On Sunday, D and I went to a new church and on the way home while at a stop light, we saw a woman with a sign asking for money, food, shelter, and a “God Bless” thrown in for good measure. We didn’t pay too much attention to her, since we didn’t have cash on us and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t take credit or debit cards. But then we heard a phone ringing–loudly. It wasn’t me or D, and the other cars at the intersection had their windows up so we knew it wasn’t them either. So we look over at the lady, and she pulls out her phone and silences the call. She tried to do it on the slick, pulling the phone out slowly and kind of hid it behind her sign. We caught a good look at it, and we saw that it was a gotdamned Blackberry. She saw us looking at her and turned her back real quick. Umm, yes lady we saw you. But really? Can you afford that monthly plan? Why are you texting people while you’re holding an “I need money” sign?

We got stuck at the light because of a jam up in the turn lane, so we got the chance to check her out a little better. She was wearing a black peacoat with jeans and cute pair of Pumas. And she was rocking a dye job that was beginning to show roots. Ummmmmmmmmm. I own the same pair of Pumas and they weren’t cheap. But I have a place to live, food, and positive cash flow.

I know things can go bad in anyone’s life so I’m not trying to say that she wasn’t legitimately in a rough spot but she’s got to understand that her being dressed so well and having such a luxurious phone doesn’t lend her any type of credibility. At all. Period. I always hear stories about panhandlers who are actually millionaires or make a better living than I do by standing on the corner with a sign, and it makes me so skeptical about helping people out.

Growing up in NY I saw all kinds of ish on the side of the road, so I’m kind of desensitized to it, but I still will give a dollar here or there if I get a feeling in my gut that the person really needs it. My instincts may be wrong, but I believe in paying it forward for the most part. Do yall ever give to panhandlers?


8 thoughts on “Ironic?

  1. I gave this guy $20 one day while I was waiting at the light. He proceeds to tell me AFTER I gave him the money that he had money earlier but blew it on liquor and women. I wanted to jump out the car and snatch my money back. I was PISSED, but chalked it up as a loss.

    Hubby cracks me up cause he’s like if they aren’t LOOKING completely raggedy, dirty and legitimately homeless they wont get a dime. And he’s quick to tell someone to go down to day labor to make some money. Lol

  2. I used to give until I saw a 20/20 segment on it and they showed some of the houses they owned. I also heard my friends story of how she went and bought a panhandler a sandwhich and drink thinking he was hungry, but he threw it back and her and demanded cash. Now, I refuse. As far as I’m concerned they can get off their @$$es and get a real j.o.b and pay taxes like the rest of us.

  3. Nope.. I don’t give.. BECAUSE I’m from NY.. and you KNOW how that can be!!! I also watched a couple panhandle in Russet and those fools jumped in a Benz and rolled out when they were done.. call me scrooge.. I am not giving NATHAN

  4. I never give any money to those who ask for it on the street.

    A few months ago, I was in Miami and saw a couple who looked like they weren’t long on this earth unless they received pretty immediate medical care.

    I gave them a few bucks and directed them to a nearby clinic. They didn’t speak much English – good thing I speak Spanish.

    I really don’t think they were hustlers. That was a one time thing.

    I often see hustlers on the street in Toronto and just don’t have the time of day for their nonsense.

  5. My mother use to tell me the same thing about stop giving homeless people my money b/c they could be lying.

    I believe your gut is right. That damn woman isn’t homeless. Not with some fresh Pumas and a blackberry. Who is a homeless person calling? Another homeless person.

  6. Girl I stopped giving to panhandlers after an experience I had in high school. It was around christmas time and me and my friend went to Macy’s in NYC. It was butt cold and there was this homeless man sitting on the ground outside of the store. He was barefoot and said he feet were freezing. I went inside and bought this man a pair of isotoner slippers….now for a high schooler this was big time! I ran back out to give it to him and he was sooooooo grateful. I went back in and continued shopping. When we left do you know I looked at him and his feet were still bare and he had stuffed the slippers behind his head (he was sitting up against the store)! I was close to tears my feelings were hurt so bad!

    Oh, there was this guy on the train one time who said he was hungry and wanted to go to McDonald when the train reached 59th street. I gave him $2 and he looked at the money and said, “damn, can a brother get a whooper!?”. I started laughing and told him to give me my damn money back!

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