Monday, January 21, 2008

My favorite kind of Monday - office holiday

Yes, today the office was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The wind is still cold although it is less biting than the last two days. I'll take what I can get. Ryan and I went to see Cloverfield today at the AMC and I have to be honest, I haven't been that scared in a while. The handi-cam work only make me nauseous once and overall it was smart and clever. We saw the trailer over summer and was just as wowed by it. Highly recommend - but don't see it at night.

For anyone who lives in the city, encounters with homeless people are a reality. When I first moved here (nearly 3 years ago), it used to bother me a lot, but now, the sad part is that I'm just used to it. It's hard to admit that I can walk by someone asking me to help them eat and not pay attention. I try to at least say "not today" when they ask so they know that I've acknowledged them, but sometimes I wonder if that's worse. Today, after the movie, we were walking down Michigan Avenue near Starbucks and a homeless man asked us for change, and per usual I looked over to say "not today," but what caught my attention when I looked over was his 4-5 year old son sitting next to him chatting idly.

I can be indifferent about these situations once in a while, for example during the summers when I have my "regulars" that I see down Michigan Avenue after work and the gym. In fact, they are so "regular" that this recent summer, the woman who usually sits outside Burberry and slurs, "can you spare some change" (it actually sounds like one whole word), wasn't out and to be honest, I noticed and wondered why.

But it's when I see people on the street asking for change with their kids that it really pulls at my heart. A large part of me still thinks about those encounters for a day after and I wish that I would give money to them. And sadly I would if it had not been for an encounter about a year ago with my dad and stepmom during one of their Saturday visits. I wish that had not changed my perception of giving a few cents or a dollar to someone on the street and hopefully, another encounter will change that again and persuade me to open my change purse.

Until then.

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