Monday, June 27, 2005
Charity or Chumpity?
So here’s a story…
I’ve always tried to be open to those opportunities to help out where needed, and some days I’m more successful with this than others. On one day last week, I ran into two strange women in the middle of a street in Downtown Crossing. It was obvious they were mother and daughter, one looked like an older version of the other; they even wore their hair the same - - up in a cafeteria-lady type bun. The older lady was sitting in a wheelchair and had her two feet in these blue braces. Her daughter stood behind her. The daughter caught my attention and asked me with this very soft voice:
“Do you think you could give us something to eat, dear (pronounced ‘deaah.’)?”
I asked if there was anything in particular they would like.
“Well, where were you headed, deaah?”
I said I wasn’t sure.
Then, outta nowhere, the woman in the wheelchair begins to place her order:
“I wanna chicken salad sandwich with no onions. They sell ‘em at Finagle a Bagel. No onions. And on flatbread.”
Without even blinking, I say okay, and then ask her daughter what she would like:
“oh, I’ll have the same deaah, only with onions please.”
I comply and then suggest we all head over there.
“oh, we can’t really move, deaah. It’s too haahd with the wheelchair and all. If you’d run over there and get it for us, that would be wonderful. We’ll stay right heaah. Thank you, deaah.”
So off I go to Finagle a Bagel, trying not to forget the “no onions” part. I’m standing in line at the shop wondering if I should’ve asked them what they wanted to drink. And then it hits me…
I am a nerd!! I spend $12 on food for these women, deliver it to them, and I’m standing there feeling bad that I didn’t get a drink order! I am a chump! I’m not saying these women don’t deserve to have their favorite sandwich every now and then. I’m saying it didn’t even occur to me at the time that most people in their situation are not as picky with whether there are onions on their fancy “Finagle” sandwich, don’t care what kind of bread it is so long as it isn’t moldy, and typically don’t presume a free delivery service comes with. When I told my roommate, Peggy, she found the whole thing incredibly amusing.
Moral of the story: if you agree to buy a homeless person lunch, bring a pad and pen.
Do you blog? What's your URL?
Mary, it took me until I read that Peggy was your roommate to get that it might really be you in that picture:)
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