Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You're on your own, folks

That's it. I'm never voluntarily doing anything nice on my own volition ever again. I won't plan a party for someone who ends up not coming. I won't help old ladies find a parking spot. And I certainly won't tell someone that the hose on the side of their house is leaking water everywhere.

I, Kelly, hearby vow to look the other way when good Samaritanship calls.

Why? Because it only bites me in the ass. And I'm starting to get the feeling that even the people I'm helping don't really care.

Yesterday, while Jerry and I took our afternoon walk with Toby, we passed a house with a very well-manicured lawn. As I was admiring the landscaping, I noticed that the spout on the side of the house with a coiled hose attached was spurting mass quantities of water. No one was in sight and, judging by the size of the puddle that had formed, it looked like it had been running for days.

"Ooh, I'd want someone to knock on our door if that was happening at our house," I said to Jerry. "Just for the water bill alone."

I think I detected a hint of an eye roll before Jerry responded, but I think he knows I wouldn't have been able to continue our walk without obsessing about it. So he agreed.

He held Toby as I walked up the porch and rang the bell. After waiting for what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, I peeked inside through the stained glass window flanking the door and saw someone coming down the steps.

Jerry, meanwhile, assuming no one was home, had walked around to the spout and simply turned it off.

An older woman opened the door and stared at me as if to say, "THIS BETTER BE GOOD." Judging by a matted area of hair and her cranky disposition, it was very clear that I had awoken her from an afternoon nap. Great.

"I'm sorry to bother you, but my husband and I were walking by and noticed that the hose on the side of your house is leaking water everywhere," I said. "We figured you'd want to know."

She didn't flinch or speak, just stormed down the steps and beelined to the problem area.

She met Jerry mid-lawn, who explained that he thought no one was home and turned off the spout.

"I just got that hose," she said angrily. "It was the most expensive one."

That was pretty much it. I think we pissed her off.

And I'm pretty sure she put the nail in the coffin of my inner Girl Scout.


whitney/weber said...

i commend you for actually having the disposition to approach strangers that DO need help. im usually too timid and figure the next nice guy will handle it. dont stop being the next nice guy!

Erin said...

She was likely pissed off about the leaky hose she obviously forgot to turn all the way off, not that you alerted her to that fact. It's a shame people can't be more polite, though. A thank you would have been nice, despite her frustration with the hose. :)

So I'll say it for her. Thank you, Kelly, for being such a nice person.

Sarah said...

Don't stop being nice. Someone has to do it! I'm one of the "nice people" myself, and sometimes it does seem unrewarding, but if everyone was hateful we'd never get anything accomplished.

Marina said...


Leslie said...

Ungrateful old hag.

Jennifer said...

Old people sure can be crabby sometimes!

And I don't know who you think you are kidding, you can't stop being nice. Its just part of your nature.

Chelsea said...

I'd water down her matted hair!

the waterlogged plainsman said...

Yes, keep being your helpful self! Besides, water is such a valuable resource, especially when one realizes how scarce it is in some parts of this country, let alone the rest of the world.

Even here in the East where it is relatively plentiful, it is not limitless and excessive pumping of municipal wells where they are used draws in more contaminents from farther distances into the well field.

And some people, yeah, always crabby, but so what? I bet when she thought of it later, while she may have been sore at the interuption and bad hose, she probably appreciated it anyway, even if she wouldn't admit it.

When I bought my house 15 years ago, I was out and my underground plastic sprinler pipe froze, cracked and spouted a five foot geyser. My neighbor, who philosophically hated calling the police, did so anyway and had the police track me down (I worked in another capacity for the Town) so I could get back and shut it off.

That began a great good neighbor friendship that years later, ended up with me being the marriage license application witness when he and his ex-wife got remarried!

Anonymous said...

Oh, NO you can't nail the coffin just yet! Hehe. Beware some little old ladies have attitudes like you wouldn't believe. And some are even said to be witches. LOL. But you're too nice to stop altogether,and I know you won't.

Take care, Kelly.

*From, Marilynmonroe4u2nv. I sometimes have to write anonymously because when I go to your site I get a bootleg page when commenting to you, instead of the orignal version. I don't know why. Blah!*

JenJen said...

What goes around comes around... ;)

Kate said...

But remember for the 10 people who don't thank you, there is 1 who do. It's worth it. I am one of the "nice people" too, and sometimes I get frustrated with the lack of people who don't thank me for the things I do (usually at work, because I pick up a lot of people's slack..).

You are nice! Stay nice! The world needs more nice people!


Petra said...

What's wrong with (some) people? You simply can't win with them... If you do something nice out of kindness, they don't need the help and are more than irritated. If you fail to help them, they complain about no one willing to help without asking. *eye rolling*

But there's no reason for you to stop being nice. The world needs random acts of kindness as there's enough ignorance to begin with.

anonymouse said...


don't all these young'uns complaining about the old biddy with her sour complaining disposition realize that if they don't lighten up, they might end up just like 'er? LOL

~rita ... said...


I agree with Erin. I know there have been times when I've taken my anger out on the wrong person/object. I try to be aware and not do that, but if you wake me from my nap, there's no telling what might happen!

I recommend that you do nice things to make yourself feel happy - not to reap gratitude from others, who may fall short of your expectations.

Love you,