Friday, January 23, 2009

Too Much Blog Fodder

Blogging is sort of like mining for gold. One has to sift through a lot of useless stuff to try to find that 'one' interesting nugget. I've spent so many hours alone with only my grandson as company, that I'd pretty much forgotten what it was like to actually sit face-to-face with a girlfriend and have a real conversation. Oh, I count my husband as a friend and companion, but sometimes men just don't GET it.

My sister has challenged me to think about so many things, I find myself with too many opinions I'm dying to express. Starting in February, I'm going adhere to a schedule of topics, so I already have a line-up of minor gripes, annoying facts, and major bitches to share with you. *lol*

But today, I'm addressing fund raisers conducted by the schools. This has been going on for years, and in my opinion, needs to stop. When my kids were little, it seemed I was constantly lugging a catalog to work to inflict upon my co-workers. I was more excited about my sons winning a useless prize than they were. God forbid they felt embarrassed. I certainly wouldn't allow them to go door-to-door, even if they wanted to. That's about the time the milk cartons were starting to display lost and kidnapped children.

I didn't have any Girl Scouts, so I didn't interfere with the endless stream of cookie orders, but I'm sure people with without children were looking for retribution from the pressure. I think my co-workers liked me much better once my kids graduated.

And years later we're still torturing people. Why? My grandson is autistic and has only just learned to speak--mostly in a language only we understand. Yet, he comes home with three catalogs at Christmastime, filled with over-priced articles to sell. Yeah, like we're gonna let him approach strangers and do his part. But he's smart enough to understand that if he doesn't sell at least a few items, he won't get to attend the ice-cream social promised those who do. What lesson does that instill?

Why is it necessary to pressure parents already stressed to the max with trying to sell useless things to those who can ill-afford the expense? Just like so many contests for book covers and trailers on the internet, it becomes a popularity contest. The person who has the most contact, exposure and friends always wins. To me this is just another way to minimize self-esteem, children and parents, and heap added stress when none is needed. It used to be enough to volunteer a day or two a year in class, attend field trips to help out, and participate in the PTA, but those days are long gone. Now we have to hawk the wares of companies who profit from our labor, all so the school can get a small portion of the money. Isn't there a better way?

Okay...enough whining about that. I've grown a backbone but the practice still bugs me. I simply refuse to do this anymore. My five friends and relatives who were willing to buy have dwindled to two, so Spencer will just have to face the agony of defeat and go without the ice cream social. It might scar his little psyche but I'll get him a seventy-nine cent cone at McDonalds. *lol*


Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Ginger,

I agree- I groan everytime the fundraisers come home...

LuAnn said...

I agree, Ginger. My grandkids are always bringing catalogs for me to look at. The problem is, the items are way overpriced and they aren't things I use, anyway!

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the pressure the schools put on these kids to sell from the fundraisers. The prizes they dangle in front of them are worthless pieces of crap. At least 10 times a year I have to argue with my little girl about not buying the stuff (unfortunately, we live in a suburb of school kids so there is no-one to sell to). At first I would buy enough for her to get something but then I had to put my foot down. I would spend $75.00 for her to get a toy worth 50 cents. I finally told her not to bother to bring the catalogs home anymore, of course there is still the argument about how her friends all do it but it is starting to minimize as time goes on.

Linda Gates

Anonymous said...

, I couldn 't agree with you more. It's bad enough trying to get someone to do something that doesn't cost them anything, but asking for momney? These days everyone is so stressed out about everything I just want to find something to give to THEM. Ginger, you hit the nail righton the head. And Spencer will love his cone! LOL!

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