Where the hampster wheel always turns

About Me

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Middle aged underweight high school graduate
"It is not advisable James to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener." - Francisco d'Anconia, Atlas Shrugged
"The soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut taxes now." - John F. Kennedy

Magnet of Awkward

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I love the holiday season. I love the sense of unified generosity, the decorations, the Christmas cards - I love it all.

I feel a sense of happy obligation to reach out and help during this season, helping provide Christmas celebrations for the less fortunate, food for the needy and help wherever I can. I am always grateful to those who make this easier for me. Food drives at the grocery store, gift trees at the mall and the ubiquitous Salvation Army Bell Ringer. I am grateful for people who bring the opportunities to me.

That was until yesterday.

When I entered the store, the bell ringer was absent. I was a little sad, as I had a fistful of donation prepared as I approached the entrance. As I was checking out, I noticed he had arrived. Gleefully exciting the store, I approached the smiling attendant. Happily, I fished in my purse and strode up to the suspended red bucket with my donation.

This was the last moment my world was still right.

As I dropped my money in the bucket, the smiling man ringing the bell said, "Oh, yeah. I love watching you stuff money in my bucket."

I'm not kidding. WHAT THE HECK??? I choked on my own spit and reeled there in front of the store. I was so dumbfounded I stood there for enough time that he kept talking.

"Are you headed to the gym?"

My brain took extra seconds to engage as I wittily retorted, "Um..... no."

"Well honey, you are workin' it in those pants."

At this moment I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. Of all the Bell Ringers in the Phoenix Metro area, I found the creepy lecherous one. Yay me.

In one horribly awkward swoop this guy had killed all the warm feelings I might have ever received from donating to the Salvation Army and turned the whole exercise into the creepiest exchange imaginable. As I power walked away from him I could feel his icky eyeballs leering after me. I walked faster and faster until I leapt into the safety of my minivan and hunched down out of sight.

Now, lest you think I'm ultra sensitive, I appreciate a nice, unsolicited compliment. Who doesn't like to be told they look nice today? But pairing the exchange of money with leering pants comments sullied the whole Christmas giving thing.

So now, in addition to poisonous spiders crawling down my face, edges at tall heights and refrigerator mold I have a new fear that has reached phobic status: Salvation Army Bell Ringers. Beware. You could be their next victim.