I loathe this on so many levels. I hate the enforced public display of philanthropy. I hate the commingling of pure profit-seeking commerce with generosity. I hate the disengaged, rote way it is asked by minimum wage-earning employees. I hate that reluctance to donate on the spot can be perceived by others as a sign of miserliness and general sociopathy. Typically those who are asked respond in one of several ways:
- Unproven claims to have "just donated last week"
- Avowals that one has "already given plenty to other charities"
- Embarassedly shaking one's head, blushing, a timid "no thank you", furtively looking around to see if anyone is watching the encounter
- They assent (in order to avoid the above), and agree to give the lowest denomination available, secretly pissed off at the unexpected check out tax incurred
The lady kneeled close to her, God Bless you, she said. Merry Christmas. My daughter grabbed my hand and pulled us away from her. We got in the car and went home.