Pay It Forward

I bought a sweater at SteinMart, decided later I didn’t like it, went to return it today.  Although I paid about $25 for it, it was now on sale for $7 – which was all they would give me back because the return was after the 60-day deadline.  I didn’t question the policy and was in the process of docilely accepting my meager refund.

The woman waiting in line behind me felt really bad for me and reminded the clerk that I had my receipt and the policy seemed unfair.  After all, she added, I had paid full price for the sweater and the store would sell it again for an additional profit.

She made sense;  so I decided to keep the sweater, forfitting my $7.  “It’s such pretty sweater,” the woman commented.  “Yes,” added her young son.  “It’s beautiful.”  And so it was: a summery, white, crocheted work of art.

“Would you like to have the sweater?” I asked the woman.  “I will never wear it.”  She was incredulous, touched, and accepted my gift.

Before I could walk away she hugged me and said “God bless you.”

Her blessing meant far more to me than the price of that sweater.

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