Like Father

June 1, 2010

This morning, my dad and I went into a subway station together. Just as we approached the turnstyles, a homeless lady spoke to us.

HOMELESS LADY: Spare change?

ME: No, sorry.

MY DAD: Sorry.

I don’t always give change to panhandlers, but something about this woman kind of drew me in, and I thought I probably did have a bit of change, so I kept walking and pretended to be digging for a token, when really I was fishing for some money for her. Meanwhile, my dad was edging towards the turnstyles, reaching into his pocket for his subway pass.

ME: Den, wait, I think I have change for her…

My father still had one hand searching his pocket, but as he turned to me, I saw that his subway pass was already in his other hand. This meant that he had actually been looking in his pocket for change all along.

MY DAD: Oh, yeah, me too, that’s what I’m trying to find here.

Turns out we both had some change for this lady. I haven’t lived with my dad for about a decade, and I don’t recall ever seeing his personal giving-change-to-the-homeless-procedure before, but we had both done the exact same thing: deemed this lady a good candidate for a handout, yet said no and walked out of her sightline while we checked our pockets so we wouldn’t disappoint her in case we had none. We pooled our coins and my dad handed her some loot.

I am a big fan of behavioural resemblance.