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Friendship

There’s the rub

picture of a wrapped present

Given how my week started — finally finding my birth mother after 5+ years of searching, speaking to her and seeing a picture of her all in the space of three days — you’d think not much could surprise me.

Enter my friend Kristen.

As I was heading in to teach at the Jazzercise Center of Southwestern Connecticut last night, she was heading out, stopped to chat and congratulate me, asked to have coffee sometime soon, then told me she’d left a little something upstairs for me.

She quickly apologized: “I used it.”

“So, you’re regifting?” I asked, bemused, but a little wary.

“Yes,” she admitted. “It was free. I asked and they said I could pass it along.”

“So it’s a used, regifted, free thing?” I said, because really, there’s not much you can get past me.

Still I was smiling, but on the inside all I could think of was that old song about saving your gum on the bedpost at night. I was hoping Kristen had better manners than to share the ABC gum.

I know she and a group of friends have an annual white elephant gift game. … Hmm, what on earth could it be?

A glass candy bowl? Body lotion sample she didn’t like the scent of? A candle whose wick was now black? An opened box of chocolates? (Oh God, she didn’t stick her fingers in them a la Forrest Gump and decide she didn’t like them, did she?!)

The clock was ticking. She was off to an event; I had to try to remember which routines I’d put in my set, and so we parted company.

I held my breath opening the door, danced my way through the class in progress, made my way to the desk to find …

… a gift certificate for a free 30-minute massage.

How did she know EXACTLY what I needed?!

Think the place will let me pay it forward, too?

Wouldn’t it be fun to see how many people can be rubbed the right way with Kristen’s little act of kindness?

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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