Panhandling

Today I woke up to my boy cuddled up in the covers next to me watching nursery rhymes on the iPad.

Then we went to his best friend’s house and played and laughed and had a good time.

When we came home, I dug a plastic drawer organizer out of the shed, rinsed and dried each drawer, and sorted all of the paperwork, mail, coupons, receipts, and miscellaneous items from the kitchen table into each of the drawers.

Then I did the dishes while dyeing my hair.

Productive-as-fuck, meet Tempest Rose.

Anyway, after all of my doing all the stuff, Adam and my dad got home so I ran out to get them (and me) some food. I stopped to get milk at WaWa, and got in line behind an adorable little boy. I’d say he was about 10 or so, definitely no older. He was just standing there staring sadly at a pile of change in front of him — the cashier had the same sad stare at a 12oz cup of hot chocolate.

change

He turned to me and said, “Do you have . . . Can I have twenty-five cents?”

I gave him a dollar.

But it made me so upset. Where were this child’s parents? Why didn’t they give him twenty-five-cents? Did he spend his allowance for the week and the pile of change was all he had left?

Why didn’t his parents teach him how to properly and respectfully panhandle? Everyone knows you don’t immediately ask for money, you work into it. You have a backstory.

“Excuse me, Sir. Would you by any chance happen to have a few extra dollars? I got stuck down here and need to catch a train home.”

That worked for me countless times. That’s how you panhandle. You don’t just look at someone with your puppy dog eyes and frizzy, curly hair and mocha skin and demand money.

Or maybe you do . . .


 

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11 thoughts on “Panhandling

  1. I’ve never quite liked handing out money to panhandlers. Back home (i.e. in Pakistan) we have many and I’ve heard many stories about what is termed as the ‘beggar mafia’ men, women and kids are sent out into the street to beg and what ever they collect is then however handed over to the person who sent them to do this. I’ve never give out money for this reason, I felt I would be perpetuating the problem. Especially when I’d see children I’d think, if I encourage this, it would be sending out the message, that yes people feel sorry for children and so more children will be made to do this. Of course the other side to the story I’d heard from friends was that when these children wouldn’t return with the amount of money they were asked to collect that would be dire consequences for them. This troubled me but I still didn’t hand out money. I’d feel sad because I’d see that most other people would, so would good was my lone efforts but I guess I’d like to believe that every little bit of effort, no matter how little does count towards something.

    I have occasionally though handed out money. My rule for this however would be to follow my heart and instinct. I would have this sometimes. I don’t know what it was that would make me hand out money, but when I would, I’d never look back or question why I’d did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to panhandle a lot for drugs, which I’m not proud of. But this little boy was obviously so sad he couldn’t get his hot chocolate, I just couldn’t say no.

      Plus, some random person lent me 50cents the other day when I was short, so in a way I was just paying it forward.

      I don’t even know what I’d do in your situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me of a similar incident that happened with me. I was sitting in a posh Mc Donalds (yes Mc Donalds is considered posh in India). A lil boy wearing dirty clothes with an attempt to look respectable came in a bought a burger and sat down like an accomplished gentleman. The security guard was eyeing him to throw him out so I struck up a conversation with him. He left me in charge of his burger and went to wash his hands before eating and sat down for his meal. I offered him my fries which he said no to at first and then took it. It must have been his birthday because he looked like he was feeling special.

    Liked by 1 person

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