Presents for the Homeless?

I’ve thought about this a lot, so when Jay made this comment, I decided to address it in a post and put it to a vote so that you, my public, can decide what I should do.

As you’ve read (if you read this blog, I mean) there is a woman who spends a good deal of her time sitting on a suitcase in the 7th Ave and 9th Street station on the F Line. I’ve actually thought about getting her presents before. In fact, one day I bought her a couple of bananas. When I came up to her she was looking down and when I stopped and tried to get her attention, she didn’t look up at me. I freaked out and ran away with the bananas.

I haven’t tried to give her anything since.

There’s another woman who I see on a regular basis. She sits outside the Jay Street – Borough Hall stop. Every time I see her she is either smoking or writing in her little notebook. Though, this woman isn’t writing words, she’s just making tiny, perfect, marks in some pattern. She usually has about 5 or 6 different pens — ballpoint — in different colors. I’ve often thought about buying her a new notebook, some multi-colored pens and a pack of Newports and wrapping them up like a birthday gift.

I’d make it beautiful and special and tell her, “Happy Birthday,” even though I don’t know when her birthday is. And I’d explain that although it may not be her actual birthday, I think that everyone deserves a birthday present so I wanted to give her one.

But then I worried. I can’t decide whether giving a homeless woman a wrapped gift would seem pretentious. Or maybe she’d find it condescending. Would I really be being kind or would it be presumptuous?

In New York some homeless people tend to stay in the same areas, or ride the same subway lines. So, when you see them every day, you tend to have a sort of relationship with them, the way you do with the guy at the corner deli or the mail person. I don’t know these two homeless women at all, but I see them practically every day and have noticed things about them. Like one loves soda and the other draws tiny lines in her notebook. I’ve developed a fondness of a sort for them and if I ever got the nerve up to give either of them a gift, it would definitely have to be in some anonymous way otherwise I’d totally chicken out. I guess I’d have to write my “Happy Birthday” message on a card.

So, whaddya think? Should I do it?

Ho, Bitch, Slut

The following blog post was originally posted on www.HRHandthePrincess.blogspot.com.
Written by The Princess

I talked to V, my niece, the other day. We talked after I had a phone conversation with my mom. Mom gave me the update on how she had gotten her shutters installed on the house for $10 a window. He did 3 windows which equaled 3 hours of work. Mom had to force this poor guy to take a $20 tip. Imagine the life situation that would make you feel $10/hour for manual labor was sufficient. Anyway. She went on to explain how she had been Googling to determine whether the pain in her back was from trying to lift the 150 lb. birdbath in my grandmother’s backyard or from a pancreatic tumor.

[Side Note: This past week Mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I told her then asked what she wanted. (I’m 12/9 and she’s 12/11.) She said, not sarcastically, “I want to live.” People. If there ain’t drama, it ain’t my mama.]

So, as we’re getting off the phone Mom says, “Oh yeah. Some of V’s friends called her a slut and a ho and a bitch. What do you think I should do?”
Me: Stay out of it, Mom.
Mom (to V in the background): She told me to stay out of it.
V (from the background): Uh!

I asked to speak with V and asked her why the girls were calling her a bitch. She didn’t know. So, I asked if she thought it might be because she was being a bitch.

No. Of course not.

So, I proceed to talk to her about how girls can say mean things and that I was sorry her feelings were hurt and I encouraged her to realize that if these girls were the kind of girls who talked shit behind their friend’s back (in G language, of course) that these were not the girls she wanted to be friends with in the first place.

And then. I swear to God. I hear myself …
quoting Erykah Badu.

Yep.I used the Apple Tree reference.

See I picks my friends like I pick my fruit
My ganny told me that when I was only a youth
I dont walk around trying to be what Im not
I dont waste my time trying to get what you got
I work at pleasin me
Cause I cant please you and thats why I do what I do
My soul flies free like a willow tree
Doo wee doo wee doo wee

I explained the apple analogy. “If you were at Super Wal-Mart picking out an apple, you wouldn’t pick the rotten apple. You’d pick the good apple. Right? So why would you pick the rotten girl to be friends with?”

V said, “Huh?”

I said, “Just try to ignore them, honey.”