So, Saturday morning.
I have to go to the grocery store. I don't mind it, really.
Okay for real, as geeked out as this makes me, I really enjoy going to the grocery store. Forking over the cash, I don't so much enjoy, but I like shopping. I like saving money. I like lining up all the things in my little cart just so.
So Girl Child and I go outside to get in our car and a lady from up the street starting calling to me.
"Ma'am! MA'AM! Excuuuuuuuuuse me!"
I sighed, deeply, on the inside.
Because my neighbors and I? Not. So. Much.
I turned around and she came running down the street. The lady was maybe in her 40's. She was wearing a tank top and really short shorts. She had more tattoos than teeth.
"Can you help me?"
I raised my eyebrows at her.
"I need some gas for my car. I've got to go to work and I don't have any gas."
I said, "I don't think we have any gas either, except what is in our cars right now."
And I waited. You know, because I was fairly certain she was going to whip out some device which would allow her to siphon gas out of my tank.
But she didn't.
She said, "Can you give my boyfriend a ride up the street to the Pilot so he can get some gas in the can and then give him a ride back here?"
My daughter is standing there, looking at me.
The woman notices my daughter and says, "Where's your scooter?"
So I said, "I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know your boyfriend and I wouldn't feel comfortable giving a man I don't know a ride anywhere."
What I was thinking in my head was, IF THAT MAN GETS IN MY CAR HE WILL RAPE AND ROB ME AND MY DAUGHTER AND SOMEONE WILL FIND US DEAD ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD SOMEWHERE AND JASON WILL BE *REALLY* PISSED.
But I didn't say that. It seemed like it would be overkill.
She looked at me like I had two heads for a moment and then she said, "Well, I understand. I could go instead."
So I said, "Okay."
I said okay, y'all.
She went back to her house and was standing in the yard talking on the phone. I drove up and asked her to hop in the back with Girl Child. Her boyfriend brought the gas can over to the car and said, in a accent which sounded more like Jason than me, "Thanks very much for doing this. It's very nice of you."
She got in.
She said, "I told my boyfriend you said that you didn't want him to go!"
I thought, Great. Now the boyfriend will come over and shank me while I'm getting the newspaper on Sunday. Perfect. Just perfect. JAY-SUS.
She continued, "He said, 'Boy, she's smart! I don't blame her. I wouldn't want my daughter riding around with a man she doesn't know!'"
As we drove to the gas station the lady talked. She told me she had a job cleaning houses. She told me her boyfriend had just moved here from Michigan. She told me her oldest son had just had a child and she was pretty irritated with him right now (I didn't ask why, but I assumed it was because he was pretty young and had just had a child). She told me the ages of her other kids.
She said the guy next door (the old man) was mean and had been mean to her kids and yelled at them and threatened to kill them if they threw their ball into his yard. I told her that the people who used to live there were pretty awful and their kids would do stuff like, throw hammers at people's cars, so the old man was probably just trying to protect himself.
The lady was...well, she was nice. She was okay. You know?
She got her can in the car and I brought her back to the house. She thanked me, again, for the ride and her boyfriend came over and thanked me again too.
Girl Child had been very quiet this whole time and when we were alone again and on our way to the market she said, "Mom? Why did you do that lady a favor?"
I said, "I don't know honey. I really don't know. I didn't want to. But for some reason I just felt like I should help her out."
She was quiet and then she said, softly, "Maybe everyone isn't a douchebag mom."
Maybe I'm not one either.