The Kindness of Strangers

Blanche du BoisWhen Tennessee Williams’ famous character Blanche du Bois repeatedly and coyly says in her Southern lilt,  “ I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” I think we are meant to see Blanche as both manipulative and overly dependent.  But,  whether it is weak of me or not, I do often depend on the kindness of others.  I recently posted about  my existential angst over our house-selling  woes, especially the waiting periods, and not one person wrote me back with an angry “That is just a first-world problem, you self-centered, privileged prig!”  I admit that sentiment  might even be correct and justified, but nobody did that. In fact, the responses were so lovely that I wanted to compile some in a list and remember them for the next time I am pacing in a Waiting Room of Life.

  1. Jonna reminded me about the power of hugs, even across many miles.
  2. Rosie suggested I do one nice thing each day for somebody else and not get found out.
  3. Sandy recommended deep breaths and streaming movies!
  4. Kae suggested I do something nice and upbeat  for myself each day of the waiting period.
  5. Sarah Leah reminded me it is all in God’s hands and will ultimately be worked out by God.
  6. Jocelyn and Gail and Diane and Carmela sent good wishes and crossed fingers.

Well, another intense waiting period has begun.  Starting from midnight tonight, we have to wait another five days to find out the response of the potential BUYER  to OUR response to the BUYER’S response to the buyer’s INSPECTOR’S  response  (I couldn’t even make this stuff up!)

Dog comforting humanBut at least I can re-read my list of Things to Do in the Waiting Room of Life.  I can put a card marked “Response of Potential Buyer” in my God Box.  I can rest against the warm, silky comfort of  Max the Dog, who knows something is up and, uncharacteristically,  is gently leaning against my leg. I can call Jennifer, our patient realtor who never acts  surprised or annoyed, even when we ring her up for the third time in one day (okay, probably more like ten times a day).  I can call my children and I often do, but then they worry about me (not-very-good-for-them role reversal.) I can thank you for reading this and connecting with me.  And  I can tell Blanche du Bois that , some days, it is actually okay to depend on the kindness of strangers and others…



  1. Susan Carrick January 3, 2015 at 4:17 pm .

    Oh, Debra, upheaval of any kind is the WORST. But I agree (1) it is all in God/Universe’s hands and whatever happens is the right thing to happen; and (2) it is excellent therapy to do something kind for someone else. Like take me to lunch. I’ll turn my back when you pay. I’ll never know.

    Besos Hermana,


  2. Nena O'Connell January 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm .

    I understand your feelings Debra. Big hug :)

  3. June January 3, 2015 at 8:43 pm .

    You are amazing!

  4. Gail Ober January 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm .

    Once again, a wonderful blog! Keep hanging in there, you’re doing very well! Still have my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!
    Keep us posted!!
    We need to do lunch, maybe that will help pass the time!
    Love gail

  5. Dena Ellis January 4, 2015 at 7:42 pm .

    I feel for you, but please try to be patient and continue to treat thiswhole problem from a writer’s point of view …I liked this kindness of strangers …and all the helpful comments. Much love, D

  6. Pat February 1, 2015 at 1:26 am .

    Debra, I love your phrase, “Waiting Room of Life”! Many of us will be thinking of downsizing some day. I am glad that you went first! I know I can count on you and my HP helping me get through the experience. Let’s keep our eye on the door that is open. Big hug- Pat

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