Beggars Can Be Johns

This is what I was wearing when a man begging for change on the subway stopped next to my seat.  (Warning!  This post has sexually explicit lingo, as I quoted someone verbatim.)

dress/PS Beacon's Closet resale
shoes/vintage via Etsy
tights/Maggie's Organics (the better, older version)

He leaned over and said, "You look just like Audrey Hepburn! Look at you!" (I don't.)

"Okay, thanks."

He sat ten seats away and kept begging money. A few stops go by and he's still begging for "Quarters? Quarters?" and I start to feel a tinge of pity. Maybe I should give him some money?

I usually avoid this because most subway beggars are junkies or alcoholics and while I've heard people cite "giving them some joy" and "helping them get to their bottom" as reasons for giving them money, I don't want to give them joy nor a bottom so I abstain.

More "Quarters? Quarters? You got a quarter?"

Pity increasingly builds. Then the begging changes to this:

"Quarters? Quarters? Quarters for transport? Quarters for food? Quarters for booze? Quarters for pussy?" Seriously. "Quarters for pussy?" I won't ask how that's even possible. Or where. In fact, the topic's erased from my brain. But it was at that point that all pity was officially withdrawn. No quarters for you.

He got off the train after another 10 minutes of this, but not before leaning over my seat (again) and saying, "You really do look like her. Elegant and classy."

"Okay, dude. Whatever."

Outfit scorecard (animals, people, world): Everything was pre-owned or organic and made by fair labor standards. 50 gold stars.


  1. You really do look like Audrey Hepburn :)

  2. When it comes to change solicitors, I'll definitely put out for compliments. I had a great exchange with a teen street rat type in Port Authority the other month. He stopped me, told me he liked my "look" and then critically dissected why it looked good and why it worked. Then he asked for a buck. I gave him two. I'm not above paying for some pre-bus ride flattery.

    But, really, I think that there is a good chance that you carry yourself like Audrey Hepburn. Especially with the hair back/ swept bangs, combo.

  3. Oh, I love anecdotes like this. I'm not begging and I can see what he saw. I have long had a policy of not giving handouts, but last fall I ran a light to avoid a beggar on a street corner. Later, I received a ticket for running that light and the cost of the ticket, $100, gave me spiritual pause.

  4. I tend to just smile and ignore these beggars. They're still humane, so no need to be unpolite with them. Love your outfit. :)

  5. The last time I came across any beggars was in a completely different country! In Samoa, where begging is legitimate, people are begging with gangrenous limbs there. I'm not sure how I'll deal with it when i visit California in June. Any tips? And you do look very elegant, channeling Audrey in those digs. i think the dude was right.

  6. I have to agree with the beggar, too. Very classy indeed!

  7. You'd be surprised what you will learn about yourself when you judge the poor--disdain.


Post a Comment

Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Please don't apologize for writing a lot - I like long thoughtful comments so bring on the "wall o' text" if you wish and have no shame.

Short comments are, of course, also always welcome.