Sunday, December 20, 2009

Taken at the Takeout

I went out today to help shovel the boat after our snowfall last night. I was freezing even though I had on more layers than a shoplifter at Old Navy. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, you'd think I could handle the cold better than I do. I don't handle it well. In fact, I whine quite a bit about it. My wife can testify to that. In fact, anyone who comes in contact with me between the months of November and March can attest to that.
If it's below 40 degrees and I go inside a convenience store and the gal behind the counter asks, "How are you today,? I respond, "I'm freezing." Like complaining about it will make me warmer.

Anyway, (let me stop whimpering right here) when my body temperature falls below a range that I am comfortable with, I often think about the Homeless. How do they do it? God Bless them.
When I'm freez... I mean, when my core body temperature falls into a range I am not comfortable with, I know at some point I can go inside, somewhere, my house,the boat, somewhere to get warm. The Homeless.....damn!

I was reading Melinda's post the other night. She tells a story of how she helped this Homeless person out one day. It reminded me of something that happened to me, but the endings are quite different. Melinda's had a happy ending. Mine has a weird one.

My wife and I decided one day to head south for the Washington DC area to visit Erin, my daughter. We met up at her apartment in Adams Morgan, a very cool, culturally diverse little town in DC. We would spend this day like many others when we visit. Walking, window shopping, real shopping and eating.

As we walked we were approached by a guy who asked for some money. Like Melinda, we opted to offer him some food instead of the money. We pointed to a little takeout place that was next to us and said, "We'll buy you a meal if you like?" He looked around, pointed to a grocery store and said, "Let's go here." He wanted us to take him grocery shopping. We talked him into our first choice, the takeout place.

I started getting an uneasy feeling when I noticed the guy was a pretty pushy Homeless person, he was actually negotiating with the proprietor of the store, trying to get more food on the plate.
The person filling out the order had a look on his face that said he knew this guy, and this wasn't the first time he talked some unaware tourists into getting him a nice meal.
I was getting this strange "your getting ripped off dad" look from Erin. Erin will give you the shirt off her back, if you need it, but she could tell this was a beggar gone bad.

He took his food, turned and walked out, walking right past my wife without thanking her or saying boo. At this point I stopped him and incredulously asked him if he was going to thank this nice woman who just gave him a nice lunch. He mumbled a thanks, I think, and left.

Outside Erin had this, "Dad, what the hell was that" look on her face. She saw this guys game from the beginning. I sheepishly replied, arms outstretched, "I didn't know."

"Dad", Erin said, "When was the last time you saw a homeless guy wearing designer jeans?"

He got me.


slommler said...

Think of it this were not gave from your heart and because of will be honored. Your are not responsible for the receiver of the gift. His heart and motives are for God to judge. You did a wonderful thing. Feel proud!
Hugs and Merry Christmas

Frau said...

Stay warm and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Melinda said...

I agree with weren't taken at all. You gave from a honest place. Everything else that happened, not your problem. The guy you and your wife fed? He's the one who missed out on a nice meal with two wonderful people. :)