Ms. Manners – Column

Ms. Manners Breakout On…Encountering The Homeless

As I stepped into the train this morning, I was accompanied by the faint smell of fermented stench, sweat and traces of vomit. I looked over and saw that a homeless man was laying across the three-seater row at the entrance of the train. Now while this man’s scent did make my nose do funny things, I DID NOT:

(1) alienate him by covering my face with my scarf and/or hand or
(2) make absurd faces at him or
(3) run for dear life in the opposite direction or
(4) make loud obnoxious (and obvious) comments about how he smelled like death’s toilet water after a bad case of diarrhea as many RUDE people of this fine city will do.

We have to remember, these people are homeless–so the trains and train stations that we take for granted every day, have become their homes. If the man feels like laying down in his air conditioned moving home, then let him be. We have so much more than he does, so I say let him enjoy the simple pleasure that he can get.  I didn’t sit next to him in the adjacent chairs because quite frankly, he truly reeked, BUT I did stomach the ordeal with grace and decorum.

 Now giving money to the homeless is a different situation entirely, but I’ll leave the etiquette on that for another day…

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