Random Acts of Kindness do exist.
Last night a woman, a perfect stranger, proved to me that not everyone is a jaded jerk who would never believe someone who needs help. I had a "Jayne Eyre" screening to attend and had a small window to hop on the Metro and make it to the DC theater on time. When I parked my car, I realized I had left my wallet at home. I thought it would be OK, though, because I had a $50 bill and a paper Metro pass with $9 on it.
I get to the turnstile and enter my card. Nothing happens, and then the tiny screen reads: "Take out card. See station agent." I try again, but the exact same thing happens.
I take the card to the station agent, and she says, "It's de-magnetized." --"Well, can the metro-card machine take a $50?" I ask.
--"No, ma'am, but it can take debit or credit cards."
--"But I don't have a credit or debit card right now. Can you make change?"
--"Can you provide a courtesy pass, since my card was de-magnetized?"
--"No, we don't take responsibility for de-magnetized cards."
Then it dawns on me. I have no time to drive back home, pick up my wallet, drive back to the Metro, buy a new card and get on a train before the movie screening starts. I start to panic. I see a lovely older woman, early 60s, standing by the Metro-card machines. I ask her, "Excuse me, do you have change for a fifty?"
--"Change for fifteen"
--"No, fifty. I only have a fifty-dollar bill."
--"What about a credit card?"
So I proceed to tell her my pathetic story, and she reaches into her wallet and gives me four dollar bills. THEN, she walks with me to the machine and realizes that with its ridiculous congestion-pricing system, the ride might cost an extra 15 cents, so she give me a quarter.
Then, near tears, I asked for her home address, so I could mail her a check. She gave it to me and wished me a safe ride downtown.
I wanted to hug her. I wanted to pound on the station agent's window and tell her "There are decent people in the world!" But I had a train to catch, so I didn't do that. On the train, I coincidentally ran into my close friend, who was my date for the night. I told her my story, and then I told her "Oh yeah, you have to pay for my way back."
We both laughed and felt giddy that someone saved my sorry self with her sweet act of generosity.