It’s always sort of an awkward thing when a stranger approaches you for money (I prefer them just emailing the request from Ethiopia or London).
When I was a kid, I can remember a woman coming up to my mother at Grand Central Station. She had a very long tale about how she lost her wallet and needed train fare. She explained that if my mother would give her money for a ticket, she would mail her a check as soon as she got home.
It must have been one long ass train ride because my mom is still waiting to be reimbursed.
Of course, an Indianapolis man recently received a love letter in the mail that was sent 53 years ago so there is no reason for my mom to give up hope just yet.
And not long ago, a man approached my husband Rick at the drugstore. The man had apparently lost his wallet and needed train fare home. (I guess they teach this particular story in the online college course, “How To Separate People From Their Money Without Really Trying.”)
But believing the best in people, Rick gave him $20.
Because I, too, am a generous person, I thought we should have also offered him a lift to the liquor store. I mean, who wants to walk in this heat?!
So I couldn’t help feel sorry for my babysitter when she showed up at my house last week with her own a-stranger-wants-money-from-me story.
Apparently a woman came up to her at a gas station in a dire situation. The woman claimed that her car had run out of gas so she walked a mile to this gas station. But unfortunately, she had also left her wallet and ID at home. The station was refusing to give her any gas.
The whole no wallet/no ID/no gas situation seemed a bit suspect to my sitter. But heck, at least this story didn’t involve a train!
My very nice babysitter and her boyfriend decided to buy the woman some gas. They drove her to the car and then went home.
End of story.
Or so they thought.
The next day, just by chance, my sitter bumped into this very same woman at the mall. The woman ran up to her, profusely thanked her for all the help and gave her $50 bucks to express her gratitude.
I like this story. And not just because my sitter got an unexpected financial windfall.
It just reminds me to be compassionate. Because sometimes people really do need help (not just a bottle of Malibu rum).
By the way, I’m collecting money for marriage counseling for Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony so that these two musical lovebirds can reunite. It’s obviously a very important cause and I know you will do everything you can to help. It’s way too late to save Bennifer but we can save Marcennifer! You can just pay me directly via paypal. Thank you in advance!