Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Passive aggressive non-conformity

Another etiquette issue. Sort of. One thing I really like about club sports versus recreational sports is no treats. Let me explain. You enroll your child in soccer at the YMCA. At the first practice, some go-getter mom hands out a treat sign-up sheet. Usually it involves signing up to bring a snack and a drink for post-game refreshments for the kids.

I have a couple of problems with this. First, I have enough trouble getting my child and his ball to the game. I do not want to have to remember my date for bringing the snacks and drinks. What a pain in the ass. Again, I end up scrambling. I hate to scramble. I make bad decisions when I am scrambling.

Second, the snacks are usually something like fruit roll-ups or rice krispy treats and kool-aid or a juice box. Have we not learned anything about childhood obesity?! Hey, everyone, get your child active and exercising and then fill him with candy and sugared drinks. We wouldn’t want to actually replenish their muscles and fluids with something like apples or water. In fact, if you actually bring a healthy snack, you will hear groans from the kids and face the side glances of disapproval from the parents. You will face the same consequences if you forget the snacks on your snack day. Oh, the horror! That is even worse because everyone will be saying, “Johnny was supposed to bring snacks.” Or, “No snacks today. Johnny’s mom forgot to bring them.” If you remember the “food” part, you will hear, “What?! Where is the drink?”

I discovered the simple solution to this problem. When I am handed the snack sign-up sheet, I simply pass it on to the next person and no one is the wiser. Plus, I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I bucked the system. Stick it to the man!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you notes and other disasters

I am completely inept at social customs and etiquette. I recently attended a bridal shower. As a side note, I was coming inside from eating on the deck at the shower and I slammed my ankle in the door. OMG! I was cut up and bleeding and I think I may have bruised my bone in the process because it is taking forever to feel normal again. I almost fell down. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?! Then, a couple of weeks later, on the last day of school, I was carrying a bunch of stuff in my arms and I fell in the hallway and got a nasty rug burn on my knee. Is that old lady, or what? I will definitely be breaking my hip someday. Fortunately, I was alone in the hall because there happened to be an assembly that morning.

Okay, back on track. So, anyway, at the end of the shower I spotted a small, blank envelope on the floor next to me and thought to myself, “Oh, that must have fallen during the package clean up.” I casually picked it up and tossed in onto the coffee table. I looked around and realized that people were busy writing something. So then I thought it was game time or something. But, no…I finally got it. Everyone was writing their names and addresses on the envelopes so that the bride can mail us thank you notes. What’s more, they are writing the bride’s return address on it as well. This is shocking to me! Really?! Let me get this straight. I address an envelope so that you can mail a thank you to me when you have already thanked me in person? I can assure you that while it is fun to get mail, I will be dropping that baby, envelope and all, right into the recycle bin. That poor tree.

Not only do we lose a tree in this redundant thank you process, but I receive a very disappointing piece of mail. I don’t know about you, but I always experience a little thrill when I see a hand-addressed envelope in the mail. Then I realize it’s just a thank you note. What a total let down. Even worse is when I realize the thank you note came from a birthday party one of my children attended. I get a little flutter thinking my child has been invited to a party. But no, this is just another reminder of the fact that I do not have my children send thank you notes after their parties. Triple whammy. Kill a tree, experience a total let down, and then feel like a huge loser.

Here is my plan for the future. On my children’s party invites, which I will send via email, I will write, “Please be advised that in the spirit of conservation [of trees and my time-I won’t say this part], my child will not be sending thank you notes. Rest assured I will see to it that my child thanks your child profusely during the party.” This might actually work, except that I am usually scrambling at the last minute to put a party together because I have blown it off until the day before their birthday.