Homeless

Trinny wrote:

Sean,

I’ve been seeing this guy for three weeks now and things were wonderful until last night.  We had just left a theatre downtown and were walking to my car when we were approached by a homeless guy that politely asked us for a dollar.  We have a law here that prohibits the homeless from harassing people, so they have to be polite and if you say “NO”, they have to thank you and walk away.

This guy, however, started yelling at the homeless guy!  He told the homeless guy that it was his own fault he was homeless, that he wasn’t going to give one cent to someone that doesn’t contribute to society, and that if he didn’t leave, he’d get hurt.  The homeless guy gave us a scared look as he grabbed my arm and walked us away.  I was shocked that someone I thought was so wonderful turned out to be a total asshole.  What’s your take on this?  Should I continue seeing him?

Trinny

Well Trinny, that type of behavior would be a definite dealbreaker for me.  I think showing a total lack of respect for another human being is unacceptable.  From what you wrote, the homeless guy (I’ll call him BOB to avoid having to write “homeless guy” over and over) didn’t pose any threat or anything, so I can’t understand why your boyfriend would behave the same way.  I’ve got friends that are hardcore right-wingers (when it comes to political beliefs), that would say that giving money to the homeless is counterproductive and wrong because it encourages people to give welfare to those that have no contribution to our economy, and I have friends that are on the opposite end that would not only give the person money, but also attempt to make a meaningful connection and get to know the person.  I am right in the middle.  I won’t feel sorry for a homeless person, but not because I feel they brought it upon themselves.  I just think they deserve dignity and respect like everyone else.  If I have a dollar, I’ll usually give one, but I’d be more willing to help get them some food, give them my mittens, etc., than I would just give them money…and no, it’s not because I think they’ll buy booze with it.  Think of it this way, if I were homeless and carrying $300 on me, wouldn’t I be an ideal target for someone looking to mug me?  I’ll give them food or some cold weather gear because I can buy more.  They wouldn’t be openly accepted walking into a Target to get that stuff, so I’ll do it.

This guy you’re seeing sounds like a douche with a temper problem.  The blowing up at a total stranger is a big red flag that should signal your exit.  If you get a chance, go take BOB some Subway and apologize.  He’ll appreciate it.

Sean

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