Wednesday, November 11, 2009

pay it forward.

I am a lucky girl.

Last night, after a day at work with no internet, after a stressful afternoon debating the merits of rescheduling my imminent GRE exam, I decided to skip out on seeing Jonathan Safran Foer speak at the Free Library in favor of heading home to study. I sat in Suburban Station, chatting on the phone and eating Laughing Cow cheese on Wasi crackers-- one of my favorite snacks.

As the announcement heralding the arrival of the R3 came over the PA system, I got up from my bench, spilled Coke all over the floor, but had to hit-and-run as I scurried downstairs to track 2A to catch my train home.

An hour later I was at home, changing into yoga pants & preparing myself to face the vocabulary words (opprobrium? Really?!), when our home phone rang. Mum came into my room, phone in hand. "It's Septa," she mouthed, and I held the receiver to my ear, very confused as to why the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority was calling my house, asking for me. Did I have to pay a fine for leaving spilt Coke on the floor of the train station?

As it turns out, the phone call was much more surprising than that. The woman on the other end told me that my wallet had been found near the ticket office in Suburban Station, and someone had turned it in at Lost and Found. I couldn't believe my ears-- I rarely leave things behind (especially after this debacle!) and I hadn't noticed that my wallet was missing!

"Does it seem like everything's... intact?" I nervously asked, remembering that my spoils from a weekend of babysitting had been nestled inside the turquoise lining; I hadn't had a chance to deposit the cash in the bank.
"Well, there's 206 dollars in there, if that's what you're asking."

I think my relief must have been palpable, because she laughed before giving me the details on how I could pick up my wallet at my earliest convenience.

I hadn't even counted my money, but I knew that I'd had a good amount of cash in there.
And that's how, on a Tuesday night in November, my faith in humanity was restored.

I picked up the wallet today-- and I had put my monthly train pass in my jacket pocket so I had no trouble riding the train without my wallet last night and today-- probably contributing to the fact that I hadn't noticed its absence.

Thank you, random stranger in Suburban Station, whoever you are. You should know I plan on paying your good deed forward.

Photo courtesy of / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


  1. 1. I like that picture, that's my favorite color.
    2. I also have a turqouise wallet.
    3. Things like this make me feel better about the world.

  2. I invented your "favorite snack".

  3. i love that we can rely on the kindness of strangers.