Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekends Go Too Quick

Well, I think there was a weekend there. It seems to have disappeared and left me back at work, without so much as a clean house to go home to. Damn. Also, I still have three dogs. Yup. Three. Sigh. It's getting harder and harder to be strong about getting rid of her.

Let's see, what news is there? On Friday night Jodi & Susan & I went to Broadways, as we often do on Fridays and then Susan came over to my house for more beers and then later Charles came over too. Thus I was a bit out of it on Saturday, when it rained and I took my sleepy rain exhausted self for some retail therapy. I am currently wearing a very great new purple sweater, so that was good; I got a copy of an Iain M. Banks Culture novel I had never read before, which fills me with glee and I ordered a bunch of plants from SpringHill. Can I afford this? No, of course not, but I did manage to talk myself out of a new camera lens, so, you know, whatever.

Saturday night I watched more Dr. Who, cementing my love affair with Christopher Eccleston and destroying the hat I was knitting. I ignored Earth Hour because I suck and then on Sunday I met Susan over at Annie's house to theoretically help with titling more of Annie's paintings and work on the Great Website but in actual fact to drink champagne mixed with exotic fruit juices (great discovery of our time: mimosas are actually better with Odwalla type juice drinks like strawberry banana than they are with just orange juice) smoke cigarettes and perambulate slowly around the yard looking at daffodils and discussing the possibilities of croquet.

After that, I went over to take pictures of my friend Gordon, who is running for City Council. I now have several pictures of him looking almost unutterably goofy, so I'm looking forward to a fruitful eventual career of political blackmail in which my neighborhood will get sidewalks and speed bumps.

That would be about that for the weekend although I'm sorry to have to report that I had one of those door to door beggars last night. They always creep me right the hell out, particularly after dark. "No," I said after her fast and garbled can-you-help-me-my-car-ran-out-of-gas-just -down-the-street spiel, "I don't have any cash at all." and I shut the door. What I should have done, of course, is what we used to do, which is to say, "Sure! I have some gas in the garage for the lawnmower; not enough to get you far but probably will get you to the gas station! Let me go get it and I'll help you put it in your car!" Then I would have had the schadenfreude of watching her stumble her way out of my kind offer but I was not in the mood to play that game. Sometimes I am kind of glad that I have three dogs.

I feel bad for these people, of course, but I've seen too many of them to ever believe a single word they say. I've offered to drive the ones who claim they need money for a child's prescription to the drugstore and I've been refused. I've offered to take someone to a gas station and been refused. I know they're looking for quick money for a quick whatever and honestly I feel kind of bad begrudging them that because, obviously, I have no high moral ground to stand on and I know a little bit about desperation. But still I don't like it. While I will happily give the Earls of this world a dollar or two almost every day downtown, there's a Calvinist core to me - maybe it's just fear - that makes me wary and distrustful and angry with the door to door beggars.


Anonymous said...

The last time we had the door-to-door begging thing it was a couple, man and woman, and they caught us coming in after midnight from a beer-soaked party at a friend's house. Being buzzed and full of good cheer (and also thinking the late hour made their story more probable), I helped them out. (My partner thought I was giving them a 5, but I gave them 35 bucks.)

DAMN IF THEY WEREN'T BACK THE NEXT DAY LOOKING FOR MORE. All my good cheer having dissipated in the harsh light of day, I went off on them for abusing my trust and basically scared them away.

That was four or five years ago, and I'm happy to say nothing like it has happened since. You did the right thing; there are ways to help people down on their luck, but handing out money at your front door is not it.

mygothlaundry said...

They CAME BACK?!?!!? Yeah, okay, that takes the cake.

I remember one who had this completely convoluted story all about how she was visiting her bedridden grandmother in the neighborhood and then it somehow devolved until she was trying to sell us her "grandmother"'s stuff. Like, nice, you just ripped her off and now you want us to buy her brass candlesticks from the dollar store? Along with the requisite car out of gas story, of course. Eeesh. Yeah, I really don't like them coming to the front door.