The following is a status update I posted to Facebook from the airport last night that has actually generated a bit of discussion. I’m curious to know what the folks here may have to say about it. . . .
From the “I’m probably just a cynical jerk” department: a couple years or so ago Julia and I were on one of our debaucherous weekends in Portland. Being the big spending foodies we are, we opted for dinner out somewhere we can’t enjoy in Missoula, which in this case happened to be the drive-thru at Jack in the Box. After the Jack Associate delivered our bag of food, he informed us that the person in the car ahead of us had already bought it for us. By then the person was long gone. I thought this anonymous gesture by an unknown was pretty cool.
Fast forward to yesterday. I’m in line at the Starbucks here at the SLC airport. As I trundle up, I realize that the guy at the front of the line had just concluded buying everyone in line’s drinks and pastries. So I had to listen to a chorus of, “Oh, thank you, sir!”s, blah blah blah for the next couple minutes.
So I’m all, “Oh, look at me, I’m so generous and I’m fit and everyone loves me!” wee wee wee as the guy walks away with his beautiful wife/girlfriend/sister.
By the time I got to the register (where I was forced to buy my own damn stuff), though, I was starting to question my knee-jerk reaction. So I ask: is the public act of generosity I witnessed any less gracious than the anonymous one I enjoyed, or is something like this kind of a pretentious move?