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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Excuuuuuuse me!

Bug and I went to get our coffee on Sunday (as usual). There was a lady at the counter that I have seen before coming and going from the station. We've never spoken, nor have we even made eye contact, but she was a familiar face.

After Bug and I filled our cups, we went to the counter where this lady was digging change out of the bottom of her purse. She already had about 3 piles of coins on the counter and I didn't know how much more she needed.

Being the helpful person I can be am, I hand the cashier a dollar to help her with her purchase. I thought she was having trouble coming up with the money.

WELL... did she ever get offended!!!

She snapped her head around and said to me, "What is THAT for? I'm not POOR. I don't need CHARITY!". Then she looked at the cashier and said "GIVE HER BACK HER DOLLAR!"

I was so embarrassed! I told her, "Sorry! I didn't mean to offend you. I was only trying to help if you needed it."

She didn't say a word. She just snatched up her purchases and walked out the door without even looking in my direction.

Bug's eyes were huge. She didn't understand what she had just witnessed.

I told her some people are extremely sensitive when it comes to money and the perception that they don't have any. I told her we DID do the right thing, and to offer to help someone does not always end that way. Most people are thankful and will thank you even while they are saying they don't need the help.

I was so embarrassed and it has bothered me since it happened. But what can I do?


Neas Nuttiness said...

Don't do anything...just be ready to offer aid again. Believe me, there are people who would be touched by your offer of help. Just recently, I was in line at Wal*Mart. The lady in front of me was in a "scooter" and was loading here bags into the basket attached to the front. The cashier had forgotten to ring up her bread. I told her to just ring it up first on my order, which she did. I then placed the bread into the lady's basket. She had immediately started digging into her purse, trying to find the right amount of money to pay me. I told her that she didn't need to pay me...that she could just "pay in forward". At first I don't think she understood me, and then I saw the smile. I really believe that she will "pay it forward".. There are lots of kind, giving, gracious, humble, appreciative people in the world...but it's kind of like the fairy tale...sometimes you have to "kiss a lot of frogs"...before you find a prince!

SkippyMom said...

Marni - you explained it to Bug beautifully. The woman was just a tad touchy [to be out in public IMO :D] but it was a very kind gesture and something I think all of us would do.

As Neas said, keep doing what your are a sweet wonderful lady and a great role model for the kids.

[loved your story too Neas!]

CindyDianne said...

You absolutely did the right thing and there was not anything else you could have done. Bug has a marvelous example of how to be.

Biddie said...

I agree - you did nothing wrong. I have done the same thing a few times myself, and I have had people offer to pay for my coffee, bus fare, etc.
I take it as it is meant to be - a kind gesture :)

coffeypot said...

You know me, I would have come back with, "I believe you are very capable of paying for what you want and do not need charity, but you are fucking rude to wait until you get to the counter to count out your piddley ass change thus holding up everyone else.” You know me…pass on the love.

KLee said...

I also think you did the right thing. I have done that several times in the grocery store, and it's usually just a way to make someone's life just a little easier.

I think you did the right thing, and I think you explained it to Bug very well, but I want you to stop feeling embarrassed about it. SHE was rude. If she didn't need the money, all she had to do was calmly say, "OH, thank you! That's so nice of you, but I have it right here." There was no need to be belligerent and defensive about it. Especially when someone is trying to be NICE. You don't repay kindness with attitude.

You keep on being the big heart that you are. And there's nothing wrong with teaching Bug the same.

Martha said...

I believe in paying kindess forward. It feels good, even when the people on the receiving end aren't interested.

Amy said...

Some people are just too prideful, I guess. I think it is great how you explained the situation to Bug.

You did the right thing.

SkippyMom said...

I like coffeepot's response ;) - such a role model...heehee

ccw said...

I don't see that you have any reason to be embarrassed. You were only trying to help, whether it was out of need or just trying to keep her from digging and digging. She was the one in the wrong. No need to be such a bitch, a simple thank you but I've got it or something to that effect would have been more appropriate.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

You did the right thing. Don't worry about that person's reaction.