I’m reading more and more heartwarming holiday giving stories online. I wish I had one to share. If you know me, you know I have always liked to volunteer and donate as much as I can. You also know all about my year-round freakish magnetism and my unfortunate experiences with the less fortunate over recent years (the girl at IndyReads who had been in their "system" for years, didn't bother to show up most of the time and only wanted to play cards when she did, the $100 worth of concert tickets I was told to buy as a Big Sister, the Salvation Army coat and toy store horror stories of liars and thieves, the highway ramp beggar who lived in the suburbs, the gift shop co-volunteer who yelled at me on Christmas Eve, I could go on and on).
My most recent jaw-dropping encounter: Our CFLC group meets monthly in a room adjoined to a tiny café known for welcoming the less fortunate (it has shower facilities, for example). A gal walked into the meeting room mid-meeting last month and whispered to someone who pointed her to our President.
The group was told that she was collecting money for bus fare. She needed $30 to get to a family member’s funeral that afternoon in Ohio. Our leader asked us if we would like to "pass the hat".
The CFLC fights for a living wage for the working poor, so somebody in the café must have told her we would probably be givers. We passed the hat (literally) and went back to our meeting.
This gal took the money from the hat and counted it – in front of us. Then, to the group and at the top of an entitled and accusatory voice, declared, “This isn’t enough” to which someone replied that she needed to move on.
She thanked us, not with a thank you but, with one of those offended hmmphs and stormed out. I wanted to go after her, grab my money out of her entitled little hands and hmmph her right back. But I didn’t. I was there to be charitable and helpful, after all.
So, this year, and until I’m over the last five years, I’ve decided to stick with political causes. This country’s populace (and specifically our collective middle class and working poor) is in dire straits and I think it’s where my time and money are best spent. I know I will still have to contend with certain ingratitude and entitlement, but hopefully in a much more impersonal way. This is best for me right now and best for others. Perimenopause and all.
Peace on earth. Goodwill toward men.