Today I met a new friend for coffee and geeky tech chat at Caffe Umbria in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. It is not full of covered wagons and calico-clad, bonneted ladies. It is full of pigeons, bicycle cops and the… downtrodden? Unsheltered? Coin-challenged? What is the current acceptable term?
Anyway, I’m at a table outside waiting for my pal when a rather raggedy but not smelly woman comes up to me to ask me for money. She keeps saying “fivefollarfootlong, fivedollarfootlong” so I’m digging in my coat pocket for money, but I only have a dime and that’s just insulting, so I unzip my bag to go for the wallet and she comes at me for a hug.
“I don’t need a hug, just let me get you some money” say I. I wasn’t afraid of her or anything but I’m not the hug a stranger type. So not only does she hug me, she also kisses the top of my head and tells me I’m pretty like a Barbie doll, which I found a little insulting. Just being a white girl doesn’t make me a Barbie.
Anyway I give her five bucks and she practically sprints away; hopefully toward Subway.
I’m happy to share what I have; I have a life of ridiculous privilege compared to a person without a place to sleep at night or food to eat. But dang, stay out of my personal space, please.
Does that make me a terrible person? Does not wanting to be hugged negate the fivefollarfootlong?
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