Tonight, after our last childbirth class, we stopped at Arby's for a late, cheap supper. We'd had a really good night and were joking about lots of things. I then saw this man, the only other person in the place. I immediately thought he looked homeless. It made me sad, then Karen-brain took over.
There's a nurse I work with who once asked the Facebook local world where all the panhandlers in the city stood. She wanted to make them a bag lunch or something like that.
I put the nurse thought together with the man sitting across Arby's. What if you're that homeless person on the street corner? What if some generous soul brings you a PB & J on whole wheat as a selfless act of giving? What if you have a severe peanut allergy?
I mean, it's not like you have the time to write on your cardboard sign, "Will work for food...*only foods accepted are tomato, peanut, onion, and shellfish free.* This wouldn't work for many reasons. One, no one reads the whole sign. I mean seriously, I see "Mother of 3" and I stop reading. Two, if I happened to be going through the drive-through at Mickey D's and I grab a sack full of extra hamburgers to hand out, I'm not going to read that and tell the woman, "I'm sorry. You'd be allergic to my donation" and drive off. If I were her, I'd be so pissed off.
Although, as the average commuter driving by, this could be the conscious-easing way to get out of giving a handout. You could be the person saying your food only has those ingredients and you'd hate to send them into anaphylactic shock, so maybe next time.
I just see this is a bad all the way around. Maybe there's a universal or divine intervention that prevents the homeless from having food allergies. I haven't ever actually seen a news story about a homeless vet on the corner of Cloverdale and Medical Center Blvd who ate a freebie and ended up in the ED half dead.
Then, we got up to leave. The man did not have food. He had a couple of used plastic grocery bags and he looked very unkempt. I felt bad again. I'd have offered him something, but I didn't want to kill him.