This community has always been astonishing – mind-boggling astonishing – when it comes to supporting things that are bigger than ourselves. Book drives, art galleries, and other causes that come your way via this blog – you step up as you see fit to lend a helping hand.
So this week, I’m going to throw out some fucking awesome ideas for how you can do that this holiday season on your own terms and to benefit folks in your local community.
But Let’s Start With This Guy in Boulder, Colorado
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I took my dogs hiking in the hills and when we were done, I hit up the local Whole Foods for a snack and grocery run. On the way out of the parking lot, there was a young man standing at the traffic intersection with a sign to the effect of “Anything Helps.” I rolled down the window, knowing I had a bag of food in the passenger seat next to me and asked him if he’d like a sandwich.
He asked, “Is it vegetarian?”
I blinked. No, I replied. It’s not.
He said, “Oh, yeah, well, thanks anyways.”
I rolled up the window and scooted on my way. The first thought that came to mind is that apparently, beggars can be choosers. It’s the new paradigm of Need. As a friend mentioned when I shared the story – this guy in Boulder wasn’t truly hungry. And hunger is something I really understand.
When You’re Hungry and Want Something
It rules you. You’re willing to do most anything to get it. Just think about the toys of your childhood and how you’d save your allowance for the day you could walk into a store and blow it all in a single ka-ching of the register. Think of your business and all of the soul-sucking, ass-busting, sleepless nights and exhausted days that you trudge through with your eyes on a goal you wouldn’t give up for a pet meerkat that crapped gold bullion and did laundry.
And none of us ever sated our hunger without a little help from others. We go through the year feeding one another’s minds – so let’s take a minute and figure out how we can feed another type of hunger this holiday.
The one that makes us keep our windows rolled up. Makes us feel guilty for having a bag of groceries sitting on the seat next to us. Makes us lower that hamburger we’re eating below window-level when That Person walks by our car at the intersection holding a makeshift cardboard sign. The kind that makes us stare at shopping carts filled to the gills with every odd and end – and topped with a sleeping bag – with a scrunchy look on our faces.
Roll the Fuckin’ Windows Down
Really. What are they going to do – bite? Yes. Those people who have less, who bring themselves to stand before us and ask. The ones who stand in line outside shelters each night hoping for a bed as we tweet and Facebook about our Christmas tree lights. And the worst? Those people who have the fuckin’ nerve to stand there and ruin our time to jam out to some unintelligible, moronic Nikki Minnaj-do-you-know-who-the-eff-I-is crap pop tune while waiting for the light to turn green at the intersection.
The fuckers, right?
How about this holiday season, you roll the fuckin’ window down? Here are some ways to do it:
- Buy an extra sandwich the next time you’re at the deli. Grab an extra bag of chips.
- Go to your closet and pull out every winter coat you haven’t worn since…oh, forever.
- Go to your linen closet and grab those blankets you’re saving for “company,” yet truth be told, you’d go out and buy a new blanket before putting those on a bed for your guests.
- Pick up some cans of soup with pull-tab tops at the grocery store (I enjoy Progresso and find it’s a very reasonable $1.49 a can at Target these days)
- Those “Magic Gloves” – you know, the teeny tiny ones sold in two- or three-packs you see at the checkout line in every department store? Grab a handful.
Throw all of this shit into the backseat or passenger seat of your car and do nothing except keep on keepin’ on.
And the next time you come to an intersection, turn down the radio and roll the fuckin’ window down. You’ve got everything you need sitting in the seat next to you.
GAH! TOO HUMAN!
I know. You could drop all of that stuff off at a food bank or a local shelter, right? Avoid getting the “human” on you that happens when you roll the window down. But why?
They always say thank you. Which is more than I can say for many of the people I come across who don’t push chopping carts or sit at intersections holding cardboard signs.
We need more Human. Git sum.
No matter what you have or how you hurt, there is someone with less and who hurts more. It doesn’t make our situations any less meaningful but we are all hungry in some way – who are we to judge and say one hunger is better than another? And yes, if there’s someone who has a Dexter Morgan-like “hunger,” I’ll just say that’s bad. But since most of us aren’t hanging out with serial killers, maybe we can shift how we look at hunger this holiday season and use our own – for whatever it might be – to do the one thing that every one of us should do more often:
Roll. The Fuckin’. Window. Down.
There’s a human outside. Waiting to tell you thank you.
And THAT, my friends, is a thought worthy of a mention on Fuck Yeah! Friday.
PS: If there’s something going on in YOUR community that you’d like to share with the RedheadWriting community that’s along the lines of this week’s FYF, share it in the comments. Can’t wait to hear. And if you have more ideas for things people can load-up on to have on hand when they roll the windows down, let’s hear those ideas, too.