Mar 18, 2010

Don't judge me, but I yelled at a homeless person today

 Image taken from Google Images... this is NOT the homeless man I saw... he didn't have a dog.

I was pulling into the parking lot of WinCo today, when I saw a homeless man who seemed to be talking to himself. Long, scruffy beard, long dirty hair... a slightly crazed look in his eyes.

As I drove past him, I noticed in my rear-view mirror that he seemed to be heading toward where I was parking.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying the following: 1. Generally I like homeless people. I feel bad for them, and usually give them food, money and like to talk to them about their lives. Since I've been a mother, I have felt more cautious around them, especially men. 2. When a scary looking homeless man approaches me in a parking lot asking for money, when I am alone with my child/ren I won't  give money to him and often tell them that they shouldn't approach women who are with children. 3. Yes, I know a large percentage of homeless people have drug problems, which makes them dangerous, I try to always be wise when speaking to a homeless person.

So as I parked and was busy getting my stuff together to get out of the car, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that this man had come up to my side of the car just a few feet from my door.  I checked to be sure the doors were locked and then he laughed. 

Not just a little chuckle, but a full on belly laugh that was strangely high pitched.

me to my daughter: don't open the door, sit down, we are moving.

So I turn my engine on and put my car in reverse, and move my car.  As I drive around the parking lot, I notice that he's on the move again, heading toward the entrance to the store.  I pull around to park my car again, and notice a woman, alone, pushing a cart full of groceries.  He stands "nonchalantly" (as much as a crazy homeless person can be) and then begins to follow her, giggling and laughing like he did by my car. 

The woman looks scared.  Rightly so.  I quickly drive around so I am beside the man and woman, roll down my passenger window part way and shout at the homeless man.

me: Excuse me, sir!
Crazy man (CM): Looks up surprised
me: Excuse me, but you need to leave!
CM: now no longer following woman, instead approaching my car...
woman: THANK YOU!
CM: I'm sorry, what?
me: You can't walk around a parking lot laughing like a crazy person and scaring people.
CM: I have a condition, like Epilepsy or Tourettes I can't help it.
me: I don't care.  You're intimidating people.  You have to leave.
CM: I'm just trying to stay happy m'aam, you aren't making it easy.
me: I'm trying to stay happy, but instead I'm yelling at a crazy person who is probably high on something. You need to leave, or I'm calling the Police.
CM: I'm not using drugs, I was talking on my phone... you can't see that?
me: You don't have a phone.  You were trying to be scary.  You need to leave now, or I'm going to call the Police.
CM: Laughing maniacally
me: You can't scare me.  You have to leave. NOW!
CM: Walking away talking to himself.

As I drove over to park next to the woman who I "rescued" I noticed a store employee following him off the premises.  The woman was shaking, but appreciative. 

I have spent a decade or more interacting with homeless people, and I have learned the following: homeless people are lonely people.  Nobody talks to them, nobody looks at them.  They want attention, they want someone to treat them like a human. I felt bad yelling at this man who undoubtedly had a combination of a substance abuse problem and a mental health disorder, but MAN, someone had to tell that guy to stop.

This is just a part of my day.  LOL.

Speaking of a part of my day... I've been working out for 4 weeks now.  It's not a long time, but I've gotten up at 5:45am four days a week for 4 weeks and I feel stronger and happier.

Nothing like being fat and feeling sorry for yourself to make the high of self-control and exercise that much better!  I am now at that point where I can feel the muscles under my flab, but it appears that my newly toned muscles are slowly evicting my fat to right below my skin.  So attractive.   I know that if I keep moving, in 2-4 weeks I will start to notice that fat burn off... but right now I am not overly fond of the fat I've been hiding in my muscles and around my organs suddenly showing itself on the surface of my body.  Grr.

My birthday is coming.  I am so excited! I say this not to get cards or well wishes, but to say that I have been asked a few times what I want for my birthday.  I'm going to be 33... I don't know.  I want new work-out shoes, I want a new skillet, I would L O V E a pedicure.  I would really like a new set of dishes, complete with 9 inch plates.  Steak Knives?

I have a problems and that is that there is so much that I want, but not a whole lot that I need.  You ever have that problem?  I feel like the best part of the birthday gift  is a birthday card.  I love when people write me little notes, when people take the time to pick out or make the perfect card.  It really brightens my week (because I set them up where I can see them).

