Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just Some Things

My son recently asked his dad for the meaning of "rape" and his dad said it was when someone makes someone else do something they don't want to do. I let that stand until yesterday, when the kiddo was hanging out at my office. He was playing with another kid and I told the kiddo it was time to stop playing and get ready to go home. He refused, so we went outside for a talk. "Why are you making me do this??" he wailed. "YOU'RE RAPING ME!"

That's a nice thing for a kid to yell at his mom at a church.

Needless to say, I later clarified the definition of "rape" as "when a person makes someone do something with their private parts that they don't want to do," and I reiterated that the word most certainly does not apply to anything that happens between the two of us.

The pastors sure did laugh their asses off when I told them about it, though. ;^)


(Why, oh why do the dogs smell like hummus farts? This worries me.)


The homeless guy, "Mr. Bus Pass," came into the office last Thursday and I had to turn him away empty-handed. Our finance secretary is on vacation and she controls the petty cash. I'd also been told not pull money out of my purse in front of the homeless folks who visit us, lest we suddenly be deluged by homeless folks. Apparently it has happened in the past. When we had a full food pantry and routinely gave out boxes of food, word got around and we wound up having more requests than we could meet. Anyway, our childcare director was in the office when Mr. Bus Pass came by, and she heard the whole thing go down. When he left, dejected, she said, "That has to be the suckiest part of the job." I would venture to say it might be the only sucky part of the job, but it's pretty damned sucky.

Anyway, my conscience nagged me mercilessly since last week (WWJD indeed! And I'm not even a WWJD kinda gal), and when Mr. Bus Pass came back yesterday, I told him again that our finance secretary was still out (true), but that I'd check to see if a pastor was around to talk to. Then I covertly pulled some cash out of my purse, went away, came back and said I'd found a pastor who was able to scare up some cash, and gave it to him. The guy fills the waiting room with his unfortunate aroma, to the point that I have to stand back about five or six feet or my eyes start to water. He's been coming to us for a long time -- since before I started working there -- and I'm probably the latest sucker, but at least I felt better having given him something instead of sending him away with nothing. It doesn't solve his problems, but it gets through the afternoon. But what a fucked-up world it is sometimes.


The last few days have been completely awesome on the home front. The kiddo and I have been able to get ourselves ready for school/work ahead of time (incl. doing homework one morning!) and gotten out the door and to our destinations free of stress. Well, I do still feel some stress but I'm working hard on not transmitting it to the kiddo. As a result, he's been super mellow lately and has begun singing in the car. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS.


Last night the kiddo had baseball practice (rescheduled at the last minute from Wednesday) and I brought the dogs. With the exception of a few moments when the kids spotted the dogs and began barking at them (that's right, the kids were barking at the dogs), it was fabulous to have two hours to walk the dogs around the area -- not the field, although the primary dog did express interest in visiting the outfield and was very ticked off when I put the kibosh on that. The dogs got to expend and expel and were appropriately tuckered out by the time practice was over. Everyone slept like a log last night, so yes, we will be doing this again.


Today a woman called the church and asked if we could provide her with food. We'd recently begun to revive our food pantry and I told her I'd have the appropriate pastor contact her. Then she asked if I could maybe just go to the store and buy her some eggs, chicken quarters, milk, etc., "about twenty or thirty dollars' worth and I'll pay you back," and bring them to her house. Once again I told her I'd need to have the pastor contact her that afternoon because that pastor has a procedure we need to follow. I don't really know what to make of the caller. On one hand, I can certainly appreciate the fact that she's in need. I've been in dire need at certain times in my life and have total sympathy for others in need. On the other hand, I felt a little bit like I was about to be taken advantage of.

How does one walk the line between selflessness and selfishness?

Update: Today, 9-18-08, the woman called again and asked if we could scrape together seven, or maybe ten or eleven dollars and bring it with her food (and box fan) so she could do her laundry and she would pay us back. I don't know if we're getting scammed a little, but I mostly feel heartsick to think of anyone doing without basics, scammer or not. It's hard to know how to be with all this, and it's an ever-evolving lesson.