“Practice random acts of kindness.”  You’ve likely seen this adage on a bumper sticker in front of you while stuck in traffic in or around your favorite city.  Even though you may find it corny, I am here to tell you that on March 15, 2019, one random act of kindness made a significant difference in my life.

My sister and I were out at our favorite cafe (the name of the establishment is purposefully left out to protect the innocent).  We each bought a breakfast treat and a cup of coffee.  Before heading to our table, we stopped at the coffee station to make the perfect blend o’ java.  I mixed Light and Hazelnut coffees into one cup, and while waiting to add a splash of half & half, a cheerful lady standing next to me complimented my black “athleisure” pants.

The lady came out of nowhere, just sort of popped up next to me.  She inquired about the brand of my pants, where I bought them, told me they reminded her of the favorite pair she could no longer find in stores or online, etc.  We had a purposeful “athleisurely” chat while I was trying to close the lid on my SUPER hot cup o’ java.

Due to the high temperature, the paper cup “softened” making the lid fall off and causing half of the SUPER hot liquid to pour out on my right hand.  Excruciating pain filled my whole body and I let out some sort of a half-scream while my sister frantically tried to figure out how to best help me.  Needless to say, the skin on my hand got really red, really fast.

Two tomato slices that saved my skin

Even though all of this happened in a matter of seconds, it was enough time for the lady complimenter to calmly say: “Go ask them for a slice of tomato to put on that before it starts to blister.”  I was a bit surprised by her suggestion but quickly decided the slice of tomato was my best bet to alleviating the agonizing pain.  I rushed to the cafe’s sandwich maker and asked her for a slice of tomato.  She chuckled a bit and handed me two tomato slices in a cup.

About ten seconds after slapping the two tomato slices onto my burned skin, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I was like one of those cartoon characters whose extremity accidentally ends up on fire, then the character rushes off to a nearby bucket of water, dunks the extremity into it and all you can see is a little wif of smoke coupled with a satisfying “aaah.”  I looked around for the lady to thank her, but she was gone.  She pretty much vanished just as suddenly as she appeared.  To my amazement, about fifteen minutes later the redness on my skin disappeared and the pain was completely gone.

My sister and I finished our treats and coffee.  That morning, we contemplated a bit how some people’s sole purpose seems to be to randomly pop up in our lives, make it better, and then continue on their merry way. Although I will likely never see the tomato lady again, I wanted to share her tomato tip in the hope that it may help you someday.  Thanks, tomato lady, for your random act of kindness!