A Little Bit of Kindness

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, Staff Writer

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I just turned 16 this past Sunday. So, of course, the first major thing I did this summer was get my license. I was so pumped to start driving around by myself that I wanted to do it as quick as possible. I talked with some friends and they told me to go to the Adel Department of Transportation (DOT) instead of the one in Ankeny because the line goes faster.

They were not entirely correct. I spent three hours there waiting in line. The crowd was smaller but they had less people working behind the counters then at the Ankeny DOT. However, it gave me the chance to get to know some of the people around me.

At the DOT, I was with my mom, and we sat next to two old couples, and I assume they both were married. We were all sitting around quietly on our phones, when the women to the right of us asked us if we had any idea as to if Ankeny DOT would be faster. From that moment forward we all talked on and off for the next two hours.

I learned a lot about the couples around us. The first women who spoke was named Sandy and she is a substitute at a Sunday School in West Des Moines. She enjoys cooking for her grandkids and spends a lot of tine in her garden. The other women, on our right, is gluten free but not for the normal reasons, and gave my mom some recipes to try. Unfortunately we never got her name.

The conversation was ongoing and made the experience, overall, more enjoyable than just sitting there waiting. They were both extremely kind. In my few times going to the DOT, I have never had a conversation with anyone I did go with. It was always just a necessary evil and kind of waste of time.

I am inclined to wonder if it was the whole “Iowa nice” theory people always talk about. When people talk about Iowans they always think we are a nice bunch and Iowa Nice is a term used to describe the stereotypical Iowan personality.

I will most likely never see those women again, and they may not have made a large impact on my life but they made my day better. They made those two to three hours at the DOT more bearable. I would like to thank them for the kindness they showed to me though.

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