An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Helping Hand

Now that I'm not in a service job I'm going through withdraw from helping. I have talked about this before. I'm really struggling these days because I don't know how to help people. I feel like I see them everywhere but what should I do?

What would you do in any of the following situations:

Sitting in the movies. Not very crowded. Suddenly, a guy in the front starts yelling at the girl sitting next to him. He throws his drink on her and gets up and stalks out. I sit there, frozen. She has another friend with her. Should I get up and see if she needs help? What if she was there with him and now they have no way to get home? What if he's still out there waiting for her to come out so he can abuse her again? I do nothing.

Driving home with my family. There are two women out on the street. They are dressed normally but it's cold outside. They have suitcases. One is talking on the phone but they look lost and annoyed. It is raining and dreary. I go around the block a couple of times. They are still there and no longer on the phone. They are huddled under the eaves of a business... waiting. But for what? Should I ask them if they need something? There is no room in my car. What could I possibly do anyway? I do nothing.

My neighbor is standing outside his house. He lives there with his aunt. He's been there for a long time. I know because when I got up to exercise, he was out there, dry heaving into the snow. It's freezing. He's knocking on the door... again. He's been trying to get in for hours now. It's snowing. I'm sure he's drunk and he looks like a gangster in his droopy pants and bandanna. Should I let him in? I'm here with my kids. Should I ask him if he needs help? I'm sure his aunt is there but why isn't she letting him in? Is it because she's angry? Finally, we decide not to let this one go. Andy goes out and asks him what's wrong. They get our car and drive away. After a while (and me freaking out), Andy calls and says the kid was drunk and spent the whole night outside in that freezing weather. My amazing husband took the kid to the mall where he could be warm and maybe get some coffee and sober up.

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