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If it ain’t loose/ then it ain’t tight/ it’s a sticky situation-Sticky Situation, Subway

car-pool-TP-medMaybe you have no idea which fly by night ’90s male teen R&B group I just referenced, but suffice it to say, that snippet describes this situation exactly.

A few months ago, I was rear ended on my way to work and my car was totaled. It was my first car accident in which I had been driving, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do at all. I pulled over to the side of the road and got out to survey the damage, rubbing the persistent area of pain in my left shoulderblade. I just stood looking through the area where my back windshield used to be, looking down at my now pushed in trunk and bent bumper, tearing up. Then along comes a coworker of mine, whom we’ll call Mr. Friendly. Mr. Friendly and I work for an insurance company. We work in homeowner’s insurance, but he also has a background in auto insurance as an adjuster. This is quite fortuitous to me, since I had no idea even what the non-emergency number was where the accident happened. He helped me remove things from my car before they towed it away and took me to work. He offered to pick me up and drop me off for work as needed until I could get on my feet.

Mr. Friendly seems like just your average good Christian man. He’s older, married with two kids. I met his wife and children at a company picnic. They seem like a nice little family. He’s a talker (like me), likes all kind of music and goes to the local Baptist church. He buys bagels for his department on Monday mornings and brings Mochas to one of his coworkers whenever he gets one. The guy is just nice.

The only problem is I get a weird vibe from him. Like today. I was sitting at my desk as he goes by for lunch. He asks what’s up because we haven’t crossed paths in a while. (I had gotten a vehicle from my aunt to drive to work; he had been on vacation and then getting caught back up on work, staying late and etc.) I proudly flashed my new car key (completely useless, but that is another story). He says “Hey that’s great!” And goes to give me a hug. Now, it should be noted that I am not a huggy person. I don’t give a lot of people hugs. I hug my parents, a few of my aunts, Mr. Perfect, and people at church, and most of those are under duress (expect Mr. Perfect and parents), so almost all hugs give me a bad vibe, but the hug and the proceeding look together spelled bad vibe to me. We had earlier spoken about maybe continuing to carpool after I got my car, alternating vehicles, to save gas and toll money. Today he tells me he has just about caught up with work and maybe we could start carpooling in again. I said sure, but I felt like saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m a little creeped out by sudden bad vibe and I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Am I a complete mental case? Iconfess, I don’t much like people. In fact, I find most people either annoying, mean, stupid, arrogant, or in need of a serious reality check. This is one of my biggest struggles with being a Christian. It’s hard to love people you don’t like. But I FEEL like I am justified. I appreciate what he did for me, but the more I look at it, the more I see that I could be potentially putting myself further into a position of owing someone without knowing exactly what tender they want to be paid back in. He has never accepted any gas money or toll money from me in the past, and it has been my experience that no one does anything for free; there is always a price. You may not know what it is at that moment, but there is a price. What should I do?