The kindness of a stranger...

There's a unique feeling of belonging when you participate and embrace an event that only happens in your little corner of the world.  For those in Minnesota it's standing outside, waiting in line in the cold and the dark, for a limited edition CD.  Weird huh?  A local radio station has for the last 21 years put out a compilation CD together, called the Cities 97 Sampler, of various artists to raise money for local charities.  This year it's number 22.  Now the goal of the CD is to raise money for charity, but let's be honest, it's got some great music too.

So this year's CD went on sale at 8am at Minnesota Target stores.  So after I dropped my son off at school I headed to our local Target to get in line for my copy of the CD.  When I got there around 7:30am I was surprised to see the size of the line that had already formed.  I got in line and tweeted about waiting, checked some email from work, and made small talk with those in line near me.  The guy in front of me was just starting to walk after hip replacement surgery.  He joked he wanted to make sure none of the hardware would freeze in the cold weather.  As we were talking we asked a Target employee how many copies this store had.  150.  

Seemed like a good number to me.

So at 8am sharp, the doors opened and the entire line started to move in to get their CD.   The line moved quickly because the store had opened nearly every register to get people in and out quickly.  As I got to the employee who was handing out the CD's I could see the bin was emptying quickly.

Four more people until I could get my copy, still some left.

Three more people, still looks good.

Two more people, uhhh it's looking tight.

One more... the guy in front me got the last two CD's.


Yep, I was essentially the 151st person in line.  The Target employee shouts, 'Sorry folks we are all sold out.'  I couldn't believe it.  I stood there shocked that I had literally missed out by one.  As I stood there wondering how soon the CD would be on eBay, the guy who was just in front of me turns around and offers me one of the CD's he had.  I had stood in line with this gentleman for half an hour and chit chatted with him for 10-15 minutes, but he turns around and handed me the CD without blinking an eye.

To the gentleman in line at the Mankato Target, whoever you are, thank you.  You demonstrated the true meaning of charity, sharing, and the holiday spirit.  May you have a blessed and happy holiday season.