I tease my husband that being on "The Price is Right" was more fun than my wedding night. Luckily, my husband has a sense of humor.
Back in February, I traveled to Los Angeles to talk about kindness on Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" show. Looking for other things to do in LA, I stumbled upon a site offering free tickets for the studio audience of "The Price is Right."
I remember the show fondly. As a child, it was a sick-day ritual to curl up on the couch and watch Bob Barker.
I got the tickets - one for Amanda, a friend and member of my kindness team, and one for Chloe, who is a college senior. She is an intern for "The Kindness Podcast" and since she’s the world’s best volunteer and missed her spring break vacation because of a death in the family, I knew she needed a quick trip to LA.
The morning of the big show arrived. I was psyched. Amanda was enjoying my enthusiasm. Chloe was confused. It turns out "The Price is Right" may have skipped a generation.
We hopped into an Uber and spent 30 minutes talking to a guy who travels the world as a drummer. He looked a little too tired to be dealing with my brand of excitement, but by the time the ride was over, he refused to let us out until he had maneuvered through traffic to drop us off at the front gate of CBS Studio Center. He didn’t want us to miss our big day.
I skipped all the way to the line of people filling out paperwork and getting their iconic nametags.
Eventually, we ended up in a line in front of Stan. Stan decides who gets called onto the show.
“What do you do?” he asked. “I write and speak about kindness.”
“Really?” he looked intrigued. That was when I got to tell him about all of you.
I told him about the letters you send in with your stories of kindness. He smiled big and moved on to the next person.
Kindness. It turns out, kindness got me a seat in Contestants’ Row because I was the fourth person to be called to “Come on down!”
My mind was whirling. There was no way I could have formed a coherent thought about what anything would cost in that moment.
But I had the winning bid on a camera, and eventually a car, because of a kind, gentle woman named Maria and her son, Gary. They were sitting behind me and we became friends before the show.
Sweet Maria was my angel. She told Gary the numbers and he held up his hands and screamed them out.
Kindness. Any day is a great day to win a car. I get that.
But as I reflect on what really made that day special - and almost as fun as my wedding night - I think of Amanda, Chloe, Stan, Gary, Maria, our Uber driver and all the people I got to talk to while waiting in line.
It was the people - and their kindness - that was the biggest prize.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Athens, Ohio, with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.