You know how we, as humans, have those moments where we want to (or really do) want to smack our heads for being so stupid? Well, I had one of those moments today.
Greensboro is a unique town in the fact that it doesn't have a ghetto, it has ghettoes. Spread out throughout town, in the most random of places- even right smack in the middle of ritzy areas. Like, you have mansions and ritzy stores on one side of the street and Food Lion and Church's Chicken on the other. Well, the grocery store I usually go to 'cause it's right across the street from Rob's work has a ghetto behind it. And I go to this grocery store instead of the one close to our house because it's a nice Harris Teeter that has a great produce selection compared to the dumpy Food Lion with wilted lettuce near our house.
So anyway, I go to the grocery store today and as I'm getting out of my car a shabby woman in a dilapidated car pulls up next to me. I'm immediately on my guard as this happens quite often in this area. (In fact, up to this point I have blown off anyone asking for anything and feel really guilty about it.) She proceeds to tell me that her baby in the back seat has a fever and she needs some pedialyte formula and some tylenol for it and would I be willing to help her out? [I'm thinking in my mind, "holy cow, pedialyte is expensive- I can't afford to buy any] She asks if I would buy a blanket from her- she's trying to sell them to get the money for the supplies- for ten dollars. My previous guilt for not helping out needy people before is knawing at me so I tell her I can buy her some tylenol. She protests, saying she's not going to make me buy medcine for her 'cause some reason I don't remember now that sounded kind of legit at the time [that should have been a warning sign, but of course can't think on my feet]. So I tell her to wait a second, I'm not sure if I have any cash. Well, I'm definitely not giving her ten dollars- needy or not I can't afford that. So I tell her I have five dollars and tell her I don't need the blanket, I have plenty [I'm thinking there's no way I'm taking your nasty blanket] and she thanks me profusely and I hand the money to her. But, as I'm stepping away form her car I realize there is NO baby in that baby seat and she just scammed me. And I feel like crap. Even more so as she pulls away without even going into the Harris Teeter. And I realize I can't win- if I deny people I feel guilty, but if I help them out, I feel even more guilty. 'Cause the worst part is we've been really careful with money recently because of the economy and everything. And I just blew FIVE dollars. So the whole time I'm in Harris Teeter (and still now) I'm berating myself for not handing her a dollar. A dollar is a reasonable amount to give a complete stranger. NOT five dollars. This betrays how selfish I really am, but if I'm going to blow five dollars I'd rather have a junior bacon cheeseburger with fries and a frosty (instead of enabling someone's drug addiction or something just as bad).
So please, make me feel better and tell me I'm a good person and I'll get extra points on Judgment day or whatever so I don't feel like I completely wasted that money. 'Cause I'm a nice person, right?