Wot with demented dog, unwell aunty and tired, stressed out nowhere near recovered TO, this doorknocking stuff is making me grumpier than ever.
Seriously thinking of putting a "forget the dogs - beware the resident" sign on the gate.
Luckily for some I'm
a) not a bloke and
b) not a bloke grandparent
or the little tackers would probably call me "Grumps" rather than Gramps.
Right when juggling TO's request for a very early meal and Aunty's usual civilised time for eating, trying to convince TO that the urgent work related stuff can wait til tomorrow morning… doorbell rings, dog yaps, and there are two young kids asking me to sponsor them for a marathon.
I cannot tell a lie. Proud as I was for not swearing, I did say "teatime is not a good time to call" then, upon hearing the purpose of the visit, "Sorry, but no".
Am I mean? Here are some good reasons for me to not agree
a) don't know these kids from Adam. For all I know their parents are ferals with initiative [not necessarily an oxymoron] and sending their kids out with homegrown, photocopied marathon sponsorship forms.
b) if I said yes, they would eventually return [probably at tea time] to collect and the demented geriatric Maude would yap some more. No, I will not just make a donation without the kids actually earning the money. Wrong message, and just schools begging by proxy. Degrading.
Well do I remember the public humiliations [inflicted by "christian" nuns] which made clear to me the meaning of the expression "cold as charity". Kids should not be in the middle of all this shit.
c) 50 years ago, blocks of streets were communities. Everybody knew everybody else's kids, parents and business. Community parents were all free to give someone else's cheeky kids a clip under the ear if appropriate. But the world has changed. Dramatically.
d) forget if the "if I were a grandparent" scenario above – if I had children the last thing I would do is let them / encourage them to knock on the doors of perfect strangers unaccompanied by an adult. Do parents not tell their kids to avoid talking to strangers? To avoid taking things from strangers?
"Sure kids, I'd love to support your school… come inside while I look for my wallet…"
Let's say I'm at the stupormarket and there is some transparent marketing thing to put pressure on kids to save tokens to earn money for their school. Do I want the tokens? Sure.
The latest thing is animal cards. Do I want the things? Sure. Do I think parents should have to cough up for "collect one of every kind" albums? No.
When I see kids who are reasonably well behaved and probably not spoilt, I will ask the adult guardian if it is okay to offer token/cards to the kid/kids… an opportunity to remind kids it's the parents who make the judgment about whether I'm to be trusted or not.
TO's big thing is winning giant stuffed toys at the
Rye carnival and looking
for a kid who would probably be rapt to take something away from the carnival.
This sponsorship crap is not fair on kids. I like the idea that uniforms protect kids from peer pressure. By all means have sports days and other stuff [where kids who are hopeless should NOT all win a prize] – it gives kids a chance to test their skills and maybe discover something they are good at or at least interested in.
But why pit kids whose parents are rich /have lots of relos against those whose parents are/have not by testing their ability to gather sponsorships?
Why not advertise a school fete and, on the day, ask for those in attendance to sponsor something happening on the spot?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.