, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


YOU EVER GET THIS IDEA in your head and you think, “I’m going to do that,” and then it comes time to do it and you don’t do it?

Grrrr I could just give myself a good kick in the butt when that happens!

One of the luxuries (if you want to call it that) of living on this good earth for half a century and a bit though, is I know I’m not the only one who sets her mind to something and then craps out at the last-minute. Rather than beat myself up about it, I am confounded by it, in a scientist-observing-and-documenting kind of way.

Most Saturdays, I meet my friend Helga for coffee at 12:30 at the Starbucks on the second floor in The Core shopping Centre. We have this little thing we do to the barista, you know when they ask you your name? Helga tells them Hell and I tell them Heaven. We usually show up at different times so it’s fun to watch the barista’s face when whichever one of us is the second one shows up and supplies their name. But I digress.

Last Saturday, as I was getting ready to walk downtown and have coffee with Helga, I put a couple of twonies (the Canadian Two Dollar coin) in my front pocket with the intention of giving them to any homeless people asking for change during my walk. In particular, I was thinking of the two homeless men who usually sit under the underpass and panhandle on 4th street SW.

I know, I know, many folks think you shouldn’t give money to people who are living on the street but I do so occasionally, or buy someone a meal or something because it feels like the right thing to do.


With the coins safely tucked into my pocket, I walked the block to 17th Avenue and was immediately approached and asked if I had spare change.

“No, sorry,” I said. “No worries,” he responded, “Have a great day!”

Walking away I wondered why I had said no. Was it because I had to the two men that are usually under the underpass on my mind? Was it some kind of automatic unconscious response? Amazingly, while these questions were going through my mind someone else asked me for change and again I said no.

What the heck? Didn’t I intentionally put two coins in my pocket for THIS EXACT REASON?

And so I continued to 4th Street and toward the underpass completely perplexed by my response to those who asked for what I prepared to give and yet withheld. Long story, short, when I came home later that afternoon, those two coins were still in my pocket. The two men who usually sit under the underpass were not there when I passed on the way to my coffee meeting earlier.


Do you ever find yourself doing the opposite of what you well-meaningly and intentionally decided to do? Do you find it as bewildering as I do?