So I am sitting in Caribou doing some work when a guy approaches me and gives me a story about a tire blowing out on his sister's car and how she has AAA and it's going to be towed to a local station which is all well and good but they are still $13 short to purchase an actual tire and is there anything I could do to help.
Anyone who knows me knows my immediate response is to dramatically roll my eyes, heave a sigh, and physically communicate to this person how he has intruded on my space and ruined my life merely by approaching me. But for some reason, I bought it. And gave him $5.
Now, anyone who knows me is wondering, "Who are you and what have you done with Dop?" I know, right?? Like that is so totally not me at all, you know! I've brushed off more panhandlers than I could ever think of counting. But something about this guy seemed genuine to me. Could it be that at some time in my life I had been stranded myself and needed a handout in much the same way? Could it be that it's been so freaking cold in Chicago and the thought of anyone having to spend any amount of time outside seems unnecessary if I can help it? Could it be that although I work for a charity, I rarely find myself in a position to actually help someone out directly?
Probably not. Tonight I was probably just a sucker. But I'm allowing myself to think that I wasn't, just this once. For whatever the reason, this guy needed money. I can overlook what his reasons for needing the money were . . . on another cold night in Chicago.