Generally, I’m a tightwad.
But that’s just a rule of thumb. (If it was gospel for me, I wouldn’t have racked up so much credit card debt in college. Or, maybe it’s because of that debt that I’m so anally thrifty now.) While I’m an active coupon clipper, sale watcher, and Freecycler, I’m also likely to give (time, money, food, stuff), sometimes more than I can really afford.
Last night the reflex caught me off guard.
I had just finished filling up my thirsty granny-mobile when a girl pulled up and, as I was getting back into the car, asked — fairly desperately — for some help. She preceded it with, “This isn’t something I’d normally do,” before asking, “but I need some money for gas — can you help?” She was apparently running on fumes from out of town and still needed to get to her friend’s house, several miles away. She had $1.50, which might have gotten her there. I didn’t have any cash on me. But as almost a knee-jerk reaction, I told her if she’d give me the $1.50, I’d let her charge $5 to my card. She thanked me profusely, God-blessed me, and thanked me again. And we talked a minute more while she pumped. We both failed to notice before the ticker passed $5. But that was strangely OK. And right.
So was the hug I gave her as I left her at the pump.
It was weird.
I didn’t do it for the karma, but it’s nice to know I have it in the bank.