I am taking this break from my heavier posts to share with you the dangers of being nice.
For the past few years, I have become a bit paralyzed about what to do when you see strangers in need. I may have watched The Hitcher too young, or too many times (thanks Sis!).
I used to be very kind to strangers. I once even picked up a nice old lady I saw pushing her groceries in her wheelchair. You know, the one she was supposed to be sitting in! I drove her to her house and helped her carry in her groceries refusing any payment she wanted to give me. I have stopped and served as a witness for every accident I have ever seen. I've even helped with first aid when needed. But somewhere along the way, these strangers started scaring me. What if I helped and it was all a ruse to take advantage of a naive stranger?
Well, today I told myself I was going to stop being afraid. I am going to start setting the example for the Boy that we are all responsible for each other. Statistically (and we all know how statistics love me) the majority of people in the world are nice, honest people. I saw this lady in the grocery three times before I told myself to buck up and be kind. Kindness is what makes the world go 'round. Right?
So, I walk up to this sweet looking lady who is obviously wearing a horribly old and matted wig. I say, "I mean this in the nicest possible way, but are you wearing a wig?" She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and said, "Yes". So I told her that I had a wig that I wore for only a little while and that if she wanted it, it was all hers. As I said this, I made the biggest mistake in this encounter. I handed her my card with my home phone number, my email address and my physical address. Yes, that is right. My physical address! I hear you all judging now. At the moment, it seemed like a good idea alright!
She then proceeds to tell me how she lost her hair because people aren't nice to her. Her cat died and the lady at the vet wasn't nice. The lady said her cat died because she didn't know how to budget. Her neighbor turned her doctor against her (wait, what?). At this point, I'm thinking what kind of doctor? Is this your mental doctor? She told me about how she grew up in a physically and emotionally abusive home. At this point, the boy is getting a little freaked out and says "Mommy we have to go!" NOW he decides to speak up!
So then she says she doesn't have a number, but she will give me her email address and hands me back my card. Phew! I may get out of this yet! I dig through my purse to find a pen. My kingdom for a pen! There was no pen to be found. But, I cleverly hold my card against my phone and type her email address into my phone. Ha ha! I tell her I will give her a shout and we can set up a time for me to meet her and give her my wig. See there. I was going to meet her in a public place where she can't break my legs and keep me hostage as her "friend".
So, I say "Have a great weekend!" and start to walk away. I am going to get away. I'm so excited! At the last moment she says "But, I will keep this!" and pulls the card out of my hand. I watch as my sanity and any sense of security go from my hand into her pocket. I manage a weak smile and say "Bye".
So tonight, when I should be sleeping, I'm sure I will be looking up houses on MLS and looking at how to change my number and email address. I'm sure glad I set that example for the Boy.