I am a forgetful person in general. Not good with names or faces. But I do remember actions – and kindnesses. Especially when they come from strangers.
My best friend and I, wannabe Pokemon masters to this day, bought Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver at their time of release. A wise decision, considering how much the games are worth these days, though I could never bear to part with mine – it’s my all-time favorite Pokemon game, and is unlikely to be eclipsed.
It was a little while after we had purchased the games and we were browsing in the GameStop at our local mall. Rather, we were in one of the two GameStops in the mall – not sure why so many malls have two of them, but ours did at the time – although we were in the cramped, older upstairs one, not the newly-established, brighter downstairs one. This particular trip stands out to me because the manager on duty at the time stopped to talk to us. I remember her clearly because she was a professional, distinguished-looking, immaculately dressed woman, around middle-age, that one would not expect to find in a GameStop back in 2009. But she was very nice to a couple of nerdy teens – we were probably sixteen/seventeen at the time.
So nice, in fact, that she gave us two copies of the HeartGold/SoulSilver guide for free. Like, she went into the back room, brought out these beautiful, shining guide books, and handed them to us at no cost. I guess because they had extras from a giveaway at the time of the game’s release, or something. Hopefully she didn’t violate store protocol. I mean, one can never be sure – although I recall seeing her in the store a few times afterward. I don’t remember the exact dialogue of the conversation, but she said something like, “Hey, do you girls want these?” and we said, “Sure, thanks!” In fact, I still have it!
I remember being stunned that someone would do something like that – something so small, but it carried a lot of weight. The guidebook meant a lot to me, not only because HeartGold is my favorite game – but because of the simple act of kindness that woman showed us that day. Her generosity stuck with me, and although I never learned her name, and can’t clearly remember her face, I remember that action, and likely always will.