Lactose Intolerant Intolerance

As my three year old would say, “I was havin’ a day.”

As in, everything I touched blew up, every word spoken was misinterpreted, every shoe lace was untied; you get the idea.  Nothing went right.  I was feeling rather sorry for myself, to be honest.  As I wandered around the upper east side to kill some time before my tutoring session, I walked past a homeless artist trying to sell some of his wares for food.  As like most Americans, I didn’t have any cash on me so I thought, in order to turn this day around, in order to make this not about me, I will use the money I allotted for my lunch and buy him a meal.

I always ALWAYS feel awkward giving people a meal.  I hate when people hand me a tissue when I’m crying.  Until I got used to his chivalry, I would always refuse Rich’s offer of his coat when I was cold. I don’t like to take help, but, I’ve never been so hungry I’d consider scavenging through trashcans.  So, I sucked it up, bought a ham and cheese sandwich and a banana and trudged back outside to say hi and hand over the goods.  And it went like this.

“Hey, I know you’re hungry ( pointing to sign that says, I’m HUNGRY) so I got you a sandwich.”

Hand over sandwich and fruit.

Man sniffs fruit, takes sandwich apart to reveal the interior.

“I don’t like cheese.”

Tries to hand sandwich, MY sandwich, the one I can’t eat now because he mauled it, back to me.

I’m sorry????????  What???????? Did you just take my lunch, the one that I was going to eat, roll it over in your hands, sniff it, and declare it was inedible because it has CHEESE on it?

Does your sign not say HUNGRY?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Did I miss the fine print where it displays your dietary restrictions?

I smiled, told him to pick it off, and walked away.

And it haunted me the rest of the day.

How often do I throw out the meat with the cheese?

How often do I miss out on nourishment, because of something that insignificantly offends my preferences?

How many times have I overlooked an opportunity for growth because it didn’t come in the package I was looking for?

I’m so glad Christ is not intolerant of my intolerance, as I am of homeless men and their lunch orders.

Next time, I’ll bring PB and J.

If he tells me about a nut allergy, though, I’m out.


One thought on “Lactose Intolerant Intolerance

  1. E for Effort! I once had a homeless man refuse a loaf of bread. It’s frustrating! All people have our own food preferences, but I think we like to think that at some point along the hunger scale, we would get over them. And then we question if the hunger is a choice as much as situational. At least I did. Either way it still makes you thankful to not be in his shoes.

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