There’s this woman that I often see in my neighborhood, usually standing outside the Financier Cafe. She’s an interesting woman and I have to giggle when I see her because I just don’t get her. I call her “Sunscreen Lady”.
She stands with her cart full of stuff, reading the Times, long stringy hair resting on her shoulders, face white with sun screen (I think), and sometimes wearing a down jacket or some other heavy outer wear on warm days. In the tiniest, quietest voice she may ask for something as you walk by – never money though. Usually a bottle of water, orange juice or the Sunday Times. Something useful.
So this one time – maybe last fall, Brett and I were at one of the Starbucks in the neighborhood when she walked in and seated herself next to me on the bench. She sat and read for a while, while I continued my work.
Not long after she sat down, she nodded off. A nice gentleman bought her a turkey sandwich and placed it on her table while her eyes were closed. Not more than a few minutes later, she woke up and saw the sandwich. She started mumbling in her tiny voice, wondering about the sandwich and then offered it to me. Yes, that’s what I said – she offered me the sandwich! She didn’t want it, guess she wasn’t hungry?! I declined graciously of course, hoping she would keep it – but she would not accept the sandwich! She said she felt bad throwing it out, but then thought she could give it to someone else who might want it. After a little deliberation with herself, she decided to toss it.
I’m thinking – did that just happen? This lady who I assumed is homeless, who we all assumed is homeless – just offered me a sandwich that someone else bought for her. Granted the gesture was nice, but … what??
I was seriously confused (and still am) and decided she must be one of those people who is actually a millionaire and is homeless by choice. I read about a lady like that once.
I saw Sunscreen Lady today at Walgreen’s on my way home from yoga tonight. But that’s another story 😉