Friday I get on the commuter rail to head home and I over hear a girl on the phone saying “Can you believe this guy? I mean seriously!” I perk up to listen because I assume she is talking about a date gone wrong. “I buy the guy breakfast and he doesn’t even say thank you.” My immediate thought was that this guy spent the night with her, she pays for breakfast and he ditches out. “What a loser!” I think to myself. I am equally as angry at this guy as she is.
She goes on. “I walk by him and he asks me for change. I told him I didn’t have anything but I had a gift card to Dunkin’s and I’d buy him breakfast.” She pauses to let the other person speak. “He told me to give him the gift card and he’d go himself. Then I said ‘There is thirty bucks left on that thing. I’m not just handing it to you. I’ll go with you.” The two of them, I assume head off to Dunkin’s. She carries on her story “I obviously let him order. He orders a coffee and sandwich. I assume he’s done but then he orders a donut and a juice. He totally took advantage of me. That’s like two breakfasts not one. I almost cut him off but that would be rude. It’s not like I can be like ‘OK, you got a sandwich and coffee. You’re done.’ So, I pay for breakfast with my card. Eight dollars! Eight dollars, I paid for this guy to have breakfast and the guy doesn’t even say thank you! Can you believe him? He full on took advantage of me.” So, the guy is homeless. Now I feel bad for being angry at him.
I am floored at how ridiculous this girl sounds. I turn around to see what she looks like. She is tastefully dressed and sporting a beautiful brand new Vera Bradley hand bag. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but it looked like she was doin’ alright for herself.
She keeps repeating over and over “Eight dollars. All I wanted was a thank you!”
Now, here is my logic on this. Yes, the homeless guy should have said thank you. However, this woman offered to do something nice for someone. I think that when you offer to do something nice for someone, it is out of the goodness of your heart and you shouldn’t expect anything in return for it. He probably did take advantage of her just a bit but in the grand scheme of things, what is eight dollars to her? He was probably thirsty, wanting something with substance, something sweet and needed caffeine all at once.
I am all for doing nice things for people who are in need. I don’t always expect a thank you or anything in return. However, I don’t like becoming a door mat either. In this instance, I think she could have chalked it up to a pay-it-forward experience and learned from it (after all, she did use a gift card someone else probably gave her). Not everyone is going to say thank you whether it be that they forget to say it at the sight of food and all they can think about is eating or they just have too much pride. Either way, I am sure it was appreciated and she could have taken away from this the satisfaction of making someone’s morning and taking the “how am I going to eat today?” worry out of this poor guys head.