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?