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Old 6th Nov 2008, 15:32   #1
amner
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Default Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Something seriously heartwarming happened at the weekend.

My neighbour, David, buys and sells art. He loves all that Banksy stuff, but he's also into Picasso.

Anyway, he's had a set of lithographs for a while in his hall that Picasso drew as posters for the Musée Municipal d'Art Moderne in Céret in 1958. A poster about their ceramics exhibition, one about their sculptures, etc. All very interesting, and really attractive. Anyway, they're original lithographs, produced at the time, and very very pretty.

I was really impressed with one of them, this:



...and after a good result on wheeler-dealing on ebay over the weekend, he gave me it ! All tastefully framed, 50 years old, a real work of art! In my house! I'm so chuffed with it.

Has anyone else suddenly been subject to - or instigated, don't be modest - a similarly unexpected instance of heartwarming generosity?
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 15:44   #2
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Some years ago, after going to a job interview (for a job I didnt' get, by the way), I had to walk from that office to a nearby mall, where I would later meet my wife, after she'd gotten off work. Wouldn't you know it, on my way there, it started to rain, and I was without an umbrella. Oh well, I thought. The rain suited my mood at the time. But then, as I was walking along the sidewalk, a car stopped beside me, and the man driving rolled down his window and handed me his umbrella.

"Take it," he said.

"Uh...thank you very much," I probably said.

"No problem, I got it at the dollar store," I think he replied.

Anyway, I've never forgotten that.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 15:59   #3
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

I think I've mentioned this one before: about eight+ years ago, I was struggling home from the supermarket with a myriad of carrier bags full of food (you know how you buy too much, thinking you can carry it all and it kills your arms and you have to swap hands every three yards...?) but I also had a pushchair with our youngest in (also laden with bags hanging off handles. Stupidly so, and stupidly overloaded in all respects.

I got about a hundred yards (with about half a mile still to go) and a car stopped and a woman offered me a lift. No idea who it was - we'd just moved here - said she knew what it was like struggling with a pushchair and bags - she had a baby seat in the back, and gave me, infant, buggy and bags a lift home. Never saw her again, never found out who it was. But I've not forgotten it.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 17:08   #4
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Okay, I'm pushing for a Palimpsester of the Year nom with this (piffling little... anyway):

About seventeen or eighteen years ago, so when I should have been a highly selfish teenager, I was walking up a very steep hill to a friend's house when I happened to pass a man with one eye (or at least one eye patch) trying to unload a fridge-freezer off the back of a van. So, I kicked him on his blind side, stole his car keys and flogged first his fridge and then his wheels.

Then I came back and "stole" his wife and daughter on consecutive weekends.

At a certain point in this reminiscence I started riffing.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 17:19   #5
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Oh, Nou, you're so DARK.

I thought you were going to say he pushed you into the van and then whipped off his eyepatch before driving you to an old house, where he threw you into a well in the cellar, in preparation to flay your skin so that he could make himself a dress.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 17:20   #6
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Nou, my heart has officially been warmed.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 17:23   #7
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Almost twenty years ago I had my wallet stolen, probably on the subway. I didn't know it until I had to pay my bill at a luncheonette later that day. When I realized I had lost my wallet I burst out crying-it had everything in it including that weeks money. An older gentleman asked me what was wrong and and when I told him, he gave me fifty dollars-which was probably more than I had in the wallet- and paid for my lunch.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 18:55   #8
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Hum, yeah, anyway. In fact, it turned out he was a driving instructor. A one-eyed driving instructor. Lovely family.
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 1:25   #9
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Trying to leave Paris, my best friend and I were failing to comprehend the bus schedules. Time was running out for her to make the airport and for me to catch the Eurostar. We were obviously distressed (my friend was overdressed?) when a dashing, decked out octagenarian came to our rescue. He used his cell phone to check on the cab we'd called an hour earlier (then informed us that a transit strike was in the works ''It's not supposed to start until tomorrow, but sometimes they knock off early!'') and then, with some élan, stepped into the street and flagged a bus down. He stood on the stairs and put a hand on my head as he directed the bus driver, saying, ''This one goes to Gare du Nord.'' Then did the same for my friend, ''This one needs the taxi from Gare de l'Est to de Gaulle.'' I should have kissed him. He did all of this without a bit of mockery for our plight.


And since amner wants us to throw all modesty out, maybe it's time to confess to a certain Blackglama mink short jacket an elderly aunt willed to me. It was an unexpected instance of heart, mind, and body warming generosity, for sure. When I wear it to work and about, no one even suspects that it's real. It is truly the last item in the world I'd ever purchase. I hate the thought of an animal being killed for fur. But god it's warm, it keeps the wind out, and I think of my aunt lovingly when I wear the thing. What to do.

Last edited by Beth; 7th Nov 2008 at 6:16. Reason: confession time
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Old 7th Nov 2008, 22:18   #10
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Maybe I'm lucky living in a small community* where Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity are almost a commonplace**

For instance, earlier this week, the day I fetched Mrs JM back from a short two night stay in a hospital the other side of the country, a neighbour arranged to take our oldest daughter home from school with her kids and have her stay for tea - and then stopped off at our house with a huge, delicious, home-made lasagne for the rest of us so we didn't have to worry about cooking that night.


*It's the sort of place usually described as 'Close-knit' by the media when something unexpectedly horrible happens in one.

**Thankfully slightly outnumbering the almost equally commonplace Unexpected Instances of Petty Vindictivness.
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