I went to In and Out tonight. I don't really have the money to be buying fast food, and there IS food at my house, but I really wanted a cheeseburger so I stole five bux out of my Europe fund, promised the dog I would be right back, and left
When I arrived, the drive through line was so long I figured I'd waste a burger's worth of gas sitting in it so I went in, passing by a kid at the door on my way.
He looked at me, teenage eyes glowing with embarrassment and asked if I had 75 cents or so.
I looked him in the eye and said, I only have enough for my dinner.
Which isn't completely untrue, a cheeseburger and a chocolate shake is about $5. but I wasn't going to get a shake.
I entered the restaurant and looked around me. I was surrounded by a high school sports team. I don't know if they are connected, but I remembered what it was like to watch your friends eat and not have any money to buy your own. To tell them you aren't hungry. To wish you had a bit of cash so you could pretend you were like them.
I know it was my own issues talking. I know I have no reason to feel guilty, but when I got my change, I went looking for that boy; the need to help overcoming my dislike of begging. He was gone.
But he was back when I left. So I gave him $1, much to his surprise, and muttered something about remembering what it is like to be hungry. I felt a little silly. And who knows, he might have made all sorts of cash out there by the In and Out door. Maybe I'm a sucker.
Or maybe he was hungry.