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Jewish Journal

Osmonds, Compliments & the Kindness of a Stranger

by Ilana Angel

January 13, 2012 | 8:30 am

Yesterday as I was walking along Ventura Boulevard to my bank, I saw a homeless man camped out on the sidewalk.  He had a cup sitting in front of him, but he appeared to be sleeping.  As I approached I put a dollar in the cup and continued onto the bank.

When I was walking back up the street to my car, I passed the sleeping homeless man and heard him say, “Thanks for the dollar.  Cute ass.”  It scared me for a minute because I thought he was sleeping, but I turned around and said, “Excuse me?”

He stood up, told me he appreciated the dollar, and that he meant no disrespect, but he just thought I had a nice bum.  Now, I understand that he was a little scary looking, and engaging with such a man is not always smart, but I was now intrigued.

He looked to be in his forties but I would guess if he was cleaned up we’d discover he was much younger.  He was about 5’10, quite thin, very long hair, dark brown eyes, and in desperate need of a shower, shave, barber, new shoes and clean clothes.

He then flashed me a smile that quite frankly took my breath away.  This rather disgusting looking man had the teeth of an Osmond.  Perfectly straight, bright white teeth that could be in toothpaste commercial.  They were really beautiful teeth.

These were not the teeth of a homeless person.  These were movie star teeth and I will tell you that his smile suddenly made him less scary looking, I took a moment to really study his face incase it was Donny Osmond doing research for a Lifetime movie.

Seriously, this could have been Donny.  Maybe he was going to play Jesus and this was an experiment on the kindness of strangers.  I live in Los Angeles after all so this could totally have been what was going on.  I admit it, I looked around for hidden cameras.

Important to note that I am quite certain Donny Osmond would not tell a stranger she has a nice bum, and I mean no disrespect to my beloved Donny.  It would have been his character saying it, not actually him.  Just so we’re clear.

My phone rang then so I snapped out of my Hollywood delusion and was standing face to face with a stranger.  I wanted to ask him who he was, how he got there, and why his teeth were perfect, but in the end it was his compliment that mattered.

He made my day.  He was a guy who was brave enough to tell a stranger she had a nice bum, and I appreciated it.  I took $5.00 out of my wallet and told him to get some lunch.  I then told him not to check out my bum when I turned around and walked away.

When I got to my car I turned to look and there he was, staring at me, giving me a thumbs up, and flashing his killer smile.  I got in my car and as I drove away I wondered what act of kindness mattered more.  The money, or the compliment?

It only takes a minute to help somebody.  He needed a couple of dollars and I needed a kind word.  Some may not think being told you have a cute bum is a kind word, but when your dating life is worse than eating shards of glass, a man thinking your bum is cute matters.

It is important that we are kind to one another.  This weekend give a dollar to someone who needs it.  Kindness matters.  I don’t know if this man was an Osmond, or Jesus, or a crazy person.  What I do know is that he made my day, and I woke up this morning keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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