradled in my arms, when I happened to pass one I’ve never noticed before.

A tiny, elderly Asian woman was in this little space, all alone folding sheets.

On impulse, I went in.

The whole place seemed as if it was moved by flat truck from another era, from the starkness of the walls to the lone light bulb dangling from the ceiling. But the one thing that you couldn’t miss, was the detectable smell of cleanliness.

My kinda place.

When she saw me, she gently placed her sheet across a table covered with oilcloth, before coming over.

Her tired face greeted me with no expression, when it realized it forgot its mask. I laughed since, this happens to me often, now keeping a spare in my purse.

“How much to wash my mat?” I politely ask.

She takes it, unfolding it like a flag, looks it over and says…

“5 dolla…should be 8, but I…no mind.”

I, of course, immediately fall in love with the Asian Joan of Arc.

Quickly deciding for 5 bucks, rather than sit by a noisy washer/dryer for two hours, can go home to write, said…


She chirps, “Come back…3. “

I thought of her during the day, how hard she must work, yet can still find it in her to be kind to a stranger.

Promptly at 3, I return with a modest box of cookies and a tea bag.

Why modest?

I’ve learned to give appropriately, so not to embarrass nor upset the recipient.

I then watch this tired, old face break into a smile, as she hands me, Mat, who smells like the sea on a sunny, summer’s day.

We’ll be back.

πŸ™‚ SB


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Culture, Faith, humanity, humor, inspiration, money, New York City, words, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to A Little Story I’d Like To Share

  1. What a beautifully clean story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, giving appropriately is such a valuable lesson to learn. We’ve all been embarrassed by the over-giver. I had a party for Pookie’s 50th. One guest brought two quiches (that had to reheated in the oven I was using), a large veggie platter (already made one), and a large fruit platter (already made one). Over giving is almost as bad as doing nothing. We’ve all been to a baby shower where a guest gave a giant bag filled with 50 outfits that took way too long to pull out one by one and ooh and ahh over.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    So sweet !


    Liked by 1 person

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Smiles on multiple levels! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca says:

    We lived with the Chinese for many years…that’s their nature. Our friends lived quite simply and ere beautifully kind as well as humble. Recompense was also simple…never gauche.


  6. Dale says:

    What a lovely discovery! And lovely gesture on your part. Little kindnesses go a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorryless says:

    You understand, SB. It’s the small kindnesses in this world that move us. What a beautiful exchange between the two of you, so simple and yet so strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can almost smell the sea on a sunny day when you described it. Lovely story, Susannah.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eilene Lyon says:

    Love this sweet story of kindness, Susannah. And a good lesson about not over-giving. But your gesture was so thoughtful and usually people don’t even do that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you were there, she would have stolen your heart too. She was so tiny, like a walking doll, all alone manning the shop. Probably worked hard every day of her life without question or argument. Why I got a deal, who knows. I never haggle. If a price seems too high, I smile and leave. I would have paid the 8. I’m laughing at my extravagance. Tuna for lunch…again…so I don’t have to do laundry. Habits of a single girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re living proof that kindness is contagious. This world needs as much as is can get these days.


  11. Lisa Ricci says:

    β€œBe the reason someone smiles today.” I have this in a big banner posted in my classroom. I do thus all the time. Thanks for being so kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sure you made her day. Those are the kinds of places I liked to visit when I lived in Korea, the kind that made you want to give them more business.

    Liked by 1 person

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