Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Brother can you spare a ride?

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."


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 not.

Maybe I'm not one either.


Sarcasta-Mom said...

All right, seriously? Too nice. To often people really are douches. Thanks for having such a big heart :)

Lara said...

Maybe way down deep inside somewhere, you're actually pretty nice? Don't worry, I won't give your secret away. ;)

And besides, we already discussed that douchebag topic. hehe

But really, doesn't it feel awesome to help someone when they need it? I just love that feeling. :)

Maggie said...

I wish I could be sure that I'da done the same thing. Honestly, I probably would have been just as scared of the lady with more tattoos than teeth as I would be of her boytoy.

Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...



Too many times I'm "too busy" to help a stranger but when I do, I feel like I get blessed over and over again...

CPA Mom said...

Good for you!! Our next door neighbor sent his daughter over yesterday and asked if we could drive her to the drugstore to drop off his prescriptions (he just had surgery and this was the first we heard about it). It was boiling hot and we didn't want to go anywhere and why the heck didn't he ask his brother who lives 5 houses down but HP went anyway. It was the right thing to do. But man, it's hard to do the right thing most of the time.

frannie said...

maybe they aren't....

Robyn said...

I think it's great that through your actions (not just words), you taught your daughter 2 important lessons. To help out a neighbor (you never know when you might need some help) and to not let a strange man in your car (seriously).

Jana said...

You are right, you are not a douchebag... and boy/girl child won't be either because they have a fantastic mom who shows them the difference between right and wrong.

On a side note...I thought of you last night while watching my husband brush his beard and of course he has no hair either on his head to brush, I couldn't help but laugh!

the planet of janet said...

i'd like to think i'd do the same, but honestly? i doubt i would have.

hats off to you for taking the chance.

Dawn~a~Bon said...

That was really nice of you.

Kudos for not letting the boyfriend ride with you. That was smart.

Doug said...

I'm full agreement with Jana.. you taught two very important lessons. Helping people is good, but not at the expense of your own safety.

Pretty big kudo's to the lady and her boyfriend for understanding your concerns and appreciating your helpfulness all the more.

Of course now you may discover you're her new bestest friend, but I suspect you can keep your boundaries secure from that.

Captain Steve said...

That lady did sound nice. And talkative. I mean, if you wanted to get in on the neighborhood gossip? There's your source.

kristi said...

LOL...I agree with Captain Steve. But seriously, my neighbor is a weirdo and we steer clear. Unfortunately he loves to come over with no shirt on when we are outside. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Catwoman said...


Rachel said...

That was very nice of you!! It sounds like perhaps those neighbors aren't so bad.

Anonymous said...

Of COURSE, you're not a douchebag! I believe in random acts of kindness-tho this wasn't too, too random since she asked for the kindness, but still...Good job.

A's Mom said...

Kudos to you! I'm sure you made her day.. and you know what... I bet it made you feel good too.

Cat said...

Random acts of kindness! I love it! Your awesome Chick... but I have one question how did she get her car in the can?

Love ya xxx :)

Anonymous said...

She had more tattoos than teeth.---way classy.
Maybe everyone isn't a douchebag mom."---I about spit out my coffee thru my nose reading that. haha.

And I would have absolutely been thinking the same thing about having a strange man (or woman) get into my car with my little girl. Scary.

But you are a good person, and I'm glad things worked out. :)

Amy W said...

You are a good person, as well as very smart!

Tracey said...

You're not a douchebag. It's good that your daughter doesn't think so, either. :)

Tara said...

good for you :)

Much More Than A Mom said...

Good for you. I would have made up some excuse about being in a hurry...

Angie said...

I'm so proud of you. . . this would be one of those stories that you'd have to "edit" for the news sentinel, though.

. . . random uses of the word douchebag! : )

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

You're not a douchebag. I think all of us are just a bit more careful in today's society because you never know. You know?

Lil Mouse said...

wow. we've had to turn a couple of people down for things like that. they dont have any money but they need a ride to the store to get some money out of the cash machine so they can go to work or something like that. they have a couple of dollars they could give us.. bass ackwards thinking. makes no sense at all. of course, we had JUST pulled in from being somewhere and i'm 99.9% certain that she was looking in our windows and our neighbors windows trying to see if we were there, possibly to break in. why else would you be 30 feet away from the street staring in someone's windows? especially if you were trying to get somewhere? that really freaks me out. way to go for you being awesome.

Jason said...

What a great story. Maybe everyone isn't a douchebag. Hmmm. Food for thought.

By the way? I love the name of your blog.

Emma in Canada said...

They did seem nice. But still, I would gladly send my neigbour down there and you could come live in her house. Then I could have a nice neighbour.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Amira said...

Been there, helped that person. A few times.

Been there, been that person.

One thing this world needs more of--kindness. And you gave it.

You rock. As usual.

Stephanie said...

#1 You were smart for not having a man come with you, my dad would kill me if I ever gave a strange man a ride anywhere.

#2 You are very nice for helping her out, especially since the price of gas is ridiculous now and you had to use yours to get her there and back.

Betsey Booms said...

You did the right thing, you know?

And smartly.

KiKi said...

Im glad they turned out to be good people and that you were able to do an act of kindness that really helped people out. A word of caution though: women can be just as dangerous as a man. She could easily have pulled a weapon and done something vicious.

(I dont mean to be a killjoy, sorry - Im from NY, everyone is considered dangerous until they prove that theyre not.)

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

"As you have done unto to least of these, you have done unto Me".

You honored God that day.

You are teaching your children well.

Bless You!!

EE said...

You did a very cool thing. Good for you...you've inspired me!!!