I used to hear all those do-gooders tell me I should “work in a soup kitchen” over Thanksgiving. I cannot tell you how often I heard that. It was enough to make me sick. I was told I was “selfish” because I didn’t! Yeah, selfish. Since I had no family to go to, I was automatically “ungrateful” because I didn’t go feed homeless folks. I was then told if I chose not to volunteer it was my own fault.
What was my own fault? That I was not homeless, and therefore, not getting to eat together in a soup kitchen, and instead, eating alone at home for the holidays? You can’t win, can you?
This is what happens when you volunteer in a soup kitchen: If you do, you stay a few hours, volunteer, know that you are totally alone, then afterward, you watch all the other volunteers (who are from some chummy do-gooder club or whatever) pat themselves on their backs, then wipe their hands clean and go home to their real families. You go home to that empty house. As usual. And you didn’t get invited to the do-gooder club (not that you would want to join).
Please do not tell me I’m selfish for not volunteering in a soup kitchen on the holidays. As for my birthday, it’s a long ways off and I’m not worried about turning 59 just yet. I have no worries about “growing older.” However, I dislike that dreaded feeling of knowing I’ll be alone on my birthday another year, and I also dread being alone on my 60th. I don’t mind being alone in itself but I dislike that nagging feeling that I matter to others that little.