Thursday, January 5, 2012
Do you want beer with that macaroni?
The first house I lived in as an adult was in a housing development which was incomplete. There were a few houses that were finished on my street but construction was going on all around us. I moved in to the new house in July and as it always is in July, it was really hot. The construction guys would show up in the neighborhood early in the morning and would work all day until their rides came to get them in the evening.
One day I noticed that the guys were working later than usual. It was almost 8 in the evening and the poor guys were sitting in the yard of a home, just wilted. They looked tired and I felt badly for them. They didn't have anything to eat or drink so I decided to try and help them out. Most of them didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish but I managed to find out that they didn't know when their ride would show up. I asked them if they were hungry or thirsty and it was obvious that they were. I didn't have any tea or sodas in the house. All I had was beer and milk. Some of them took beer and some took milk. I didn't really have enough of any one thing to feed them except for macaroni and cheese so I cooked up a huge pot and took it to them.
The guys didn't seem to mind that it was just macaroni and cheese. They gobbled it down like they hadn't eaten for a week. I often wonder if they thought I was crazy bringing them a big pot of macaroni and cheese and beer but it was the best I could do and I felt really sorry for them. I guess they enjoyed it because they ate every bit of it. When my hubby got home, he asked me what I was doing and I explained that the poor guys were wilting on the vine and that they didn't have a ride home. He accepted that I gave them some food and beer but he drew the line at me offering them a ride somewhere.
Those poor guys waited for their ride until about 9:00 but I felt better that at least they weren't starving. I wonder if they referred to me as the crazy macaroni and cheese lady after that day. I never had to feed them again although, I did offer them beer some days while they were waiting for their ride. I don't think my husband ever really understood why I was so insistent on trying to take care of them but I did. I remembered a time when I was a teen and it was the middle of a heat wave and I had to walk home from school. I got overheated and sort of sick and a nice lady gave me a ride home. She saw that I was suffering and she really, really helped me out because I felt like I was going to die right there on the sidewalk. So it was only natural that I paid it forward to those construction guys.
Maybe some day one of those guys will see someone who is wilted and hungry and he'll help out. I don't know if he'll offer beer and macaroni but maybe he'll think of the crazy macaroni lady who helped him. Pay it forward people. It feels good to help.