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This is a question More nice things

Whoah. Where did those two weeks go? Normal service resumed

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?

(, Fri 21 Nov 2014, 17:09)
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I tried to help, and it seemed to work for a while.
A few months back I got a message from Karen [not her real name], a former colleague I'd worked with closely for a few years. We always got on, and worked together well, and stayed in vague touch on Facebook - although we hadn't seen each other for 5 years. She's a few years older than me, and she and her husband have three kids - two of them have flown the nest, their youngest is now 16 and still at home.

The message suggested that all wasn't well, and it took a couple of days for her to blurt out what was wrong. Things had got really bad with her husband of 25 years, and she intended finally to leave him - but he'd taken away her bank cards, and she had no money and no-one else to turn to and nowhere to stay, and could I help her out?

I was a bit shocked by this appeal for help, but this was someone I got to know very well when we worked together, and who I trust completely. For all I hadn't seen her for 5 years, I still considered her a friend, and there was no way I could turn her away. I told her I'd put her up in my spare room if she needed, for as long as she needed. We made tentative arrangements for her to turn up at the weekend, because she didn't want to leave home while her husband was there.

As it turns out, my hospitality wasn't needed. She turned up at my door on the Friday and told me that she'd left home the evening before, after her husband had held her by the throat in the bathroom when she returned from a shopping trip. When she threatened to call the police, he smashed her phone against the coffee table. So she left that night, and was staying with a (female) former colleague. She thanked me for my offer of hospitality, but said that this was for the best - her husband would be suspicious and jealous if he knew she was staying with a man.

At this point she was trying to organise a new bank account, so that her wages didn't go into their joint account (she was the breadwinner of the couple for all the time I knew them). She had no money and no way to access money, so I gave her all the cash I had to hand. I tried to insist that there was no need for her to pay me back, but I knew - and I know - that she will insist on paying back every penny I gave her.

We stayed in contact for the next couple of weeks, while she got stuff organised. She was having a tough time with everything - the kids were coming to terms with their parents separating in different ways, and (understandably) they weren't finding it easy.

It was her 45th birthday two weeks after she left home, so I offered to cook her a meal and have a few drinks with her to allow her to get out of the spare room she was staying in. We watched some films and drank some wine, she slept in my spare room, and I gave her a lift back to her temporary home the next day.

It wasn't until later that she thanked me for being a "perfect gentleman", and then told me that she was attracted to me and hadn't felt like being the perfect lady.

We talked about it, she explained that she'd had the hots for me for a while. I was quite taken aback by this, because I had no idea. We'd worked together for years, but I'd never noticed any suggestion of sexual chemistry. I tried to let her down as gently as I could, and said that even if there was a mutual attraction there (which there wasn't), the time to act on it was not 2 weeks after she had left her husband of 25 years and was relying on me for help.

She accepted it well, and we agreed to keep our relationship on a "friends" basis. I put it down to emotional stress and confusion on her part, and the fact that she might misinterpret someone showing her some kindness after many years being starved of it.

I backed off a bit after that, which might have been a mistake on my part. She needed my help, but maybe I wasn't able to help as much as I could have.

She got a flat a few weeks later, and I helped her out with the deposit and helped move her stuff in. Everything seemed to be looking up: she'd got all the financial stuff sorted out, she'd been meeting up with all her kids and talking everything through, she'd got her own place. Her husband was being a complete uncooperative arsehole, but you can't have everything. I went over to her flat after she moved in, she cooked me dinner, we had some wine and we talked about everything.

A couple of weeks later, she texted me to tell me that she was sorry she hadn't been in touch but she'd had a lot going on. She'd ended up talking to her husband for three days, and then she ended up in hospital after taking an overdose. She'd lost the deposit on the flat because she'd only been there a few weeks, and was back at home (with her husband) because the doctor didn't want her to be on her own. In the same text, she said she felt she'd let me down.

I replied that the last thing she'd done was let me down - I'd let her down, because I had always thought of her as being so strong that it had never occurred to me that her situation might be so bad that she'd get to the stage of taking an overdose.

I tried to be nice to someone who came to me looking for help. I don't think I would change anything I did, even knowing what I know now, but it didn't work.
(, Sat 22 Nov 2014, 0:55, closed)
Wow, Readers' Wives has gone downhill since I was a lad

(, Sat 22 Nov 2014, 10:41, closed)
You win this QOTW, hands down.
(, Sun 23 Nov 2014, 6:43, closed)
"I'm fucking great!"
(, Sat 22 Nov 2014, 11:36, closed)

(, Mon 24 Nov 2014, 14:48, closed)
Sounds like you did the right thing to me, and are very self-aware. So you get a click.

(, Tue 25 Nov 2014, 13:03, closed)

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