Thursday, April 30, 2009

Riddle Me This

I decided to swing by the gas station to buy a coffee and a ticket to freedom this morning. (Yes, I felt like white trash buying a lotto ticket, but hey ... for $220 million I'll just be white trash) This particular gas station is pretty busy in the morning, so I'm always careful to park at the edge of the parking lot so that it isn't a hassle to back out. I tell you that, so that you'll understand that when I am walking to my car (alone) I am somewhat vulnerable as I am on the very edge of the parking lot.

So as I'm walking to my car, minding my own business, this man is standing by his truck and starts talking to me. He was clearly trying to ask me something and I'm not even sure what he needed because I brushed him off (politely) by saying "no ... sorry" and basically ran to my car. I HATE that feeling!! I realize that there is a good chance he was harmless, but I don't understand why he would select ME to talk to out of all the other people in the parking lot. Furthermore, if he really needed something legitimate, why couldn't he go inside?

What bothers me most is that he only tried to talk to me. I saw about 3 other people walking in his general direction (after I was safely to my car) and he didn't try to talk to any of them. Those people happened to be middle-aged men. I'm sure I was profiled because I'm a young woman. Now, this man could have been legitimate - I'll never know for sure. But because this is something that happens to me often, I don't take the chance. I do try not to be rude, but I also don't ever put myself in a bad situation by stopping and listening to their plight and I most certainly never reach into my wallet to give any money.

Does this ever happen to anyone else? Please say I'm not the only one.


Becky said...

Was he asking for money? After seeing Intervention episodes, I am much more hesitant to give money to people asking for it. Especially when they have some elaborate story about how they need 47 cents to catch the bus to visit their child who is having a baby with no arms or legs.

BWL said...

After living in downtown atlanta for so long, i think i've heard every story from beggars and people looking for handouts. The crackies, druggies, and bums ruin it for any of the 1% of people that actually are in a desperate situation because they lost their wallet or ran out of gas or whatever.

First off to answer your question you did fine. I would barely feel decent about you getting approached by a woman asking for directions, much less a man asking you for anything. He could be Jesus himself and you just gotta go on your instincts and not worry about it.

Now, regarding the white trash comments about buying a lottery ticket I would like to say that is ridiculous. You have got to play to win. And since you like to fantasize about winning then the only thing that makes that tolerable is the fact that occassionally you have bought 1 at least there's a chance.

Anonymous said...

I try not to talk to strangers at gas stations anymore since I was abducted in 2003. The guy pushed me in his van so we made out for a while then he let me go when I asked him to marry me.


Katie said...

Becky - I'm not sure what he wanted. I really just said "no, sorry" as soon as he started talking to me and ran away.

BWL - Yeah, I didn't feel too guilty. If he really needed something there were lots of other people (who are not young women) that he could approach.

Anonymous - You can't possibly be serious. I think I'll log on to and use that line though!

Megan said...

okay - i am probably a homeless person's worst dream. as i am sure any of you who know me personally know - i do not TOLERATE the whole begging thing. i actually get ANGRY and in the past few years have followed the advice of my little brother - it works EVERY TIME. as one of them approaches you - you just ask THEM if they have any spare change before they can even get a word out. i swear - they will be so shocked and not know what to say. it cracks me up everytime! and if they give you a hard time - tell them - hey - i need the money too! most of the time they just walk away shaking their head - either very annoyed - but possibly thinking i am some crazy bitch. love it.

EquisBuffy said...

I've learned over the years, under Oprah’s tutelage, that women often become victims because they do not want to come across as rude or mean. So they go out of their way to be nice and accommodating and predators know this so they single them out. You were 100% correct in the way you handled this. One of the many other things I’ve learned from Oprah is to follow your gut, if you didn’t feel good about the situation there is likely a good reason for it.

Team Thompson said...

Was the guy Josh?

He's been known to grab his meals around gas stations.

Josh said...

I would have asked for candy not money.