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Life in a New Time

I’ve been writing different posts and then saving them without posting. Because life has changed so much recently, I decided to start posting them. I’m hoping to continue to write little insights and humorous takes on the world even while life is stressful for many.

I wrote the following piece two weeks before Covid-19 hit the United States and we were all still wandering around. It seems more poignant now that I’ve spent a week in my house with as little human contact as possible.

The YMCA Towel

This isn’t the actual towel. This is also not at my YMCA. I just want to be transparent.
http://Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

I forgot my towel when I went to swim laps at the YMCA.  I was already driving when I realized it and I just couldn’t be bothered to go back home.  The dog would’ve gotten excited and then I would’ve felt bad for leaving her again and I was going home after swimming anyhow. I could handle wet sweats.  I’m mature enough for that.

When I got into the locker room, a woman was in the row I always use.  She told me she would collect her things so I had more room.  Then she commented, “I just have too much stuff.”

I replied it’s better to have too much than to forget your towel like I had.  We then had a discussion about whether forgetting a towel or underwear was worse.  She felt like it depended on the season and I agreed at the time.  But I think forgetting a towel is worse.  Going commando can be seen as a sign of strength.  Having a wet butt rarely is.

I thought our conversation was over when she said, “Take my towel.”  

I was shocked.  She was fully dressed and ready to leave and offered a complete stranger her towel.  And it was a nice towel.  It was fluffy and the white stripes were still white.  She told me I could just bring it back on Monday and leave it and she would pick it up.

Now I didn’t borrow her towel because I was afraid she would never get it back and it would stress me out for the rest of my life.

But her kindness struck me.

For the longest time, I have felt like the only kind people in the world were on The British Baking Show.  Last year had been full of unkind strangers and acquaintances.  I kept looking behind me to see who was there and to see if I had a “Kick Me” sign on my back.

I didn’t quite know what to make of it.

I still don’t, to be honest.

But this year seems to be going differently.

I talked with some very nice people over the weekend when I traveled to another state for a funeral.  One even wished me a safe trip home after we spent an hour running and lifting weights and almost crying. I barely remember anything I’ve said after a hard workout and she remembered to wish me a safe trip.

It’s as though people have become nice, lately. I don’t know why this is.  Some would say it’s because I’m looking for kindness when before I assumed everyone had an agenda.  While I admit I do think most people have an agenda, I came to this conclusion because of interactions with people who have agendas.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t wake up one day and decide to only meet disturbing people that day. Or week. Or month. I have woken up with the idea of meeting interesting people or odd people or fascinating people, but never disturbing.

It could be because the sun is out more recently and maybe people are feeling nicer.  Or maybe I’m leaving my house less and so I have fewer interactions with people.

I dunno.  It’s a conundrum.

Whatever it is, I’m happy its happening.  I prefer kind, odd, and interesting people to mean, disturbing ones.  

Not everyone may feel this way and if you don’t, that’s okay.

If you enjoy mean people, my hats off to you.

But if you meet up with me, I’d truly appreciate it if you’d at least be odd.


  1. Mary Jane Hansen says:

    I copied this so I can have it. I love what you have to tell us about different things.
    Love you lot. Mom xo

    1. Marianne Hansen says:

      thanks mom!

  2. Megan Goates says:

    I’m glad you’re posting! We need these vignettes xo

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