Thursday, April 8, 2010

Charity and Giving

Let me introduce you to my friend today. We'll call her Wilma.

Wilmla is someone I have known since college. We weren't necessarily friends then, but I knew of her and had a few classes with her. From the outside, she was perfect. Her hair was always pristinely blonde, no or dark roots. Her clothes were expensive. My first class with her was a summer class, and she was always tan, and just perfect looking. She drove a brand new Yukon Denali. Loaded. She was just perfect.

She seemed on the edge of snotty, she didn't go out of her way to talk to people. She had a friend from high school that was in all of the same classes with her, with the exception of the summer class, and she talked to her, and no one else.

I didn't dislike her, but I wasn't going to be her friend because I thought she was just too perfect. My life was by no means awful, but how could someone who is so perfect have anything in common with someone like me? She was definitely the type of girl that made other girls extremely self-concious just by being in the same room as them.

I walked into our speech clinic one day, and see a little boy. He's adorable, but was not a client. I asked my supervisor who said, he was Wilma's son. I do some quick math and figure that Wilma and I are the same age, so that means this child was born during or right after high school.

I instantly liked her better. Isn't that awful?

We had a few other classes together, and I actually iniated some conversations with her, but nothing more than superficial small talk.

When I started my new job, Wilma had already been working for the same district, doing the same job as me for over a year. We emailed casually a few times, but nothing major. We didn't do lunch or talk on the phone, unless it was job related.

Another student I graduated with, who also entered the same grad program as me, was hired on two months after I was. My supervisor had said we were needing someone new, so I suggested another friend, we'll call her Betty. She was hired over the phone the next day.

Betty and I grew up in similar small towns, we were major rivals in baseball and softball. Betty and I instantly took to having lunch and hanging out in my office when we had free time. We were much more than just the friendly acquaintances Wilma and I were. I showed her the ropes a little, and we just liked to talk.

Betty ended up going to work at the same school, at the same job, in the same office at Wilma. They hit it off quickly, and we all started lunching together as much as possible.

I had so many girl friends in college and while working (before Archer was born) and I had really missed it much more than I had realized.

I went out with these girls in Bricktown. We talk on the phone daily, and recently have been having lunch at my office together, as Wilma's boyfriend's desk is right next to mine. So we all take a day and bring lunch; it's a cheaper, healthier alternative to Chili's and Atlanta Bread daily.

Yesterday, I noticed that one of my students (I only have secondary kiddos) was wearing shoes that didn't fit and were in the worst possible shape. I called around, asked my sister who has has a 17 year old son, and then I called Wilma. She has a younger brother and a boyfriend (my coworker, in case you forgot) who are both smaller than Chance so I thought maybe they might be closer to the size shoe a 13 year old boy would need.

Her response to my asking if either of them had shoes they didn't wear or couldn't fit? I'll take care of it.

See, what I left out, is that Wilma's dad is a selfmade millionaire. He worked his way from the bottom to the top. She grew up in a mansion, they take lavish trips, and they donate their time and money for the good of others.

So, my friend who used to intimidate the crap out of me, and probably made me a little jealous by her superficial perfection, is deep down a truly awesome person.

I called her last night, and she immediately took charge of the situation. Answered my problem in a way I didn't even ask for, and helped out a student in need that she didn't even know.

Now, you might be saying that she asked her dad for the money, or that it wasn't her gift, it was his. I don't know who actually paid for the shoes, which by the way, there were two pair, but she made it happen. She could have just said, my dad has money, and we pay our dues. But she didn't.

I appreciate that quality. There aren't really a lot of people who have the means, and give that willingly, at the drop of a hat. After church last night even.

So Wilma, if you read this, I'm proud of you.


Nobody said...

wow, people don't come like that very often nowadays. glad to know there's still some of them left.

Sarah said...

Great post! Thanks for the reminder to with-hold negative judgment, something I've been working on :)

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