As it has been a couple of weeks (again) since I have written my last post, I am sorry that my topic is probably more negative than it should be. But there is something that just really bothers me and compells me to write about it. Here it is.
Over the last three or four weeks, every time CT and I have gone grocery shopping to our local Jewel Food Store, we have been approached by various groups seeking donations. These groups stand in front of the entrance doors to the grocery store with donation buckets in hand. There is really no way to avoid them, because you have to practically walk THROUGH them to get in to the store. The groups are comprised of school children with their parents, asking for "donations". The donations are for their sporting teams. Yes, extra-curricular activities that these kids and their parents volunteer to join and participate. One week it was, "Would you like to donate to our hockey club?" The next week it was, "Would you like to donate to our softball team?", etc. etc. etc. Each time I politely reply, "No, thank you." This has gone on for weeks on end, and quite frankly, it just frustrates me.
First, I understand that times are tough for EVERYONE. I am still unemployed, and have been looking for a job for longer than I ever thought imaginable. Second, while I pay taxes which support local schools (and I don't have children which receive the benefits of such taxes), I understand that the schools struggle just as much as the next person. Third, I have nieces that I support through their various school fundraisers -- you know the kind, gift wraps and greeting cards, cookies or food items, general donations, etc. When I get the call from Katie or Ella and they say, "Hey Auntie, we're doing this at school, can you help out?" I always say "Yes! Of course!" Fourth, I'm the one who says to CT, as we're determining how much tip to leave the wait staff/waiter/waitress, at a restaurant, "Oh, honey, leave another dollar or two. The service was good, and you know, the waiter is a struggling _______ (I insert the most appropriate phrase that I image fits our wait person... single parent, college student, etc.) And then CT leaves AT LEAST a 20% tip if not more.
But I have to draw the line when it comes to complete strangers who approach me as I'm trying to walk into my local grocery store, coupons in hand trying to figure out if I can save any money that week, asking me to support the extra curricular activies of their children who I do not know.
Is this wrong of me to feel this way? Have I turned in to a crotchety old-fart? (Heck, I'm only 47, so I don't consider myself to be a crotchety old fart yet!) Or is it ok for me to expect to walk in peacefully to a grocery store to buy my groceries without being approached by kids and their parents asking me to pay for their kids sporting teams... for kids that I do not know, and sporting teams that I have no interest in watching as a spectator?
Please let me know -- am I an old fart or do I raise a good point? Tell me what you think - I can handle it!