Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's just one small thing

That leads to another small thing.

And another.

Until your house is filled to the rafters with an army of small things.

That's how I feel about school fund raisers.

I probably wouldn't care in the least if I didn't have enough trouble suppressing the urge to buy things I want but don't need.

Feeling as if I HAVE to buy things that we don't need AND don't want is just painful.

But when the school hands my kid a slick sheet of paper with the picture of a furry mechanical gerbil she will "WIN" for selling 25 to 34 buckets of cookie dough (at $12 or $13 bucks a pop) it just makes me wonder about this "team work" stuff.

I mean, I believe in public education. I know things are tough and schools need money, I just really think this type of "incentive" marketing to children can only have the effect of pitting parents against schools.

That's what I'm thinking as she tells me "You are not going to like what I have to show you," just before bedtime. She's holding the sales packet in a bearhug.

I open my mouth to protest.

"BUT LOOK! IT'S SOOOOO CUTE, MOM," she croons as I squint at the picture of a toy gerbil on a pink wheel.

"Isn't that the same toy you decided AGAINST at the shop in Maine last summer?"

"People change their minds don't they?"

And then I realize ... she's right.

Here I am, saying one thing at the grocery store -- "No, we are not buying Dora the Explorer yogurt" -- and feeling I have to swallow the over-priced cookie dough at school because it's "for the kids."


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