Monday, November 19, 2012

The Ten Dollar Difference

She walked away thinking, "Who am I to have been blessed with so much?" Then,"
Why me and not her?" Realistically there was a vast difference between them, but
what was it? Clearly it was more than just ten dollars.

If it is true that people come into your life for a reason, she wanted to know
what the reason was? The woman told her she was her angel. An angel disguised as
a person but she was beginning to think it was the woman who was the angel.

It was a quiet Sunday in November and she found herself with something she
hadn't had in weeks; time. But she wasn't complaining. She was on top of the
world, feeling a high she hadn't felt in years. She was living out her dreams
and watching them come true. And she had the love and support of her family.
She knew they believed in her. That morning was not unusual. She had stopped off
to get some cash at the ATM, then on to the nail salon to pamper herself. The
few extra minutes to the city were worth it because they do the best job. She
almost stopped to do ten other things that morning before the bank, but she

She pulled up to the closed bank in her expensive car, a pricey , designer
handbag dangling from her arm. As she took out her ATM card to gain access to
the door a man and his young daughter were exiting. They hurriedly pushed past
her when she immediately heard the bellowing sobs from within.

The woman stood shaking, short of breath, almost hyperventilating, fumbling
with her cell phone, her greasy nails and hands visibly shaking uncontrollably.
"Are you alright?" she asked the woman.
"No," the woman said through heavy sobs. "That machine just ATE my ATM card!"
the woman screeched. "I came here to get ten dollars and that machine ate my

Immediately, she felt a small sense of relief. She put her hand up to the
shaking woman and said,
"Relax honey. It's happened to me before. You can come back tomorrow and get
your card." she said. "Don't worry."
This only made the woman cry harder, as the tears streamed down her slightly
grey complected face and dropped onto her grease stained jacket.
"But that was my last ten dollars." the woman said. "I haven't eaten in three
days and I needed that money to get some food. I can't wait until tomorrow" she

She knew what was coming next, but she wasn't sure if the overwhelming feeling
of doom was because she knew that the woman was going to ask her for the money
or because she already knew that she was going to give it to her.
"Can you give me ten dollars? I haven't eaten in three days." the woman sobbed.
"I'm having a bad week."
"Why don't you call the bank and see what they can do for you?"she said.
"I already did," the woman replied. "I have to wait until tomorrow. Oh God, I'm
having a bad week. Can you give me ten dollars?"

She stood there, in all of her abundance. The blessings practically dripping
from her body and she quietly wondered why me and not her? She felt like a
little girl doing something she shouldn't. Like when you know your going to get
into trouble with your mother, but she didn't hesitate.
"I'll give you the ten dollars. OK? Now take a deep breath and calm down. It's
going to be alright," she said.
"Oh thank you. You're an angel,"the woman said as she paced back and forth
within the small ATM crucible. "I'm having a really bad week."

She kept repeating, "Take a deep breath." to the woman as she effortlessly took
out ten times the ten dollars so desperately needed . The two then walked across
the street to change the $20.00 bill that the ATM dispensed. "It's going to be
OK," she kept telling the woman, to which the woman kept replying, "I'm just
having a really bad week."

She knew she had to ask, but she felt a bit guilty after she did, "You are going
to buy food with this money, right?" she said. "Not something you shouldn't be
"Yes. I'm going to Hannaford Farms right now. You are an angel dressed as a
person. Thank you," the woman sobbed.

They then parted ways. She was left to feel the mixed emotions of that exchange.
Why her? Why that morning? And what makes them so different? Aren't we all just
ten dollars away from having a bad week? What was ten dollars to her on that
day? How could she say no, with everything she has been blessed with? It made
her feel sad because she knew that it was a lot more than ten dollars that
separated the two women.

She remained quiet for the next hour or so. Even her regular nail girl
commented, " You're so quiet today. Not your usual self." She had lots to share
about her own life, all the good news that was happening to her right now, but
it wasn't important any more. She just wanted to be quiet.

She didn't tell anyone about it either, because that's not why she did it. She
did it because that woman needed it and she knew she had to help her. She knew
there would be those who would tell her she got fleeced by a con artist, and
taken for a ride. Maybe she did but maybe she didn't. Maybe it was a cautionary
tale for her, but she decided to keep it to herself.

Until right now.


Heff said...


the walking man said...

con or not is not the point.

The point is yo--err the woman did what would have been the right thing to do. And then tell herself once a thing is gone from my hand to another's it is no longer mine to be concerned with.

She could have gabbed her head off with no more thought of the ten bucks but then she decided instead ask the question...the one question that haunts...why?

Why, simple because the giver had a ten that she could spare at the moment and I am certain that at some point this woman who gave the ten, in the past had times where some random synchronicity of time and space brought a helping hand her way. Payback isn't a bitch, this time it was $10.

No more no less.

Scope said...

'tis the season of giving.

Pearl said...

Con or not con?

As someone who is panhandled on regular basis, I'm wondering how this woman was going to get $10 from an ATM. Around here, it only comes out in 20s...

On the other hand, you've done a good deed with an open heart, and that sort of thing is, as they say, a mitzvah.

That woman was lucky to have run into you.


MarkD60 said...

Ya done good, kid.