Small surprises have power to make a big impact

I’m not much of a shopper. Actually, my trips into St. Cloud have become more of a drudgery than a pleasure. I’m not sure if it’s the road construction, the fact that I’m missing out on limited summertime at home or just the exhaustion that arises from trying to run too many errands in too little time.

By Rita Meyer
By Rita Meyer

Whatever the case, my occasional treat to make the trip more enjoyable has been something from Caribou Coffee or Starbucks’ drive-thru.

But paying upwards of $5 for a beverage is hard for this conservative spender to justify. I waffle between, “I packed a sandwich from home; I can consider this my lunch” to “I could get a whole pizza that all six of us can enjoy for that kind of money.”

It’s like there’s this internal battle of wills going on in my head and something that was supposed to make things more enjoyable just adds another stressor to the trip.

So, the other day, my friend gave me a Caribou Coffee gift card and it was like this huge deal to me. First, it was such a thoughtful thing. Sure, I did her a favor a while back, but it’s not like she needed to repay me. I mean, come on, that’s what friends do. Still, it was awfully kind and generous — but mostly just darn thoughtful — of her.

Second, it was just so unexpected. Boom, out of the blue, she surprises me. I love, love, love surprises (usually!).

Third, she knows exactly what I like. It was perfect.

Last, it was like the answer to my St. Cloud dilemma. Now, on my next two solo trips to town (if the kids are with, forget it, that adds up way too fast), I can buy my favorite drink — a white chocolate raspberry latte (extra hot, no whip, skinny) — and not feel guilty at least about the cost; the calories are a whole ‘nother issue!

So, note to self, surprise others with something as small as a $10 gift card to make their day like my friend made mine.

Rita Meyer is married and the mother of four children age 16 and under. She and her family are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Meire Grove. Email her at


Author: The Visitor

The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.

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