Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

It's sad when things start out great and then, over time, wear out. This happens with shoes, clothes, cars, welcomes and apparently Craigslist. Time was you could log on and find an apartment, a job or whatever. Lately it's been flooded with all sorts of nonsense, making it tough to find what you need.

For example, as a writer I check the categories of "writing jobs" and "writing gigs."  Once upon a time that's what was advertised, but recently the website has been littered with complaints about jobs not found and others taken, but with an unhappy outcome. I'm sorry it didn't work out, but hey--do I really need to know?

The other category I always check is "Volunteers," leading to opportunities for helping others while affording an outlet for one's creativity, or just a path to replacing boredom with something positive. Now it's more like you've stumbled into a community of beggars huddled around an open fire under a bridge in downtown Detroit. Tired of standing out in the cold holding a sign, they huddle instead in the comfort of the local Starbucks-- I'm guessing, since they're always homeless--and ask for money for a variety of reasons: "My wife stole my kids and I need to hire lawyer to get them back," or "I have no money to buy my four children (all under the age of three) toys, and here's what they each would like--give us Christmas," or "I lost my job and my house and all I need is a little something to tide me over," and "My friend/son/husband/child could really use a new kidney, God bless." Today I thought I'd try one:

Pathetic Artist Needs Your Help
I have so many paintings in my house, on the walls and in the closets, I barely have room for one more. Yet, being mentally ill I am compelled  to paint new ones. Won't you find it in your heart to buy one, or maybe two? That would help me so much, and give me money to buy more paint and canvases. Also, I have two cats and they eat a lot and it seems like I am always having to go out, even in bad weather, to buy more cat food and litter. Could you please drop some off at my house, saving me all those trips to the store? They eat Fancy Feast, but not the Sliced kind, they hate those. Lastly, the battery in my smoke alarm has started beeping, which I know means it needs to be replaced, but I have no idea how to do this and my husband is away. Please help, and Merry Christmas.

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