[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
mr. pink and me
maybe it was the early onset of cold weather. maybe it was the idea of little goblins knocking on my door with their hands outreached. maybe it was jodi’s story earlier this week. i can’t pinpoint the precise reason for my idea. but i can tell you that i had the best halloween ever.
i have a “regular guy.” i call him mr. pink, because he sits outside the thomas pink store i pass on my way to work every day. he greets everyone who passes with a softspoken voice.
“good morning, sir.”
“good morning, ma’am.”
“good morning, young lady.”
maybe it’s because he called me young lady instead of ma’am that i stopped the first time. but i don’t think so. i think it was the kindness in his voice. unlike some others, he doesn’t sit sullenly, shaking his cup at people as they walk by. he doesn’t curse those who don’t stop.
“have a good day, now.”
usually, it’s just change that i give. but, some days i go to the food court at my metro stop and pick up coffee. sometimes, fruit. some days, bagels and a copy of the post. some days, we chat.
he’s always gracious, even on the days when it’s just change.
he tells me about his days in vietnam. or, about how he grew up rich, but gave it all up for a woman he loved. or about the time he met the president. some days we talk politics. or he’ll show me an article in the wall street journal and ask me what i think about the economy. sometimes the stories seem to have some thread of reality in them. other days, not. but, the truth is, it’s not about the stories, or whether i think they’re true. it’s about giving him the chance to tell them to someone.
a co-worker passed me as i was talking with him one morning. she came by my office later that day and asked, “why do you give that guy money? don’t you worry that he’s just going to buy something to drink?”
no, i don’t. i worry that he’s going to freeze to death. i worry that he might get jumped by some kids. but i don’t worry that he might buy alcohol.
why do i give “that guy” money? because i can. because i have fifty cents in my pocket, and he doesn’t. maybe he will buy a bottle. maybe he’ll buy a sandwich. maybe he needs the bottle more than the sandwich. i just know that he is a person who needs something that i have. something i can easily afford to give. why wouldn’t i give?
yesterday, as i left work, i filled both my pockets with all the change i could find in my purse, my briefcase, my desk drawers.
and every single person who asked received.
“spare a little change today, ma’am?” asked the man who sits outside the burberry window.
“trick or treat,” i smiled as i dumped a handful of change into his cup.
“bless you. and happy halloween!"
"happy halloween to you, too."
i could hear my co-worker's voice booming in my head. "why?"
i smiled all the way home as i imagined my answer.
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