Is it just my particular geography or singular luck that for the past month, EVERY transaction (with the exception of a self-check-out) is punctuated with a twinkly-eyed 17 year-old asking me if I'd like to tack on a dollar for the Good Samaritan Charity? Surely I am not alone in this? Is it National Non-Profit Passive Fundraising Month everywhere? Because it's starting to give me a complex. And I am pretty pro-philanthropy, as much as someone who is probably a philanthropic cause herself can be. This add-a-dollar-on is starting to add up, however. The teenage cashier is all, I have this script, and I'm all, Yeah, I know it's a script, but it's the Children's Miracle Network. Who says NO to making a miracle happen for a child that only costs a dollar? Teenager is like, Oh, thank you SO much, like I just helped her make a donation quota and now she doesn't have to clean out the McNugget crumbs from the Playland tonight because she met her quota, and I'm all, You're so welcome.
But then I'm at Bi-Lo on the very same day, and the disaffected teenager cashier is asking me if I want to donate to the Safe Harbor House, and then suddenly this is not even a question of economy or philanthropy, this is a test of gravity where the once disaffected teenager is peering into my soul, knowing full well that I just spent $.99 on an iTune mp3 of "Build me up, Buttercup" by The Foundations when I could have just listened to it ad infinitum on YouTube, but noooo, I just had to possess it for my very own, and now this teen is looking at me and waiting for me to say YES or NO I WILL NOT GIVE ONE WHOLE DOLLAR to the Safe Harbor House BECAUSE I'M A WRETCHED PERSON who spends her money frivolously on iTunes. And the teen is like, Okay, then your total comes to $14.39.
But what I really want to say back to this teen who can't wait to bag my root vegetables and go on his government-mandated 30 minute break is that the thirties are very hard, especially when you thought you were going to get a big payoff from your "investment property" and then you learn about what a real estate bubble really is, and you don't end up making a profit but actually running a total deficit, and that the real irony of all of this is that I'M ALSO LOOKING for a Safe Harbor House. The teen cashier is already on his break reading a back issue of USWeekly in the break room as I grab my groceries and I want to bawl for all the people who are looking for their Safe Harbor.
*** Later I find a dollar in a compartment of our car and buy my daughter a cherry slush from Sonic. As I'm rejoicing that I found this gratuitous Benjamin in our vehicle, the drive-through cashier asks me if I'd like to add a dollar for the Children of Hope Fund.