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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Skylar Gets Swindled

First of all, I’m sorry that I haven’t written anything in literally 5 months. It’s not that nothing interesting has happened in my life (child, please. We all know my antics), it’s just that I’ve been pursuing adulthood so aggressively that I haven’t had the chance to write anything down. In summary: new job, new exceptionally good looking boyfriend, new investment account, and new mascara. I can also now do 190 lbs on the seated leg press at the gym. #Swole

Things were going pretty uncharacteristically fabulous in my life, and then two days ago I was brought back to reality by the most bougie homeless man to ever exist. His dietary choices mixed with my staunch gullibility once again beg the question, “How do these things always happen to you?!” to which I reply, “Shoot me in the face.”
Here’s how my most recent interaction with a hobo friend went down:

I was walking to the gym after work, stopped to watch the game going down at the West 4th Street Basketball Courts, didn’t get the opportunity to yell, “AND 1!”, got bored and kept going. All of a sudden a man comes up to me and asks, “Excuse me, do you have a dollar?”

Now, everyone knows that the answer to this question is “No.” Not because you’re a bad person, or cheap, or a liar, but because homeless people run rampant and if I gave them all of my dollars I wouldn’t have anything left to impulse-buy Pretzel M&M’s with in my bi-weekly moments of weakness. At this time, I had nine single dollars in my wallet, which is a rarity, and as selfish as it may sound I was guarding them with my over-privileged life.

“No, I’m sorry,” I replied to the man who will now be known as Richie Rich.
“Would you mind buying me some food?”
Ugh, tug at my heartstrings, Richie. I literally don’t know what came over me, but I agreed.
“There’s a Morton Williams right around the corner.”
“Sure, let’s go.”
As we walk and chat about things like the warmer weather and allergies, I started to take stock of what exactly I was dealing with. Number one, he was wearing relatively new looking shoes. In my top 10 most recent homeless-guy experiences, 80% of them are wearing holey black Velcro New Balances with the pinky toe displayed prominently, so this was new. Second, he was wearing clean Adidas track pants and carrying a multi-pocketed Jansport that for the purposes of this story appeared much more high-tech than your standard shopping cart. Interesting, to say the least.

“I’m really trying to get my energy up,” Richie Rich said.
“That’s always a good plan.”
“Have you heard of Kombucha?”
Yes, Richie, I’m a white girl from the ‘burbs who befriends several health nuts, follows fitspo Instagram accounts, and pins quinoa recipes on Pinterest; of course I’ve heard of Kombucha.
“I really like the Multi-Green one. It’s a great detoxifier.”
“And I’m a vegetarian so it’s a great supplement to that type of diet.”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard.”
Everyone stop laughing immediately. I was already pretty keen to what was happening and it was not cool.

Richie continues to explain the different benefits of a variety of products typically found at Whole Foods and I just nodded in defeat. We arrive at the grocery store and still giving him some semblance of the benefit of the doubt, I think we’ll go straight to the prepared food section, he’ll grab a veggie sandwich and his damn fermented tea concoction, and we’ll be out.

Richie grabs a fucking basket.
So there we are, the Odd Couple shopping for Tuesday Night Dinner. Richie throws Kombucha, premade samosas, two Vitamin Waters (Restore flavor), and a box of Boca burgers in his basket, along with a toothbrush and my trustfulness. It crossed my mind several times to say, “Are you kidding me?” and dipset, but the small chance that this was maybe the only thing Richie would eat for the next couple of days coupled with me potentially being the girl who left a homeless man in the aisle of the grocery store with food he couldn’t pay for made me stay.
We get up to the checkout line and he tosses it all on the conveyer belt like he’s done this a few times before, which…..I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. The cashier looks at me out of pity and confusion, which is something I’m used to but was much more attentive to in this situation because that’s exactly how I would've looked at me, too. I had let my conscience be my guide and now I was planning on speaking to her in my office the next morning and putting her on leave without pay, because she was an idiot.
Everything is rung up to a grand total of $52.11, which is more than I spend on groceries for myself for an entire week. I swiped with undetectable hesitation and kept the receipt to wipe off my shame later that night. Richie and I walk out of the store holding hands (jk) and I’m just about to launch into a full-on sprint when he says, “There’s a Duane Reade right down the street….”

Really? Really.

“Sorry dude, I’ve got to go.”
“Oh okay, thanks again then!”
“Ohhhh you are so welcome.”
If you think it ends there you clearly need to backtrack and read some more of my life tales because it most definitely does NOT, per usual.

The next night, I was walking with my boyfriend and another friend through the same area. I had just finished telling them this exact story, and they berated me for being naïve and oblivious, and I was agreeing but defending it all by saying, “Hey, at least my karma’s in check.”
We’re about to cross the street when a man rounds the corner.
“Excuse me, do you have a dollar?”
They both automatically say no and keep moving.
I start violently squeezing my boyfriend’s hand.
“THAT WAS HIMMMM!” I hissed.

Predictable “NO WAY”’s and “Are you sure?”’s and “GO YELL AT HIM!”’s were thrown around but obviously did not occur. Richie might’ve been wearing a Rolex and applying a mud mask to his face when he passed on his way to a candle-lit hot yoga class, but who could be sure.

So I’m back and arguably better than ever, friends. For my sake, I hope my life will return to a state of boring normalcy. It won’t, though, and you’re all welcome for that, I guess. Raise a glass of brewed yeast and bacteria encased in cellulose to being young and dumb; I have like three more weeks of being able to get away with it!

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