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An Open Letter to Three Kind Strangers

I started my morning like every other one. My alarm went off and I pressed the snooze button, not ready to roll out of bed just yet. Eventually I lumbered out of bed it was time to start my day and get dressed for work. I threw back the blinds to see everybody’s worst nightmare in April, SNOW. Not just regular snow a mixture of ice, rain, and snow. I sighed knowing getting to work was going to take way longer than usual and I would need to get a move on. I already knew what I was going to wear and got dressed in no time. Not caring what my makeup looked like I did the bare minimum: mascara, light foundation and a hint of eyeshadow. I ran downstairs hoping to grab some coffee on my way out but to my dismay our convenance store in the dorm wasn’t opened yet. Great.

I trudged to my car ready to start the horrific drive to work. I cruised down the highway at a breezy 35 mph. Jamming out to my music I was determined to make it to work without incident. I saw other drivers struggling in the snow for the ice age was upon us. One person was in the left lane of the highway turned all the way around. Another person had slid completely off of the road and their car was stranded in a ditch. This was a challenge I was determined to overcome, you can do this I kept telling myself. My usual drive to work is about 20 minutes, almost an hour later I finally made it! I had made it to work pretty early and decided to stop at a gas station to fill up my car so I wouldn’t have to after I got off. 

I ran out of my car ready to get in and out of the cold. I started pumping my gas and noticed another man getting ready to pump his gas. He caught my eye for two reasons. First off, he was trying to scrape the ice away from his gas cap and the noise of it caught my attention. And second of all he did not have a coat on. Just a simple t-shirt with jeans in this crazy weather. I thought to myself this man must be insane! It’s snowing like crazy out and is freezing. I finished pumping my gas and ran back into my warm car ready to leave for work. 

I went to go out my usual way of the gas station. I sized up the snow pile leading out of the parking lot and made the executive decision that my little prius could make it over. There didn’t seem to be that much snow and I figured my car could handle it. Little to my knowledge the snow bank was a lot deeper than what I anticipated. I had almost made it out of the parking lot when my car got stuck. I sighed heavily in frustration, I did not have time for this. I grabbed my little ice scraper and attempted to free myself from this monstrosity. I scraped and scraped and scraped away at the tires. 

My meager attempts at scraping away the snow were futile. After the fourth time of trying to dig myself out I sat in my car full of frustration and defeat. I was stuck and there was nothing I could do about it. I closed my eyes trying not to cry in frustration but even that attempt was futile. I told myself that I was going to make it to work without an incident and I had let myself down. I was now stuck in a gas station parking lot, ready to abandon my car, trudge through the snow to work, and bite the bullet.

In the midst of crying I heard a noise outside my car. I struggled to see through my tears and noticed a few blobs around me. Two cars had pulled onto the shoulder of the road where I was and the man who had only been wearing a t-shirt at the station was pulled up behind me getting ready to push my car out of the snow. Seeing these guys ready to help out a random stranger made me start to cry even harder. One of the men ran to his car and pulled out a snow shovel digging away at my tires. After a few tries they got me and my car unstuck. They quickly rushed back to their cars trying to get out of the snow and headed about their day.

I didn’t get the chance to thank them for I was still a blubbering mess in my car. I decided I needed a cup of coffee after this ordeal and decided to treat myself to some Starbucks. I pulled into the parking lot and couldn’t access the drive through because it was being plowed. I threw my car in park and noticed a familiar t-shirt running into Starbucks. I grabbed my wallet and rushed in after him. He was finishing up his order when I tapped him on the shoulder.

Still a total train wreck I thanked him for what he had done and asked him if I could pay for his drinks. He refused and just said he was doing a kind deed and couldn’t leave me stuck in the ditch. He said he was up here for a lacrosse tournament but it had been canceled due to the weather and he was now headed back to Chicago. I told him that I was from the Chicago area too and had managed lacrosse at my local high school. It really is a small world I thought to myself. I thanked him again as he grabbed his drinks to leave. He said he realized I was having a rough morning and hoped I didn’t get stuck again. I nervously laughed, also hoping I didn’t get stuck again. (Which luckily I didn’t and made it to work safe).

To the three kind strangers who helped me out of my little predicament I cannot thank you enough! You all became my new MVP’s. I know you all may never see this but the fact that you helped a random stranger in their time of need means the world to me and my family. My day went from a total disaster to making it safely to work. I have always believed small acts of kindness are the ones that can go the greatest distance and today only proved my theory even more. Thank you for being my rays of sunshine in this bleak stormy blizzard. 

From the blubbering mess in her little prius,

Ashley Skrypek

Ashley is a Senior at the University Wisconsin Milwuakee where she is majoring in Human Rescource Management. She is currently the President for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukees HerCampus chapter. Outside of HerCampus Ashley is PR Manager and brand ambassador for Love Your Melon! She enjoys all the fun volunteering oppurtunities with the kiddos and within her community that Love Your Melon has to offer. During her free time you can find her passing time watching Netflix or diving into a good book.
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