The Chocolate Lady

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trying to pay it forward to appear homeless

This weekend is the kick off of a special season for our family, Alex's Lemonade Days. This is our fourth year of hosting Alex's Lemonade stands to benefit pediatric cancer research.

Alex's Lemonade Stand was started by Alex Scott. In the midst of her battle with cancer, this little girl began having lemonade stands, giving the money straight to her doctors to help find the right medicines to make her and her cancer friends better.

When she was very sick, she invited other kids to help her, asking them to hold lemonade stands too. Alex went to Heaven in 2004, she was just 8 years old. A life cut short in years, but she accomplished so much, raising over a million dollars before she died.

Our family looks forward to participating, and we hold events throughout the summer to continue Alex's vision of finding a much needed cure.

We are kicking things off this weekend at Taste of Ladera I hope you can come join us for glass of lemonade...and we will also be having a special raffle, which leads me to what happened today (deep breath).....

Pooper and Beauty are going to be raffling off two *special new* Webkinz; the American Cocker Spaniel and the Chicken.

With the event coming up in just a few days, I took those few spare moments in my day to go get the new "plush pets." I went to our local toy store, but he was all out. Being the selfless guy that he is, he told me to try the card store at the mall. I hurried over to the mall, not thrilled about dealing with the parking, and mindful that I only had 30 minutes til I needed to pick Beauty up from school.

After the necessary 30 circles around the parking lot, I finally found a spot within walking distance, grabbed Little One, and was on my way.

OOPS! I forgot my ATM card! I had $29.75 in cash, probably more if I would have taken the time to scrounge in between the seats and under the floor mats. I brought my money and my checkbook, although, I cant find my Drivers License (another story), but I did have my COSTCO card, with my picture. That should do it, and we were off.

Through the crowds, down the escalator, I was feeling a bit out of place. Little One was barefoot, but at least still had her bow in her hair. I was in shorts, and one of My Honey's t-shirts that is too tight around my mid section. It may have just been my imagination, but it seemed that a lot of people were staring at my legs....and not for the right reasons!! I think they were checking out all the giant scabs that make a trail from my ankles to my knees.

So what? Im coming here to get highly prized Webkinz, in order to have a raffle, and make a lot of money, which will go to help find a cure for childhood cancer. I mean, Id rather look like this and help kids fight cancer, then spend my days at the gym and the plastic surgeon...that was what I told myself as I proudly walked into the card shop.

I found the cocker spaniel (the most adorable webkinz ever!) and the chicken. Um, the chicken, kinda looks like those chickens that star in the Zacky Farms know the ones? tattered and scrawny? Well, beauty is certainly is in the eye of the beholder, so far be it from this scabbed up mommy to question the love and adoration that someone might find for the chicken.

I get to the counter, and the total is $31.17. I know what you are doing, you are trying to figure it out,,,,,,here, let me help you.....I was short $1.42. Yep.

There I stood, kind of in a hurry, looking a bit scruffy, and I didnt have enough money.

Me: Could I just write a check for the rest? I dont have my Driver's License, but I know my number by heart, and I also have my name and photo on my Costco card.

Twenty something guy, trying to act cool at his mall job: Oh, no, sorry, we cant take checks without a Drivers License.

Me: Not even for $1.42??

Card shop guy: Nope, sorry, we've had a lot of trouble with bad checks.

Me: But, it's $1.42? (thinking, COME ON! Even if it bounces, is AMERICAN GREETINGS even gonna know the difference????)

Card shop guy: Sorry, cant do it.

Ok, I understand...please hold those for me, Ill be right back.

Dont even think I would go home for my ATM card, or be energetic enough to go back to look for coins in my car. Nope. FAR TOO LAZY for that.

As I walked back out to hub-ub of the mall, Little One on my hip, realizing I had just a short amount of time before I was expected at Beauty's school, I had an idea!

My Honey is always saying that I know people everywhere we go, so I figured I would just sit in the mall for a few minutes, and would probably see someone I know, and then just borrow the money. That's easy. Certainly people know Im good for the $1.42, and I could go back and get the raffle prizes and get on with my day.

I sat watching a lady, probably mid 50's at most, play with her little granddaughter near the fountain. The little girl was about a year old, and they giggled as she made splashes in the water with her pennies.

Time was ticking. I looked around intently, and didnt spot any familiar faces.

I wondered if that grandma wouldnt mind giving me $1.42, I mean, she'd thrown practically half that much into the fountain....I was in a hurry, it was a good cause, why not give it a try.

Im usually not shy, but I looked down at my bare, scab covered legs, my tummy constricted by My Honey's t-shirt that I was wearing......Little One was running around shoe-less....UGH! I looked homeless!!!

It's for kids with cancer, I reminded myself, and then that ole Temptations song began playing in my ear....."aint too proud to beg......."

Alright, alright.....

Me: Um, excuse me, Im short about $1.50 and I was wondering....

Sweet lady: Oh, I can loan you $1.50

Me: (feeling like a complete transient) I could write you a check.

Sweet Lady: Oh, that's ok, (hurrying through her wallet, trying to get rid of me ASAP.)

Me: I just am having a busy day and forgot my ID and Card...and they wont take a check without it, and I thought I had enought...and, and....I realize I probably look homeless.....

Sweet Lady: (laughing) dont worry, here you go, One dollar and fifty cents.

Me; Thank you!!

I then scurried back to the store to get my dog and chicken, and then high-tailed it out of the mall!

So, in the spirit of begging...if little kids can endure all their chemo, and I can make a complete spectacle of myself at the mall.....would you be so kind to purchase yourself a (virtual) glass of lemonade??? Thanks :)


Some People Call Me Mom said...

If I hadn't already promised to babysit for my sister I would totally talk my husband into it, drag the kids along and come buy some lemonade in person.

I'll just have to settle on virtual...

(I think webkinz are an evil plot to keep me of the computer and I might just blog about it. A Fosters Farms webkinz would probably welcomed with open arms by the kiddos, though)

Grandma J said...

You didn't? You begged in the mall? I'm glad that nice lady gave you the money because I thing your next move would be wading into the fountain with Little One, diving for money.
How nice the kids want to raffle off Webkinz. How about the ones they already have with all the on-line stuff? I guess that would be like step-webkinz.
I bought my virtual glass of lemonade...does that come with a cherry? You don't tell people how many tens of thousands of $$$ Andrew's Alex Lemonade stands have raised!! They would be shocked!

Don't forget the 31 cent ice cream at BR tonight.

Grandma J said...

On your Lemonade Stand page there is a "share" button. It let me put a link to your fundraising on my blogs sidebar. What a nice feature!

The Running Girl said...

You crack me up with your stories. And I was right there in thinking with Grandma J - I thought you were going to "borrow" money from the fountain. Glad everything worked out.

And you are braver than I. Last night I was getting ready to head out to hill repeats for the cycle team (meaning I was in bike shorts and a cycle jersey) and my husband asks if I would stop at Walgreens on the way home and pick up some more zyrtec. Ummm, do I look like I'm dressed for Walgreens? I normally don't really care what I look like, but I wasn't going in Walgreens in bike shorts.

Sister Honey Bunch said...

What a great thing to do. (Thanks for stopping by to comment about our shared opinion of the Miley C. thing)

Midge said...

I also totally thoguht you were going to go wading in the fountain. I found your blog through Bossy. First time here and I purchased myself a very refreshing glass of lemonade. I also shared Andrew's page with friends. Good luck!

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

I'll drink to that! (Lemonade of course!!)

Say what ever happened about the cabin and the car incident? Inquiring minds want to know :)