Jewish World Review Jan. 15, 2014/ 14 Shevat, 5774
Giving to charity --- whether she wants to or not
By Celia Rivenbark
"Would you like to try our chocolate molten lava cake?"
Well. It is the holiday season.
"Sure," I said. "Why not?"
"Great!" he said. And then, very quickly, "Would you like to donate one dollar to (blippetyblip) children's charity?"
Think about it. There is simply no answer but "yes" to that. You've already acknowledged that you've got plenty of cash for empty fat and calories. How can you possibly say you won't spend just one more dollar to help a needy kid?
How exactly would that convo go in your head?
"Sure I got money for gooey cake I didn't know existed five seconds ago but spend a buck for a poor kid? Nah, not today. Like I always say "!@#$% 'em."
Guilt-giving is everywhere now. You go to the drugstore and every transaction is followed by "Would you like to donate your change rounded up to the nearest dollar to XXX?"
Well, of course. I mean, I guess. I mean, what IS XXX anyway? I've never heard of it.
"It's for the kids," was the uber bored response from the clerk.
"Yeah, I kinda got that what with Kids in the name and all."
But, yeah, sure. I guess. Take the 48 cents.
The bell ringer gave me the stink eye when I didn't have any change for his kettle on the way out.
"Save the attitude, Pops, I gave it all away in there. Take it up with them."
At one store, not to name names but everything's a dollar there, the clerk rang me up and robo-asked "Would you like to donate a toy to a wounded warrior's child in need?"
When I said, "I guess so" the clerk looked genuinely surprised.
She plucked an extremely cheap looking little plastic airplane from a pile near the register and tossed it into a box. I shouldn't have.
At the grocery store, I was asked if I would like to donate a pie to the troops in Afghanistan. A PIE? How about decent housing for their families back home?
I've marveled at the folks who resist this without even blinking.
The guy ahead of me had a cart full of artichokes and expensive wine.
"Would you like to donate a dollar to Alzheimer's research?"
Of course, for all I know, he just spent all day in a lab working on a cure for dementia and just took a brief artichokes and wine break. Who am I to judge? You kidding? Have we met?
My friend, Kevin, usually says "No" but spends a minute or two explaining to the clerk who doesn't care that he gives through an employee campaign and his kids need braces and his transmission is leaking andů
It's really kinda cute.
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