I want to make a sign for my front door that says, “I have a baby and a budget, so please don’t ring my doorbell and I don’t want to buy what you are selling.”
How long do you will think it will be until my house is TP’ed?
Please don’t hate me, but this has been on my mind a lot lately, and when something is on my mind I “write” about it.
Let me paint the picture of what has been happening almost daily at my house for the last few weeks. It is 5 PM, I am done with work and Ina is taking a nap. I have 15 minutes to do whatever I want before I need to start making dinner and/or Ina wakes up. I could watch TV! I could paint my nails! I could sit in silence and stare at the ceiling! Just when I grab my nail polish bag and sit down, the door bell rings. Our beagle starts howling, and won’t stop for at least 2 minutes after the doorbell ringer exits the area. Ina wakes up and yells, “Who’s here?!? Come in!” from bed. I sigh, put down the nail polish with one fingernail painted, and walk towards the door.
I somehow get the door open without letting our dog outside to find a kid from the band/baseball team/Girl Scouts/basket weaving club asking, “Do you want to buy a tub of chocolate/coupon book/box of cookies//trash bag/candle/something else useless that I most definitely do not want to buy.
We have lived in our house, which is in suburbia central, for 3.5 years, and for most of that time, I have been generously supporting all of these clubs. However, since we have started sticking to a strict budget, these types of things simply aren’t allowed. At first I felt bad, especially because it is really hard for me to say no, in particular to cute little kids.
So, either I find some way to tell them no that I think won’t hurt their feelings like, “Sorry, I can’t eat gluten, but what instrument do you play?” or I do what any respectable adult would do and hide in my kitchen until they leave. Yesterday a group of teenage boys parked their car in my driveway and I had to “hide” for at least 10 minutes.
I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and loved every single second of it except cookie selling time. I loathed ringing a doorbell and asking someone to buy cookies, because, even at a young age I knew that what I was really asking for was a donation, because no box of cookies is worth $4.
The more I think about it, I feel less bad and more mad. Mad at the parents, mad at the schools, mad at our society for forcing children to do this, to go door to door and ask people for money. Is it really teaching them anything? Also, how much of the money actually goes to the organization? How much of the money is going to the company making the product?
This is an entirely different post, but we as adults aren't doing much better and companies are profiting on the fact that we constantly use our relationships to sell products so they don’t have to. My Facebook newsfeed / inbox is FULL of invites to buy essential oils, make-up, some type of pill, life insurance, etc.
I actually like a lot of these products, but since when is it OK to use our relationships to make money off each other? If I want to buy something, I want to seek it out, not the other way around.
But back to the kids. There has to be a better way for these groups to raise funds. I know that I only plan to let my children participate in activities that we can afford them to without fundraisers. But I also understand that if all families stuck by this rule their children wouldn’t be participating in anything, which I also don’t want.
How about a car wash? Or mowing lawns? Or anything else that doesn’t force kids to use their neighbors, friends, and family members to give money to these organizations, which only actually benefit from a portion of their “donation."
OK, rant over. I actually feel much better. That is until my door bell rings again.
Parents of kids who fund raise - how do you feel about it? Is there a justification I am missing here?