Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, the Guilt

Ryan often says that I would have made a great Catholic because I always feel so guilty about everything. Seriously, everything.

Like, today for instance. I was dropping Sydney off at school (thank heavens for "drop-off" and "pick-up") when an older lady knocked on my window. Kinda scared the you-know-what out of me.

I rolled the window down a bit (OK, I didn't really "roll" it down since my car, ahem, I mean, van, has automatic windows) and asked if I could help her. She explained that she had just dropped off her grandson at school and her car broke down across the street. She wanted to know if I could give her a ride to her home, which was about a mile away.

She seemed credible. There was a steaming car across the street and the neighborhood she needed to go to was about a mile away and there is an elementary school in the direction that she pointed.

But, I just couldn't. And I feel so guilty about it.

I apologized profusely, but I told her that I had children in the car and did not feel comfortable giving a ride to a stranger. I do, after all, live in a huge city with lots of scam artists and I have trained myself to be wary of strangers (I didn't say this particular part to her).

The woman said she understood and continued to walk down the street toward her neighborhood. I'm sure she felt more comfortable asking me for help, rather than the other people nearby, since I drive a family friendly mini-van, but I just didn't feel comfortable giving a stranger a ride to a neighborhood that's a bit shady with my toddler son in the vehicle.

And now I feel guilty about it all. I wonder if she made it home OK. I wonder if her car will get fixed. I wonder if she thinks I'm a truly horrible person for not helping her out.

Sometimes it stinks to have a conscience.

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