Oh boy I love fundraisers. Said no one ever.
If your kid belongs to any organization, anywhere, of any type, you sell me stuff. And usually I buy it. Why? Guilt. And if the kid himself/herself calls or comes to the door, it always works.
January is apparently Girl Scout Cookie month. I don’t know what brilliant marketing director came up with selling cookies in January; because, as you know, no one watches their weight after the first of the year. It’s a rare thing to have a New Year’s resolution to diet, right?
Yet everywhere I go, every store I have to go in to, some cute little troop is (getting frostbite) screaming, “Girl Scout Cookies for sale! Four dollars a box!” And they are so funny and excited that I usually buy a box.
This year when I was walking into a store I heard the squeal of one little cutie, “That’s Emily’s mom! Emily’s mom! Come buy Emily cookies!”
I bought four boxes. I can’t tell those little faces no without feeling like a horrible destroyer of self esteem. It’s entrapment.
I can’t say no even though they are harassing me about that now TINY box of thin mints. Pretty soon we will get a total of four thin mints in a box. Come to think of it though, that I would buy. A single serving of thin mints. Wonder if the Girl Scouts of America are looking for a marketing director?
But, they aren’t the only ones that get me. The band fundraisers. The sports teams and athletic associations. Gymnastics. Space camp. (Kind of offensive, this one. I think that should be a family only fundraiser, sorry. Kind of like saying, ‘Hey, we are going to Disneyworld, buy this gross bar of chocolate or a candle that won’t burn, please?’) Church groups. PTA stuff.
All sweet little faces, eager to win their absolutely stupid piece of crap for selling the most junk.
“Look, mom! I harassed our friends and family enough to get a bouncy ball!” You know, like the type you can get for a quarter in a gum ball machine!
No. I have openly bribed my kids NOT to sell. I have also bribed kids with cash not to come back. “Here is a twenty. You can come here and play anytime you want, but this twenty means you can no longer sell me anything. Got it?” It eases my guilt tremendously.
This is what I want to see sold for fundraisers: school supplies such as paper, erasable pens, pencils and notebooks. Over-the-counter medicine: Tylenol, ibuprofen and cold medicines. Toilet paper, paper plates and napkins and paper towels. Garbage bags. Cleaning supplies in bulk. Light bulbs. Computer virus software. Socks. You know, necessities.
I have enough ridiculously ugly and expensive wrapping paper, expensive chocolate bars, expensive popcorn, expensive ugly home decor and expensive candles now. Who comes up with these catalogs, anyway?
I bet those folks laugh and laugh as they put these things together. Who buys the $25.00 four inch angel holding a flag that says, “Home sweet home”?
The candle sure to burn for 64 hours straight that should smell like vanilla but instead smells like a hamster cage? The dip mixes that end up being gag worthy? The ginormous beef stick that probably isn’t beef at all?
How about the magazine fundraisers. Oh please, I’d love a monthly magazine detailing the interesting and intelligent lives of the Kardashian family that no one will read and that I will end up forgetting to toss in the recycle bin, thus continuing my never ending cycle of guilt.
One year my kids school brilliantly said we didn’t have to do any fundraisers of any kind if we ‘paid out’. I nearly had to sell a child to afford to ‘pay out’ that year but no neighbors, friends, and family were offended by my kids begging them to buy garbage.
It was a good year, except of course, I ended up buying the junk the ‘non pay outers’ brought to my door. I never payed out again, because telling a first grader you paid out when they happily hand you their catalog of nonsense doesn’t work.
But I get it. Times are tough. And we all want our kids to play in a nice uniform, to be able to have shiny new instruments, to go camping and sing happy songs while roasting their s’mores over a campfire, and to go to Spacecamp. Well, most of those, at least...