Money Manners: Self-reliant woman should be commended, not patronized

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:12:02 AM. Dear Jeanne & Leonard:
Dear Jeanne & Leonard: A woman I know from the PTA recently suffered a painful financial setback. To help make ends meet, she’s begun preparing jams and jellies, which she sells to friends and neighbors. Since I want to help her, I’ve been buying some of her things. But having been in this woman’s home and seen how unhygienic her kitchen is, I would never eat anything that’d been prepared there. Instead I throw out whatever I buy once I get home. When a friend happened to see me do this, she was horrified. She said that I should just give the woman money if I’m not going to eat what I paid for — that throwing out the food is unconscionably wasteful. Could she be right? — Rachel, Los Angeles Dear Rachel: In a word, no. The woman who suffered the financial misfortune is to be commended for her self-reliance. Your friend should respect her for it, not encourage you to treat her as a charity. Not that there’d be anything wrong with a group of you chipping in to give the woman a nice gift of cash. That’s what friends are for. But giving the woman a handout at the moment she’s hoping to sell her goods would be patronizing — a show of disrespect for her admirable effort to be self-sufficient. If your friend disapproves of your tossing out the food this woman prepares, you can always give it to your friend to eat. Dear Jeanne & Leonard: Long ago, my father gave me a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. When my son “Eric” was growing up, I promised him that one day it would be...Read more
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