Just me, AJ


  1. Homeless people can be very scary...I give you credit for saying something, but ya know what? If I had my kids with me I probably would have also! Nothing is going to get to MY Kiddos!!
    Kudos to you!
    And awesome job on the work out. I should be doing more but I'm sluggishly sitting around blogging and saying how much I hate being fat. What's wrong with that picture??

  2. Ok, well now you have to email me your address so I can follow you around like a crazy person. KIDDING! I want to send you a birthday card! :)

    That whole situation sounded pretty scary. You're braver than I. I wouldn't have had the nerve to confront him. Creepy.

  3. I think that same gentleman was approaching stopped cars at a busy intersection near my house. I normally don't think anything of it but this time I got the creepy willies! You bet I made sure our doors were locked. I think he must have been drunk because he couldn't walk very straight.

  4. I don't blame you for what you said or being concerned. You just never know who really needs the help or who is on drugs. Since I never carry cash it's easy for me to say sorry I don't have anything and that would be the truth. But there are so many homeless people out there these days, it feels that you are being approuched on a daily basis. Thanks for the blog and Happy Birthday.

  5. I would have done the same thing. I feel bad, but when I am with my kids (or even when I am not because I have kids) it is my #1 job to make sure they are safe and if that means moving my car, yelling at someone, asking someone to be escorted away, etc first. I have had three encounters with (presumably) homeless men and they have all been scary. That said, I have also had a homeless man help me ya never know, but better safe than sorry!

    Great job on the workouts! Way to go!

  6. Alissa, you are so right that homeless people are lonely and no one wants to talk or look at them. I will never forget when you took the youth group to San Francisco for a mission trip. It was really eye-opening spending our days with the homeless. One thing that really stuck out to me about that trip was when we all actually experienced a part of being homeless. When we sat on the street, no one would say hello, let alone look our way. I have always been amazed by the heart you have for the homeless, the broken, and the "unlovable." You were right to protect that woman and your children today.

  7. I loved how you wrote that last paragraph because that's so true and that's how I feel as well.

    With that said, I DO agree with you in your assessment of the situation at the store. And I would have been scared as well. Homeless or not...if I see anyone approaching my car I'm outta there. There are SO many crazies out there.

    The fact that he was laughing maniacally? OMG I would have peed my pants.

    Happy almost birthday! What an exciting day! lol

  8. I am so glad you spoke to that man. A friend and I ran into each other in a grocery store, notice I said *inside*, and a man approached us for money, something for his car. He got VERY angry when we directed him to our church, that has a car care ministry. He hollered at us (*inside* the store), and we quickly got mgmt and they walked him outside.

    I just had my b-day in February and I had the same thing -- plenty of wants, not a lot of needs. I got a Wii Fit though -- yay!

  9. Don't feel bad for yelling at that guy. I'm sure that woman was so grateful! I wish someone would do something like that for me!

  10. McHenry is getting so scary - all parts of it! I'll bet that woman is so glad you spoke up!

  11. Following you from the Friday Follow!!


  12. Good job protecting that lady!!! And a happy birthday my beautiful friend!

  13. I found you through the follow me friday. I am now following you.

    Have a great day!


  14. Thank you,thank you,thank you for coming to the aid of that lady. Perhaps CM would have done nothing, but again, who knows what he might have done. And just as CM has rights,that lady had the right to go grocery shopping and not be scared outta her wits. I'm so proud that you were there for her.
    I'm visiting via Follow Friday..and have become a follower. I hope you come visit and follow as well.
    A p.s. Hope you have a happy and most wonderful birthday...

  15. Hi, stopping by from Follow me Friday and SITS!

  16. Again with teh parallel lives, Aj. When is your birthday? Mine is on Tuesday.

  17. Wow! It took a lot of guts to approach a homeless 'crazy with turrets' man. Ha Ha! We need more people like you around to straighten the crazies out! Love your blog!

    I'm your newest follower from Follow Me Fridays :) I hope you can come visit me soon

  18. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBMarch 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    can't get past the picture. it makes me sad to see a dog stuck with a homeless person. they can't even take care of themselves much less a pet. sadness.

  19. Hello, I am following you now because I saw you on TrendyTreehouse's MckLinky and because I read 2 of your posts and I am cracking up! Please visit my blog and return the favor if you feel inclined. Thanks for the laughs!

  20. You did a good thing by yelling at him. He needed to stop.

    I have very little (or no) needs. My goal is to stop having The Wants. I'm getting there - but I still want to get another housekeeper. :)


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