Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stranger on the Street

This is probably post # 492 about how my husband and I are different.  And this is probably post # 399 about how he is a better person than I am.

When we were visiting my in-laws in Pittsburgh last week, one night we'd stayed home for dinner.  My mother-in-law had cooked and we (well, me and my in-laws, not my husband) had dishes of ice cream and strawberries for dessert. 

I've mentioned before that my in-laws aren't exactly active people.  They are significantly older than my parents (my husband is the baby, so his oldest brother is nearly my parents' age).  And they're not in great health.  But really, I'm not sure they were ever very active people, at least not when I met them about 8 years ago, but they've certainly become less active in the last eight years.  They spent A LOT of time sitting and watching TV.  It kills me.

I certainly watch my fair share of TV.  But I also work, run, live, etc.  I'm sure it's different since they're retired, but it seems like all they do is watch TV.  I could watch a day of TV, but they tend to either 1.) watch baseball, 2) watch Fox news at a VERY HIGH volume, 3) flip channels about every 60 seconds.  None of those are enjoyable for me. 

So after dinner, when they were moving to their TV-watching positions, hubby and I went for a walk around the town where they live. 

They live in a Pittsburgh suburb that definitely seems affluent.  I haven't looked at housing prices in Dallas in a long time, but for a pretty typical stand-alone house in their town, there are probably 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, and the house is old, probably 2 stories.  I'd guess given the proximity to downtown and the suburb's characteristics, houses like these would be $300-400k in Dallas.  But in their suburb, they're more like $600-700k.  So definitely nice. 

The town has a couple main streets with traffic lights, but it's very residential.  In the heart of town, there's a post office and a city building, the cafe where I tend to set up shop and work all day, several restaurants, some offices (lawyers, realtors, etc.) and a bunch of little shops (Talbots and Aveda were the only chains I recognized, lots of little retailers, bakeries, etc.).

Bottom line is that the town feels very safe. 

But when we were walking past some shops on the well-lit main street, a young "tough" looking guy started to talk to me.  Since there were a bunch of people on the sidewalk, my husband was actually walking a few steps behind me and and we weren't holding hands or anything.  The young guy had a lot of tattoos and looked fairly strong, and was wearing saggy jeans, a t-shirt and a ball cap, and he was carrying some kind of bag.  He was maybe 23 or so?  I don't think race plays into this at all, but if it matters, he was white.

He said something to me about having just gotten out of the hospital and his phone battery was dead and he wanted to use my phone.  I kept walking and because I didn't want to be rude, I said something like, "I'm sorry, no, I can't help."  I might have even lied and said I didn't have my phone.  I honestly can't remember.  All I know is I said no and I kept moving. 

Why did I do that?  I had my phone with me.   

But my husband is a softie.  When we talked about it afterward, he said that he looked at the guy and figured if the kid took off with hubby's phone, hubby had a decent chance of chasing him down (not sure I could have).  But hubby also noticed that the kid had a medical hospital type bracelet on his wrist, and what appeared to be a hospital plastic bag with him.  Hubby dialed the number and gave the kid his phone.  The kid talked to someone about who was going to pick him up and there seemed to be some confusion about where, and the person he was calling didn't have a car but was going to relay the info to someone else or something.

The kid gave back my husband's phone, thanked him, and we continued on our way.  We gave up about 2 minutes of time when we weren't in a hurry, and certainly helped someone out. 

So why didn't I do that?  Is it because as a woman, I'm more wary/afraid of guys asking me for things?  Or is it because I'm just a b!tch?  Hmmm... what would you have done? 

I think if it had been a female who had asked me, I may have said yes.  But I'm definitely not a trusting person in general.

Either way, I'm glad I "married up" on the niceness scale.  He's a better person than I am in many many ways...

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't have let him use my phone, but I'm not trusting of strangers in general, whether they're men or women. Your hubs is better than both of us, I guess. :)