So, I bought some eyeshadow today.
I went out with the express purpose of buying this very spendy eyeshadow palette that Josee and Elizabeth BOTH got before me, and I wasn't going to do it, I WASN'T, because it was expensive. And also because I already own enough eyeshadow to decorate 100 Tammy Faye Bakker impersonators for the rest of their careers. Seriously. I'm such a makeup whore. And, really? I don't even wear much. But when I do...it's high end and fabulous. So, anyhoo...I traipsed out to Ulta. And yes, I traipsed. Sashayed, even. I'm trying out this thing where I sway my hips when I walk- I learned it from Wendy Ralph when we were in 2nd grade. She was always a saucy little minx. I mean, except for that muffin-top haircut. (seriously, what was WITH all the bowl cuts that year?) So, wait. Back to Ulta. Once there, you know I didn't just get that eyeshadow. i mean, you knew that already, right? Because you've met me before, and you know how I roll, and that's loooooow and wiiiiiiiide, motherfucker.
So, I picked up the Glinda Palette (and zomg, get this. go on, I'll wait here while you go get one. because it's prettier than rita hayworth in fishnet stockings) and the new NYX Natural palette (because I refuse to buy another Naked Palette from UD. go fuck yourselves, assholes. you can only sell me a palette full of the same colors....twice...before I catch on) one of the new Stila lipsticks in an electric whore pink (and yeah, I'll be rocking THAT on my date this Wednesday, yes sirree Bob) and this super cool little Beauty Emergency Kit (which somehow doesn't have bandaids in it, but it occurs to me that bandaids mean medical emergency and maybe notsomuch beauty but fuck you I'm adding bandaids.)
Soooooo yeah. A hundred clams later, I was out the door.
And I was PROUD that I only spent a hundred smackers. Because I also wanted a Clarisonic, and I'm pretty sure I'm still going to fucking get one, but...I would have felt even more lame if I'd walked out having blown THREE hundred dollars instead of one. Right? Right. Psychology.
So, I was driving down the hill, out of the shopping center, feeling pretty good about my purchases, and about how fucking cute I am today, and sitting through the light, I saw a woman. Standing on the side of the road, in 20 degree weather, in jeans and a hoody. No coat, no gloves. With a dog. And a sign, on cardboard, that read, simply, "Everyone Needs a Helping Hand Sometimes." And I...look, this part comes across as a humblebrag, but it's not, because it's not enough, and I know that, and it's not perfect, and I know that, too, but I pulled into the BP, and went in and pulled a couple hundred dollars out of the ATM, and standing there, as I thought "fuck you and your fucking $2.00 fee, motherfucking bank, you fucking fucks," I also thought to myself, "what if this is just a scam? I mean, what if this is just some ploy for money?" And I walked back to my warm car, in my warm coat (okay, I made the warm coat part up for dramatic effect- the truth is, the sun was shining, so I didn't wear a coat today, because dumb) and looked at the cash in my hand and thought again about just driving away, because...because we don't trust people. And then it hit me.
I didn't fucking care. I didn't care if her need was real or perceived or drug-fueled or mental illness fueled or even if she's really some suburban mom who gets her kicks begging on the side of the road. I didn't care. I don't care. What I care about is that there was a cold person in need, asking for help on the side of the road, and I'm a person with more than she needs, and I am warm and safe and loved, and so I pulled back around and got out of my car and handed her a folded wad of 20s, and she looked down and just started crying and I started crying, too, because sometimes, people just need a fucking hand, and she said "thank you," and I think I told her to please be safe and please stay warm, and I think I made it back to my car before the crying really started, because I was afraid for her, for all of us, for me.
For the fine line between home and homeless. The few paychecks between have and have not, and I remember being without. I remember mixing powdered milk with cold water and putting it on my cereal as a kid, and I remember poverty. But we always had family to help us. We always had a warm place to be. And even now, though it isn't money, I always have someone to help when needed. And I never forget that. I try not to ever forget that. Sometimes, I forget that. How blessed I am, have been.
So, no, I don't care if she spends it all on alcohol or drugs.
I don't give a fuck. Maybe today she feels like someone cares. Maybe she doesn't, and that's okay, too. If you're wondering if it made me feel good to give it to her, it didn't. It made me feel like...like nothing could be enough. I should have taken her the blankets in my trunk, a hot coffee from BP, the Juggalo Action Figures from my backseat (don't ask. don't ever ask.) But maybe she felt less alone, if only for a minute. And tonight, and every night forward, she's part of my bedtime prayers, that she is loved, warm, and safe, and not afraid, and fed. It's all we can ever hope for in this world, I think.