Tuesday, December 7, 2010

scam or not?

I've not been so prolific lately.  Just been dealing with life and all it has to offer.

Two things on my mind lately and neither are Earth shattering.  The first is the work ornament exchange I am hosting this week. It's a fun party and one I don't spend too much time worrying about.  It's a pot-luck, so no major cooking for me and all I have to do is have a clean (enough) house and toilet paper in the bathroom.  The lights  are up, the tree is up, and there will be a bit of furniture rearranging to make things work.  The thing I am trying not to worry about is that (apparently) people at work have been worried that hosting this party is too much for me.  Yes, I recently finished school, and yes, mom takes some time with her health, and yes, my son was recently hospitalized, but everything is pretty settled now and the party isn't that big a deal.  At first I was bothered that I had gotten a phone call from someone asking if I was still up to hosting and that she would host if I needed her too.  The call bothered me overnight, but then I realized that making those types of phone calls  are hard, and it really is just a show of concern and compassion.  I guess I should be thrilled that I have co-workers who feel that concern for me, but it still somehow felt like a vote of no-confidence.

The second thing that is on my mind is Scott.  He's a homeless man who is trying to get off the streets.  I met with  him at my front door last month and we talked for a bit. He and some of his homeless buddies are trying to raise funds to have a permanent address.  They believe it will take $5,000 to be able to do that, and have raised and saved over $3,000 towards their goal.  He asked if I could help out, and would even accept change from a change bowl I had laying about. I collected my change and some bills from my wallet and sent him on his way, after also giving him some juice to drink.

This morning Scott was at my door when I returned from dropping off one son at school.  He was happy that he found a job, but needed help for transportation until he got his first paycheck.  He promises to pay me back the $25 he's asking for.  I didn't have cash at home, so I drove him to my bank and got him some cash, then drove him to the BART station.  Maybe I am a fool for giving him cash.  My gut, though, tells me he is speaking from the heart. I do not want to be the heartless person who has no compassion for someone in need, but I also don't want to be the chump who gets taken advantage of.  This time I gave Scott a few grapefruits, which he says he loves.  I guess part of me is reflecting on my friend, TD, who is homeless in Salt Lake City. I'd like to think that someone is giving him a break now and again.

Happy Holidays, whichever holiday you celebrate.

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