Saturday, March 7, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty

At the end of a week that contained 9" of snow and today, temperatures in the high 60s, Betty and I decided to spend part of our Saturday at "Bella Italia", this year's Philadelphia Flower Show. For the uninitiated, this is the largest indoor flower show in the world with over 10 acres of exhibits and an average of 250,000 people visiting the show each year. (I'd bet a large amount of cash -if I had a large amount of cash - that 250,000 people were there today alone. It was packed. Wall to wall people.)

I doubted my sanity as I (and quite a few others) drove in circles in the parking garage for a half an hour as I burned through gas and patience. I was less than pleased about the parking situation and let one of the parking attendants know exactly what I thought about them continuing to admit cars into the garage when they knew damn well it was full. (This exchange made an impression on Betty, who commented, "Mommy! That's the first time I heard you yell at a grown-up." Oh, baby doll, there's way more where that came from ...

We made our way up to the Convention Center and to the ticket booth. We got in line and at that instant, a woman came up to us. "Excuse me," she said. "Would you like a ticket? My friend couldn't come today."

I exhaled the fire (and fumes) I'd been breathing from the parking garage and looked at the woman. "Uh ... really? You sure?" An adult ticket was $26 and a child's $17, so this wasn't a
cheap giveaway that she was offering.

"Yes," she said, handing me the ticket. I looked down at it, checking the date to see if it was, in fact, this year and still valid. I looked up to thank her and she was gone, disappeared into the crowd, the ticket in my hand. I looked down at Betty.

"Do you realize what that woman just did, Betty?"

"Yes. She gave us her ticket because her friend couldn't come."

"I want you to remember this," I said. "That was a very nice thing to do. I wish I knew that lady's name."

And so it was that our first trip to the Flower Show began. (In all my years as a Philadelphian, I'd never been to this event before.) The flowers were beautiful, as I'd expected.

The shopping was plentiful - we bought Betty a pink gardening hat, a flower necklace and bracelet, seeds for our garden, and something called a Forget-Me-Not garden in a box that we'll plant as a reminder for Betty of our cat, Pepper.

And as a reminder for us perform more random acts of kindnesses and senseless acts of beauty.


Niksmom said...

Ooh, pretty! I'm a native to the DE Valley & I've never been eithe. Maybe I should take Nik?

What a lovely gesture from that woman!

Anonymous said...

Oh SO beautiful!!
Thanks for sharing the pics!!