Pollyanna Snaps

I’m sitting in Starbucks at 5 A.M., when a young African American fella comes in with a filled up shopping cart.  He doesn’t look homeless, but it’s clear he’s been trash picking all night…bottles, bags, a pair of scuffed shoes stacked neatly like tiny treasures.

He sits in the corner without buying anything, so I get up to ask if I may treat him to coffee.

He nods showing me he’s missing two of his front teeth.

I get him exactly what I have, a Veranda Venti, bringing it over. ” He says, “Do ya think I can have an ice-coffee instead?”

Now iced-coffee costs more, but I go to Brianna, the sweet barista, who kindly pours it over ice at no extra charge.

I sit for a spell, write a bit, before getting my refill to go, stopping at the milk and sugar bar.  As I’m lacing my cup with enough sugar to launch, suddenly, there he is again, holding a ham and cheese panini.

“Can I have this?”

Now I’m annoyed.  “No, I said, “coffee is the best I can do,” and it was since that left 78 cents on my Starbucks card.  He goes to put to back, sulking like a Labrador I wouldn’t let swim.

Brianna, who’s watching, shakes her head.  “See, ya can’t win.  They always want more. Happens all day.”

Now if this was supposed to comfort me, it didn’t.  Rather than feeling good about my spontaneous generosity, I was now berating myself.  I heard my mother from the ethers say, “Oh Susannah, you could have fed that man…you have your Visa with you after all…how uncaring, how selfish, how cheap you are.”

So now I’m fuming feeling like Jack Benny who wouldn’t have bought God coffee, let alone an all-night shopper needing dental work.

So what’s a half asleep Thin Girl to do I ask you?

Excuse me while I change into my hair shirt.

If only Gucci made one in an extra small.








About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in grace, humanity, humor, money, New York City, parents, Starbucks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Pollyanna Snaps

  1. Arthur says:

    I often think that the best solution to my feelings about beggars/panhandlers/homeless people would be to give, say, $100 to the first one I see at the beginning of the year and then not fret about not giving any more for the rest of the year. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m seriously considering it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try to be compassionate, within reason, but don’t like feeling pressed. It’s an epidemic where I live. Every few feet someone asks you for something. I don’t know Arthur. I really don’t know, but no paninis please.


  2. No need to carry guilt. He was technically rude. A beggar of sorts. You gave him a treat which he made you retrofit to suit him. He’s on his own for the rest of the day in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you did the right thing in refusing to buy the man a sandwich. Just because you were generous once shouldn’t have caused him to ask for more. It smacks of being ungrateful. I have a Starbucks card, but I’m stingy with myself and don’t get coffee every time we go to the supermarket. It’s a special treat, not a weekly entitlement. I think that man felt entitled to something more. I resent his leaning on you. I wouldn’t make a very good fairy godmother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’d make a good banker though. I try to understand the depth of desperation compared to many of my blessings, which is why I step up more often than not. He just irritated me because I also prefer giving without a gun to my head. Hope he doesn’t appear again anytime soon. But I know, I will probably see him again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, you should not feel guilty for even one tiny second. Rudeness, pushiness, and ingratitude for what was already given should not be rewarded with more. Maybe he lost his teeth because his last benefactor got mad and punched them out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patricia says:

    It is sad that he is homeless or just very poor. You helped him without being asked to and then did as he wanted by getting him ice for his coffee. More than anyone else in the place did. Let it go. You done good thingirl!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I certainly understand the bad vibes, but let’s face it, when we give charity and the receiver asks for more, it is the receiver who is being wrong and rude. Let the next person buy him the sandwich or let him sell some of his found gear for it. I am not being unreceptive; I am being practical. You gave what you felt and that should be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, how I hate those nagging guilt voices. He better put those balls back in his cart for something more worthy than shaking down a generous soul at 5 a.m.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. micklively says:

    Only you could think about looking good in a hair shirt! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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