day to day rambling...

Real and not always exciting adventures in life.

Location: Maryland
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Saturday, May 14, 2005


It seems that every weekend the local Walmarts and grocery stores are plagued with organizations that want my money for their group. First of all, I don't mind giving people money, but I hate being accosted when I am shopping. Today for example, I went to the grocery store for Bob's mother. On the way in to the store, I noticed that the Boy Scouts were there selling chances for baskets or something. So I put on my best "I am not buying anything, so don't ask" look and headed towards my goal of a shopping cart. It must have worked, because I did not receive a sales pitch.

The strange thing about this was that although there were kids present, the mothers were doing all of the selling. The kids could have at least offered to take people's groceries to their cars to drum up business. A similar situation happened a few years ago when Bob and I were buying a Christmas tree. The Boy Scouts have a stand at a local shopping center that sells Christmas trees and greens. While the people there were very helpful, not a single person working the stand was a Boy Scout. This was supposed to the Boy Scouts not the Parent Scouts!

This took me back to memories of my own childhood. I was a Girl Scout for about six years. While being a scout you are supposed to do things to earn badges. My parents would never help me to earn badges. They felt that if I wanted badges, I should do the work myself. That is great in theory, but all of the other kid's parents helped them and they had tons of badges. There was one particular incident that made me decide to hang up my Girl Scout hat forever. There was to be a fashion show of clothes that each member had made herself. Not only would my parents not help, but they would not buy me the fabric. So I ended up making this really horrible monstrosity of a skirt out of leftover drapery fabric. I was horrified when I saw the other girls, because obviously they had had some help, because their clothing was cute. Mine on the other hand, was hideous. From that point forward, I knew that I could no longer be a Girl Scout.

While I do think that my parents should have been more helpful with my quest for badges (or at least supportive), I also think it is wrong for parents to do all of the work. So I guess that there must be a happy medium. I do know this though, I will no longer buy from the Scouts if there are no kids present and working. What kind of children are we raising if we never require our kids to work for anything?

On a side note, I hate when people try to sell me stuff when I am walking in to a store. In today's case, if I wanted a damn basket, I could contact my local Longaberger basket dealer. I just want to walk in to the store uninterrupted and get my shopping done. It is sort of like the old saying, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Just leave me alone. Maybe I could come up with a universal pin that lets the sellers know that I am not interested, before they even ask.

Please don't think I am a Scrooge, because I really am a charitable person. Each year we have a summer party and ask our party guests to bring school supplies for local kids who need them. We also give to a few other charities on a regular basis. I just hate being accosted! If you want my money send me a written request, please!

Have a spectacular night!!!


Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

Linda, I agree with everything you wrote. I think it's really a disservice to the spirit of groups like Scouts of all genders when parents help their children out of a competitive desire to excel rather than being inspired to cooperate and learn.

In terms of collecting for charity, one thing I always decline is contributing to the Roadside Bucket Beggars. This goes back to college, when one of the guys I dated said he had a high school job in a movie theater at home. In the Northeast, the Jimmy Fund was a big deal going back years and years. I have only recently begun seeing Jimmy Fund ads in movie theaters here in Maryland. But, anyway, in the Northeast, the Jimmy Fund mercilessly advertised before every film, and then the ushers would appear in the aisles with little screw-top cylindrical cans into which we all dutifully dumped our pocket change. Turns out, according to the guy I was dating, that the Jimmy Fund was really the Ushers' Arcade Fund, and after we had eased our privileged consciences by contributing, sitting back to enjoy our film, the ushers would spend all our donated quarters playing video games in the lobby.

I give in lots of different ways, and that keeps my privileged conscience at bay when I walk past parents hawking their kids' fundraising goods, etc.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Could be worse, I ended up in a boy scout troop that played grab-ass around the campfire. I'm being serious. I expressed my disgust to the scoutmaster who was pissed I said something. He was obviously enjoying himself. I woke up in my tent to find my tent mate with his arm around me.

At age 12, I was less sensitive towards gay rights, so when we returned from camping, I screamed at my parents, "They're all homosexuals! They're gay! I want out!"

I don't feel proud about that, but it was a really devastating thing for me when I was already fighting in school most days.

I try not to hold it against the scouts of today, particularly since one of my close friends is a pack leader and his son is in his pack.

Probably doesn't have much to do with your question of charity, but I threw it out there anyway!

10:11 AM  

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