Rejecting money after asking for it

A few years ago, I was walking down a busy street when a homeless woman approached me and asked for some money. I took out a dollar from my pocket and gave it to her. While I walked on, I heard her behind me “What am I going to do with ONE dollar??!!!” I turned around only to have her her throw the now rolled dollar bill back at me.

She walked away, while I stood there for a while in amazement. Someone probably in his late 30’s was walking by and stopped to pick up the dollar. He handed it to me and said “That’s ok, don’t worry, she’s a bitch for who knows what reason and you did the right thing. Don’t worry about it.

Two days ago, I went to the post office and there was an elderly man standing outside. He was wearing a faded blue jeans with a blue and brown jacket, and had a few backpacks sitting on the floor, right outside the main doors. It looked as if he hadn’t taken a shower for a few days because of the dirt stuck in his uncombed, long hair. As I was coming out out of the post office after a few minutes, he asked me “Excuse me, do you have any change you can spare?” I didn’t have any money on me, so I said “Oh sorry, I don’t” and walked on.

I got into my car and noticed about a dollar in coins and a few cents near the gear box. I picked up the coins and got out of the car and said, as I walked towards the guy, “This is all the change I have right now.” He looked at me and replied in a very serious, yet courteous tone “Oh that’s ok, don’t worry about it, you can use it for gas or something as I was looking for something more for putting gas in my car. My card doesn’t work and I need something more than a few coins. That’s ok.” I was puzzled a bit, and said “Are you sure?” as I stepped back a little bit. He nodded his head as a confirmation to his earlier decision to not take my money.

I got into my car and drove off, wondering how his rejection of something, which he had originally asked, seemed so similar and also so different compared to the situation when the homeless woman had thrown that dollar back at me a long time ago.

Here’s a picture, taken on March 19th, 2006, of the post office near my place. The lady in this picture kept fixing her skirt, though she wasn’t too worried about what other people thought about it; many people kept staring at her. That’s also the place where the elderly man had asked me for money two days ago.

Woman in skirt outside of the post office