Flower Guy Money Factor
So at the deli around the corner there's a guy who watches the flowers that are for sale in front of the store. He sits on a newspaper box and makes sure no one steals or whatever. He's always been a real friendly dude and neighborhood people often give him some change or a buck or whatever when they come out of the deli. It's not like he's homeless or has a cup or whatever. It's just something some people do when they come out of the deli. Sort of an under the table-y feel of... here's a buck... hey how's things? I usually slip him a dollar and we chat it up about whatever when I come out of the deli. We know each other by name and I always say hi as I pass by. It's a nice relationship which makes me like my neighborhood extra because it's extra neighborhoody when you can pass by someone on the street and say hello by name.
But a few weeks ago our relationship sort of kind of changed. I came out of the deli with a bag of stuff and was chatting it up and he asked me if I was going to be 'around on Friday'. I was thinking, ' Uh... Be around? On Friday? For what? What's on Friday? Does he want to like... hang out hang out? Uh oh.' Whatever. I told him I'd probably be around and he asked me if he could have '.. a little loan.... just till friday....'
I sort of semipanicked inside. I assumed he was looking for more money then the dollar I usually give him. But how much money? Is he gonna ask me for $100 or something? More? It was time to be on the spot. I don't like the spot. I asked him how much he needed and he said, 'Two Zero. 20?' $20. I was sort of relieved it wasn't more. I figured if he was asking for cash this way maybe he was in some kind of trouble and I don't think fast on my feet so I went into my wallet and gave him $20. He told me he'd pay me back on Friday.
That was a few weeks ago and things seem little different between us since. He hasn't brought it up and neither have I. When I go to the deli and come out I'll still give him a buck, but our conversation has been tweaked a little since the loan. Sometimes I avoid the deli altogether if I'm in a mood and don't want to risk having to deal with anything. There's just this little weird unspoken $20 cloud that's maybe hovering over us. Or the cloud is just in my head or whatever. I sort of have a back in my headish, 'What if he asks again? What if he brings it up? What if he offers to pay me back? Is it rude to refuse the payback? Rude to accept it? How does one handle that?' Maybe I shouldn't overthink stuff like this but it's just a slight weird uncomfortableness that only money can bring...
I'm sure it'll fade and I'm happy to help someone that's a friend of sorts....
... but I just hope he doesn't ask again.