[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
thank you, matthew weber
meet my friend, matthew weber.
matthew is a great guy. he's really nice. and he has exceptionally good hair.
when you talk to matthew, you can tell he's the kind of person who gives a lot of thought to things. all things. if matthew has an opinion, and since he is such a thoughtful and reflective guy, he usually does -- he expresses it in a very level and reasoned way. and, the best part is, even though you know matthew has reached his conclusions after much careful thought, he's always open to hearing another viewpoint.
i've even seen him change his mind. or at least admit, "you know, i never considered that. you make a really good point."
and even if all of this wasn't enough to make you say, "man, that matthew weber is a really good guy," there's more.
friday afternoon, as visions of cookouts and swimming pools danced in my head, matthew came by my desk to chat.
i told matthew that i was heading home to visit my family. spend some bonding time with my brother-in-law's grill. bask in the glow of the big screen television as i relished their direct tv.
"so, what are you up to?"
"i have tons of stuff to do. i'm, like, triple-booked. cookouts and picnics and all kinds of stuff."
"well, that sounds great...but you seem...irritated."
"yeah, i am. know what i really want to do?"
"what i really want to do is go down to the world war two memorial ceremony and see all of the vets."
i had secretly been happy to be heading out of town, able to avoid the busloads of tourists flooding into town for the dedication ceremony.
"i'd like to just go down there and hand out cards or something."
"thank you cards. just tell them how much i appreciate what they did, you know?"
"you would really do that?"
"well then, why don't you?"
"i don't know. i mean, i just sort of thought of it this afternoon, and i don't really know how i would do all of that stuff."
"what, you mean the cards?"
i looked at the clock. 2:46. our office had announced an early closing. 3:00. i was ecstatic. i could get a head start on traffic, get to the airport early enough to grab a bite to eat. i'd already shut down every program on my computer.
"okay. tell me what you want the cards to look like."
"just tell me what you want them to look like. or at least what you want them to say."
and, twenty minutes later, there they were. simple. understated. "thank you" in bold letters across the top. a flag on the left. "thank you for your courage and service. your sacrifices for our country will never be forgotten."
matthew had 600 of them printed on red, white and blue card stock.
as i neared the aiport, my phone rang.
it was matthew.
"i just handed out my first one! it was awesome! he cried, but he was so grateful!"
i don't remember the last time i was so proud to call someone my friend.
my friend, matthew weber, handed out more than 400 of those cards to veterans last weekend. he had conversations with countless men and women, and listened to their stories. they expressed their heartfelt thanks for his gesture and, on more than a few occasions, wept with gratitude.
he would have given away all 600 if the park police hadn't made him stop because he didn't have a permit.
i like to think that if more people were like my friend, matthew weber, the world wouldn't be a place where you need a permit to say "thank you." and i like the idea that every kind gesture, no matter how small, moves us a little bit closer to that.
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