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This is a question The nicest thing someone's ever done for me

In amongst all the tales of bitterness and poo, we occasionally get fluffy stories that bring a small tear to our internet-jaded eyes.

In celebration of this, what is the nicest thing someone's done for you? Whether you thoroughly deserved it or it came out of the blue, tell us of heartwarming, selfless acts by others.

Failing that, what nice things have you done for other people, whether they liked it or not?

(, Thu 2 Oct 2008, 16:14)
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When I was but a 4 year old beam of Light, I stood almost a foot taller than my classmates. I've always been a rangy, gangling streak of piss blessed with the kind of co-ordination one would expect to see from a Ballerina with shattered kneecaps.

And kids, of course, can be cruel. Lets be perfectly honest here; they are. So whilst looking down on my peers like some sort of snot-bubbling giant meant that I spent my schoolyears refreshingly free of bullying in the physical sense, aforementioned lack of co-ordination meant that the little fuckers could tease me no end and then run like fuck. Frankly, I was more likely to trip over my own feet than to catch them and what's more, everyone knew it.

So, naturally, I started to keep my own company as much as possible because I started to associate "Other people" with "Humiliation".

That I'm not a complete and utter social retard at this stage in my life is, I like to think, mainly due to a girl called Ruth who was in the year below me.

~wibbly wobbly timey wimey effect~

I was 6 and was in a corner of the playground doing my utmost not to cry. Our teacher had, in the previous lesson, asked us to fold our arms and wait for the books to be handed out. I was *that* lacking in grace that I couldn't actually fold my arms. Instead I sort of looked like I was hugging myself. And, as per usual, some of my wittier classmates were taking the proverbial, opining that my inability to fold my arms almost certainly meant I smelled of poo. And possibly wee.

The teacher...gave a little laugh, a look at me that said "For God's sake you great buffoon, just fold your arms properly", and began the lesson. She wasn't going to come to my rescue, and I was too busy thinking about how I'd like to start hitting my tormentors to concentrate on copying some classmates in that ancient art of arm folding.

So, having failed in that most rudimentary of tasks, I boiled and fumed my way through the lesson. When the playtime bell went, out I went and found a little corner of the playground to sit and have a good cry (what? I was 6 ffs...).

It was then that Ruth approached. Now I'm sure you all remember primary school; contact between year groups basically never happened. To a kids mind, the year below were always little babies and the year above were to be looked at with a mixture of fear and awe. More than a year either way, and the kids may have well been aliens. So Ruth, being in the year below, was doing something rather daring. Particularly as, by then, I'd also acquired a reputation as a dumb, clumsy oaf who would lash out at anyone near him for seemingly no reason.

"Hello. You're Light aren't you? Why are you crying?"

'Go away.'

"Why? I'm not doing anything wrong. So why are you crying? Has someone been nasty to you?"

This was new territory for me; someone I didn't know was speaking to me and something was different about the tone of voice. There wasn't any fear but neither was there any malice.

I dealt with my resultant confusion in the standard way of the 6 year old; I cried even harder and tried to turn my face away so that this little baby wouldn't see me wailing.

"Aw, don't cry."

'...cn fld m'arms...'

"You can't fold your arms? Is that what you're crying about?"


"tch, don't be so silly. Here; stand up."

So up I stood.

"Right, now give me your arms, and..."

And she taught me to fold my arms, smiling the whole time and seemingly enjoying the teaching as much as I appreciated being taught.

"There you are. So will they stop teasing you now? Oh, there's the bell. Bye!"

Still a little bit stunned, I made my way to the line of my classmates to be led back into class. Come the next lesson, we were once again asked to fold our arms and wait for books to be handed out. This time, the little shits didn't even wait before teasing.

I genuinely think that few moments in my life since then have compared with the smug satisfaction of folding my arms properly and their teasing not just petering out, but actually being turned back on them (hey, kids will take the piss out of anyone who makes themselves a target). Had I known the phrase "In your fucking FACE cocktards!!" then it would doubtless have made an appearence then.

As is, I learned how to fold my arms. I also learned that people aren't solely there to make you feel miserable. Gradually I learned the difference between saying teasing things out of malice, and saying them out of affection (or even fear; I'd spent my first school year kicking the shit out of whomever was slow enough for me to catch). Basically, I think Ruth socialised me.

She went to a different middle school, so I never saw her from age 9. And writing this has made me well up like a girl watching Sex in the City, so I think it's safe to say that a very simple act of kindness has had a permanent positive effect on me.

So if your name is Ruth and you were in Amberley First School in the 80s, from the very bottom of my heart; thank you.

(Length? I apologise for nothing!)
(, Fri 3 Oct 2008, 12:36, 1 reply)
Yay for Ruth!
(, Fri 3 Oct 2008, 14:50, closed)

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