So earlier today I was getting a coffee, and the young woman in front of me said, "Let me get that for you."
I'd heard of this before, and it usually ends with something about Jesus. If it's a matter of paying for my own coffee or hearing about what a friend we have in Jesus...I mean, a cup of coffee is only a couple of bucks. Plus it's just weird—who does things for strangers? Nobody in a world I want to live in.
"Thank you very much, but I've got it," I said.
"No, just let me get that for you. And, you know, you can pay it forward."
Now I had a dilemma—at some point this goes from honest, "No, thank you" to prickishness ("You want to buy me a coffee? Fuck you and your family!"), so after making one last attempt ("No, really, I've already got my card out and everything—it would create more work just to put it back in my wallet" [Editor's note: That is, in fact, what I said. I was grasping at straws.]), I let her buy my coffee. There was no Jesus pitch, just a very pleasant wish for me to have a Merry Christmas, and that was that.
So my carefully-ordered universe is now askew. I suppose the most direct way to put it back is to pull the same routine, but do I really want to be that guy? I do not want to be that guy. Does "paying it forward" mean giving the exact same amount to someone else? Would Doctors Without Borders be down for a $2.25 donation?
Does anyone here need $2.25? I can wire it to you.