I can sometimes be a bit of a bleeding heart - I'm a seriously emotional person. If you were at my wedding you know this, because I cried through half of it (seriously). Sometimes I cringe at how much I cried that day, but when it comes down to it, I was really, really happy and PMSing hard core. The perfect storm (which I think might be my new favorite phrase, so look out because I'll probably be overusing it in the near future, along with my trusty parenthesis).
D won't let me watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet anymore because it gets me all worked up. I get so upset that I (shocker!) cry through most of the episode. I have to turn the channel if that Sarah McLachlin ASPCA commercial comes on because it makes me want to whip out my cell phone and my credit card and donate our entire month's income. And adopt every homeless animal in the country, even the cats. Even though I'm seriously allergic to cats and don't really care for them as pets. As it is, I've been thisclose to adopting at least 5 dogs in addition to Conner, the fact that D would murder me upon discovery be damned.
I also have this insane desire to donate a kidney to someone. It doesn't have to be anyone in particular. I just feel really bad that there are so many people who desperately need just one working kidney and I'm walking around with two kidneys in tip-top shape, hoarding them like a miser. Now to be honest, I haven't thoroughly researched kidney donation. But I do know that you really shouldn't get pregnant when you're minus one kidney, so it probably won't happen in the next 5-10 years. But if you're in need of a kidney in 2015 or later, look me up.
With all this in mind, it should be no surprise that I am rendered totally useless against kids who stand outside grocery stores trying to hock their wares, raise money for their clubs or find the cure for cancer. It's terrible. I know I could just say, "Sorry, I don't have any cash" (almost always the truth), but then their little faces are all like "So go to the ATM Scrooge, we'll wait." (Please note that this situation is entirely different from purchasing things from the awesome kiddos I have the pleasure of being related to or knowing personally. In those instances, I am very happy to help, especially since I know they won't be hitting me up every weekend from the start of spring until the end of summer.)
I have walked to the entire opposite end of the store to use the other entrance in an effort to avoid these kids and their tables. I feel especially bad when they are so cute and young and peppy and full of enthusiasm. Then it's like the "No, thanks" crushes their souls. And I always feel really guilty because I get to wondering if I was their first try for the day. What if their first try was a no? How would that effect them for the rest of the day? Maybe if I'd said yes, they would have a higher level of confidence and get out there and sell more cookies/flowers/ribbons/tootsie rolls/rainbows. So I usually end up coming back after I've done my errand and give them a donation or buy something from them as an act of penance for ruining their careers in sales for the rest of their lives.
It's gotten to the point where I actually feel dread when I see tables or people set up outside stores. Yesterday I had to run to the store to get some something or other for a meal I was making. I usually go to Kroger, but there's a more boutiquey type grocery store that's closer, so I just stopped in there because I was in a hurry.
Big mistake. I quickly noticed that there were some adolescent-looking people standing outside the grocery store, to which there is only one entrance/exit. They were dressed like American revolutionary soldiers. I felt a mild uneasiness build up inside me and I tried to plot my strategy. Sometimes I'm able to be like one of those fish who hang out with the whales so they won't get eaten by sharks. I just kind of barnacle onto another shopper and allow them to distract the miniature sales person so I can get away unscathed. I decided this was my best option.
But then one of the kids really tugged on my heartstrings when he started playing the lute or whatever it was that the our forefathers played when they were marching to their deaths in battle. You know how it goes - all patriotic and happy and impressive that a youth in today's day and age knows how to play that instrument and that song.
Still, I managed to stay strong and successfully execute Operation Barnacle. I got inside and bought whatever it was I went for (I think it was ricotta?) and hurried on my way out to the parking lot. I had forgotten about American Revolutionary Jr. As I walked out the door, I was thrown even further into my Pit of Guilt when the old lady in front of me flat-out ignored the kid. I mean, come on. How hard is it to say, "No, thanks"? (Maybe I'm not the best person to be posing that question. Glass houses and all that.)
So I sighed and dug into my pocket for some change. I dropped it in his can before he could even get his spiel out and went on my way. And then it dawned on me that I had no clue what they were even raising money for. Maybe American Revolutionary Jr. and his friends all got together and had some convincing costumes and decided to stand outside the grocery store and see how much money they could get. And then one kid was like, "Hey, I happen to know how to play the lute!" and then AR Jr. was like, "Perfect! You should totally do that!" Or maybe they were raising money for terrorism and the costumes were an ironic insult to our country.
I'll never know for sure. What I do know is that I'm a big weenie. If you ever want money from me, just get your cute child, niece, cousin, whoever to stand outside a grocery store and hold a can. Bonus points if you give them a puppy with a chronic condition. And if you can get the puppy to play a lute, all the cash in my wallet is yours.