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It’s sad when kindness is unexpected


We had a fantastic time at the Georgia National Fair a couple of weeks ago. Was it economical? No, absolutely not, state fairs are expensive, there is just no way around it. Did we economize by bringing food and buying tickets in advance? Yes. Were the memories made priceless? Absolutely!


Family meal out

Everyone enjoyed the food we had in the room. And since everyone is gainfully employed, I did not pay for any “fair” fun other than buying the tickets. Therefore, I did keep my costs down significantly over years past. And everyone kind of did their own thing as far as schedule…some went early (History Buff, my fiance and I) and some went late. Some left early (History Buff) and some stayed to the end (my fiance and I loved the live music options and enjoyed longer fair days just hanging out.)

It was a great time! And everyone is game for going again next year. (Even the two kiddos that didn’t go with us are sorry they missed it.)

Time to say goodbye

On our final day, everyone was headed in their own direction…

  • History Buff actually left early as he wanted to hit up some of the historical museums around.
  • Gymnast and his friends were headed into Atlanta to go to the World of Coke.
  • Princess and her boyfriend had to head back to their respective colleges.
  • And my fiance and I were headed to the airport since he was returning to Philly.

We decided to go out to eat as a family as we checked out of the hotel and headed in different directions. And I was super excited about getting the face time with all the kids, but I was dreading the bill – frugal mama in full effect over here. (We all know that’s a change.)

It was a great meal. We discussed favorite fair experiences, what we would do different, and made plans to come again next year. My fiance (I’ve really got to come up with my BAD nickname for him) and I decided to add visiting every state fair to our bucket list once we begin traveling. (Traveling is a BIG part of our 5 year plan but after ALL debt payoff.)

An unexpected gift

Because these are my kids and their friends and this is our family tradition, I covered the costs of this trip. And I expect to cover those types of things. But at the end of the meal, I went to the restroom and when I came back to the table, my fiance handed me his credit card and said “for the meal.” I was shook. And he could tell by the look on my face that I was completely floored.

It’s not that he is not kind and generous and treats me amazing all the time. It’s that in over a decade of being a single mom, that has never happened. I pay for all my own birthday dinners, mother’s day meals, family meals, etc. It’s always me, just me. And without asking or discussing, he took it upon himself to pay for a family meal with kids and their friends. I chose good. And I almost cried at how overwhelmed I was by this simple gesture. It’s just been so long that I have had to do everything, be responsible for everything.

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Bob Kerrey American politician

One more note on this, when the bill came and she brought back the credit card receipt, he said “tip how you would.” He knows that I am a generous tipper. With a son and two siblings in the food service industry, tipping well is important to me. I fell in love with him all over again when he made that statement. He’s a keeper!


  • Reply Laura |

    Our state fair has daily specials that can make it cost effective. For example one day will be half priced rides, one day is a bunch of $5 food specials, etc. If you haven’t already you may want to look into that for next year.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, that’s how I bought our tickets in advance. And we made sure to go on a “wristband” day for rides since Gymnast and his friends were going to ride. Buying the tickets adds up. But I didn’t buy those, they had saved their own money for those extras.

  • Reply Alice |

    That is awesome! I, too, am a generous tipper. I always have been, but even more so since the pandemic.

So, what do you think ?