pay it forward


A few weeks ago I wrote about The Old Man That Made Me Cry.  Take a minute to read what effect he had on me.


You’ll be glad to know that I have, in fact, manned up, and I no longer cry at the drop of a hat.  Phew.  And he’s still alive, bless him, because I see him every time I come to the café to work.   I’m still wondering what he carries around in ‘that’ bag though.


After talking to friends about him, I’ve been thinking about doing something nice for him.  No, not that.  So today, I bit the bullet, went out of my comfort zone a little, and … no, I didn’t talk to him.


I know, I know, it doesn’t take much to talk to strangers but I just think I’m so insular sometimes (life of a freelancer!) that I’m just out of practice.


Instead, I had this chat with the barista:


ME:  You know that old guy that comes in.


HER:  There are loads of old guys that come in!


ME:  Valid point.  You know … the one with the bag.  Has a skinny latte I think every day.  Toast.  Grey hair … was in earlier.


HER:  Oh Eddie!! Yeah, sweet bloke.


ME:  Right, so, Eddie … well, I’d like to buy him a coffee.


*cue strange look*


HER:  Erm, why?


ME:  Just because really.  He looks like a nice old man and I’d like to do something nice for him.  The whole Pay It Forward concept?


*cue strange look*


HER:  So you just want to buy him a coffee?


ME:  Yup.


HER:  And do you need to be there when he orders it.


ME:  Nope.  And you don’t need to tell him it’s me.  Just that someone bought him a coffee.


HER:  Just that someone bought him a coffee?  And that’s it?


ME:  Yes.


I had actually completely frazzled her brain with this small gesture of kindness.


So tomorrow, when Eddie comes in for his skinny latte, the coffee will be on me.  It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this … I mean I’ve read about other people doing it, but this is the first time I’ve stopped talking about doing it and actually did it.


And it felt really, really good.


I’ll keep you posted about how it went … interested to know if anyone else has ever done anything like this.


kate sutton


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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. There you go Eddie is a sweet guy after all! I am sure he will be very grateful for his free coffee tomorrow. Hopefully not as confused as the barista!

    But yeah I think you could talk him another day I am always chatting to random people, but then I am just weird like that 😉 I think older people especially really appreciate a chat, even a just a hello and a smile can make someone’s day! x

  2. I am so proud of you. Now you know his name, next time you see him you can talk to him!!

  3. Awww that was a LOVELY thing to do! Eddie will be made up, or think he has an insane stalker.. Either way it will brighten his day 😀

    I’ve done pay it forward a few times, karma seems to dislike me though. The 1st time I had my purse stolen, which was oddly full of money so I could buy a new washing machine *kerpoof gone* The second time I was in a bus accident and ended up with whiplash (and people wonder why I dislike going out) The third time I fell over and nearly broke my arm. So either I am horrifically unlucky orrrr pay it forward backfires on me EVERY TIME!

  4. Aww! That’s brilliant! You get a lovely warm glow of making him happy, and he gets the lovely warm glow of knowing someone has thought of him.

    I haven’t really done anything like that, but a local church has a voucher scheme where you can buy food vouchers for the cafes to give to the homeless in Norwich, so that they can go somewhere for a warm meal in a place where they will be welcomed. Always makes me tearful when I give someone a voucher…

  5. That’s lovely 🙂
    I do “Pay It Forward” all the time – not necessarily in a monetary sense but definitely in a “do a kind deed for someone” type of way.

  6. A few weeks ago I was in Costa doing some work prior to a meeting when an old man asked me if he could share my table. I told him he was more than welcome to and he sat down. He sat there for a couple of minutes before asking what I was working on and general chit chat. He seemed lonely and reminded me of my grandad and he hadn’t ordered a drink so when I asked if he wanted me to get him one he was thrilled, he tried to give me the money but I told him it was my good deed for the day. Later I opened my diary in the meeting and a little note fell out that said ‘You have made my day by talking to me and by treating me to a coffee, Jack’. He made my day to be honest!

  7. Well that was really sweet of you. You definitely are a lovely person.
    Not everyone gets the “Pay it forward” concept though. Even although I get it, I think I would be looking over my shoulder for the rest of the week just in case!
    I will definitely be watching out for how it went. x

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