Archive for February 21st, 2012

21 Feb 2012

It’s Better To Give Than Receive

10 Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

I did something today I haven’t done in a very long time. I gave money to a man walking down the street at a red light, holding a sign that said “Hungry”. It was only 50 cents. That was all I had in my change holder. But when I rolled down my window and gave it to him saying “This is all I have”, he said “Thank you. God Bless You.”

Now let me take you back about 15 years. I was a young woman in my twenties, on the way to my friend’s house. We were going out somewhere so I was dressed up, made up, and revved up… Probably excited about the prospect of having men buy me drinks and staying out until 2AM. Looking down at my gas tank, I realized I was low on fuel. I pulled into a gas station, filled up my tank, and got back in my car, doing a final look at myself in the rearview mirror and no doubt being elated at my reflection. Oh wait, I mean deflated.

As I was about to pull away, a man tapped on my window. Literally dressed in tatters, and looking hungry and helpless, he motioned for me to roll my window down. I did and he asked me for money. I reached into my purse and handed him two dollars. He smiled broadly and reached out to grab my hand. Not wanting to insult him, I put my hand out the window to shake his. But shaking is not what he had in mind.

The man took my hand and, in one swift motion, lifted it to his face and LICKED it. He licked my hand. Not a little lick. Not the kind of lick where one darts ones tongue out to touch the tip of it to something. It was a full-on lick from the base of my fingers to my wrist. I pulled my hand away as swiftly as he had pulled it to himself and looked at him in horror as he still smiled broadly.

Rolling up my window and pulling out of the gas station, I started to pound my steering wheel in fear, disgust and anger. “WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED??” I was crying. I was a good decade away from having a kid, so I had no antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer handy. I had about five miles to go to get to my destination, and a hand covered in saliva.

I’m not saying I didn’t feel sympathy for this man. But at that moment, I was so angry at myself for giving him money and for trusting him. I was mad that I wasn’t able to say no to people because I was always afraid of hurting people’s feelings. I was mad that it wasn’t enough to give this man money, and that I also allowed him to mess with me. Which, by the way, I don’t think he was doing at all. I think he was thanking me the best way he knew how.

Long story short, my faith was renewed today. I enjoy helping people. I just prefer a “Bless You” over a lick.

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