The kindness of red-headed strangers

I’ll admit, I haven’t been a fan of Minnesotans. Especially Minnesotans on the road. When I moved to the Midwest, people said to expect kind, wholesome people who understand the value of helping their neighbor.

And I’m sure those people are out there. It’s just that I keep running into the jackasses, like the guy who honked at my fiancé for not pulling out of his parking space fast enough. Or the woman who nearly rear ended me. Or the 18-wheeler driver who tried to run my fiancé into the concrete tunnel wall on Interstate 94, opening his door and screaming at him.

But tonight, I met a red-headed Minnesotan angel.

It had been a rough evening, a rough two weeks. My fiancé is traveling for work and everything just seemed to go wrong. Things piled up, one right after another, culminating in me driving around downtown after work today, dog in the back seat, frantically trying to finish errands before the stores closed. The sun was setting and I had just finished — hooray! — and got into my car outside the drug store to drive home. I turned the key, put the car in gear. Nothing. Nothing, that is, except every check engine light on the dashboard.

My last bit of composure disappeared. Teary and frustrated, I went inside the drugstore to make sure they wouldn’t tow me and called a friend to come get me, describing my car trouble to him. When I hung up the phone, I noticed the drugstore’s red-haired security guard standing next to me.

“Let’s go take a look at it,” he said in a calm, confident voice. “I’m not a mechanic but I’m pretty fair with an engine.”

He walked outside with me, popped the hood and fiddled with something I couldn’t see. Miraculously the car turned over. And stayed on. I almost collapsed with gratitude and relief.

Then the red-headed angel pointed to hoses and plugs and explained with the patience of a kindergarten teacher what needed to be fixed. He assured me the car would make it home, but probably not much further. He told me what to do in case it stalled and died again. And then he wished me a good night.

I’m so grateful that when I needed it most, when it counted, a genuine, wholesome and kind Minnesotan came to my rescue.


About missmba

What happens when a language-loving, mathphobic liberal arts major goes jumps on the MBA train. Follow my adventures at a top 20 business school.
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