Just a Weird Story about Helping Others

Sunday morning:

This weekend I tried to buy a used laptop.  I answered a for sale ad and then emailed back & forth with the lady all weekend – trying to meet with her so I could see it.   She had many excuses and the timing was always wrong.  I had given her my phone number but she wouldn’t call me and ignored my requests for hers.  It would have been so much simpler than the way we were communicating.

Her car broke down, her kids were sleeping, she has no stroller, her boyfriend doesn’t get off work until 5… these were just a few of the reasons she kept changing the time we were supposed to meet.  We were going to meet at a shopping center near her home.

Finally in one of the emails she said that she suffers from anxiety and doesn’t go anywhere alone.  I think perhaps she doesn’t like talking to strangers on the phone either.  It made more sense then.  This was a major stressor for her.  And she was trying to figure out how to meet with me – but not do it alone I guess.  I feel for her.  It made me grateful for how far I’ve come – fighting back against anxiety / panic attacks.

We still have not figured out a time and I’m ready to just tell her to forget it.  At the same time I want to push her to do this – even though it is uncomfortable for her.  I don’t even know her.  I did not say any of this to her of course.  And it’s really none of my business.  But as a fellow anxiety sufferer I want to help her!  I want to talk to her about it.  I want her to get better.

In the last email she asked if I could just come to her house instead of meeting her at the shopping center.  She sounded so frustrated.  I feel weird about doing that.  Especially when she gave me the address and sorry but it is not a great section of town, which made me wonder if the laptop was really what she described.  But she said her dad gave it to her and she was going to go back to school but isn’t now because she is pregnant.  Anyway, I am not going there myself.  Perhaps hubby will go with me later.  Perhaps he will have a fit that I even want to buy the thing and refuse.  Maybe he’ll be grumpy when he gets home.  Maybe not.  Who knows.

Sunday Evening Update:

Hubby went with me to check out the laptop.  The whole situation just got weirder.  When we knocked on the door, there was a bunch of whispering before they finally opened it.  She had her very little girl open the door while she hid behind it – just quickly peeking her head out a few times.  We went in, the boyfriend was sitting on the couch watching TV, all decked out in black and wearing those weird earrings that stretch the earlobes all out in the grossest way ever.

She looked like she had been crying.  She quietly said that she really didn’t want to sell the laptop anymore – she really wanted to keep it.  She felt bad that we wasted gas money to drive there and she looked terrified that we would be mad. We weren’t mad.  Surprised and confused, yes.  We handed it back to her and said that was ok, don’t worry about it.  She talked in circles – her daughter has autism and their bills are so high, the kids need clothes and the money from the laptop was to buy them clothes, she can’t stand to part with the laptop and really needs to keep it. …

Hubby and I made a pretty quick exit.  It was very awkward.  We got to the car and hubby made a joke about how he thought HE got himself into some weird situations but I had him beat with this one.  If he would not have come with me, I would not have gone in.  Seriously, I would have turned the car around and drove right back home.  It was a scary looking place.  I feel for her!  I think she must have some mental issues.  We think maybe the boyfriend was fighting with her about selling it or something.  He never even acknowledged our presence in the apartment and we were about 5 feet from him.

When we got home there was already another email from her apologizing again.  And once again she contradicted herself – in the same paragraph she said she’s sorry and said again why she had to keep it and then the last sentence said “If you are still interested, I promise you won’t leave empty-handed this time.”   WHAT?

I just replied and told her that if she ever decided FOR SURE that she wanted to sell it she should let me know.  I don’t want it at all at this point.  The whole situation was just way weird and I’m not sure what to make of it.  After we left I told hubby I felt like I should have just given her the money anyway.  They are obviously struggling.  I was surprised that hubby did not disagree.

At Christmas I usually send an anonymous gift card for a grocery store or somewhere to someone in need.  When I was a Girl Scout leader, it was easy to see who needed help.  I didn’t do that this past year – I guess because no one popped up on my radar.  Now, I feel like I was supposed to meet her.  Maybe I can help her?  She said she has anxiety and that struck a chord with me.  (That maybe explains her hiding behind the door?)

Hubby is more pessimistic – about everything really – he doesn’t want me to send her $ – he says the creepy boyfriend will just take it.  So I am going to buy a grocery gift card or 2 and send them her way occasionally.  Anonymously of course.  And maybe a Walmart GC.  Not big amounts.  I don’t have big amounts.  The way I look at it – the next time you are at Walmart, before you checkout  – take a look in your cart – what do you really not need?  You know there will be extra stuff in there.  Put it back and buy a gift card instead.  Send it on it’s way – it will make someone’s day.  (Hey I rhymed! lol)

My point:  I’m glad I met her.  I feel like God had a purpose for that.  Perhaps it is helping her buy some groceries.  Or perhaps there is something I can say – or write in an email that will make a difference in her life and help her deal with the anxiety.  Perhaps simply praying for her will help her.  I don’t know but it all keeps replaying in my mind.  And it shook hubby up a bit too.  It makes you remember to be grateful for everything you have.  We have our own home.  My family is healthy.  My hubby is not creepy :)  I am very blessed.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 08:01:05

    Oh my goodness, what a story. I’m glad your husband went with you- that guy sounded questionable. Your thoughts about the whole thing are probably right on- that poor lady. How wonderful of you to turn this into a moment of grace and gratitude. You do have a wonderful life Zoe. So do I- I just forget it when things are dicey w/ me and hubby. Hugs!!


  2. Judi
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 13:13:17

    Yeah…what Jill said.


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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