All I wanted was some ice cream.
I like to think of myself as generous. I like to give money to people living in the street. Not all the time and not that much...maybe a couple of times a week and usually a dollar or some change. When I don't, I always wish the person well. It's easy to say good luck or tell them to have a good day.
It's probably my way of paying it forward. I was down and out for a few years and lots of people helped me, so I do what I can. And to be honest, it makes me feel good, too....nothing wrong with that. Win/win!
Last night I was in an upscale ice cream shop in Wrigleyville. They've had this sign outside about a new flavor that made me intrigued. I finally had time to go there yesterday. I'm sitting in a corner, eating my overrated five dollar scoop of ice cream, when a man approached me. He asked if he could talk to me. Now I know the drill. There's going to be a story followed by asking for money. I said sure, why not.
The story wasn't that unusual. He was stranded in the city, had some money and just needed a little more to get home. A little more was $10. I told him I wasn't going to give him ten but here's two dollars. That led to this exchange:
Man: Really? Two dollars? You don't have five or at least some change?
Me: Ummm....I believe what you wanted to say was thank you?
Man: Yeah, you're right. At least you talked to me. Thanks.
We shook hands. I wished him good luck. I could hear him trying to talk to other customers. I finished the ice cream and left.
I head to the bus stop and there's another guy. He has a sign and is giving his pitch for an upcoming anti-Trump rally. Pretty normal in this neighborhood. He's asking for money so they can make more signs. Our eyes meet and it's stare down time. One of those first one to blink loses moments. I blinked.
I put a dollar in the bucket and he kept looking at me. He didn't say anything but his glare made it apparent that my dollar wasn't what he expected. I finally broke the silence. "I'm pretty sure you just wanted to thank me." He didn't but did nod his head and smile. Close enough.
I'm not sure what's so tough about getting it out. It's just two words. Little ones. Thank and You. When someone does something nice for you, you just put them together....thank you! See how easy that is? So why is saying it so difficult?
Really....all I wanted was some ice cream.
Related Post: Trying to end homelessness one person at a time
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