Monday, 3 December 2012

First World Problems

Living in a first world country has made life easy for the most of us. Clean water, education, a relatively easy job market, and the ability to travel are just some of the things that most of us can enjoy. I'm not saying that everyone has easy access to these things but in general they are at our fingertips.

It's very easy to take these things for granted, but every now and then it hits me -- hard -- in the face -- that our problems are downright ridiculous.

I received a call today from my friend. Her little girl, CT, is going to be celebrating her sixth birthday this weekend. Like any little girl celebrating her birthday she's excited. I'm going to be 32 on my next birthday and I'm excited. I didn't really get to celebrate my last one because of being all pregnant and stuff, so I'm hoping that the next one will make up for it. 

My point is, she's six, and she's excited.

Naturally she is excited around her peer group. A whole group of bouncy six year olds.  However, not everyone can be invited. Sometimes there just isn't the space for a big group of kids, sometimes another kid is an annoying little ***** so they don't get invited because all they have done is make her life miserable for the last year and a half. Either way, thems the breaks, we all move on.

Right? RIGHT????

Apparently, not so. This particular child's mother called the school -- that's right, THE SCHOOL -- to complain that her daughter wasn't invited to CT's party on the weekend.

Yep, you read that right. CALLED THE SCHOOL.

As though the school would do something about it. There are a number of things shocking about this entire situation. Here they are in order of how they come out of my head. You can be the judge of just how down right laughable they are.
  • A mother called the school to complain that her daughter wasn't invited to a birthday party.
  • The school didn't laugh in that mother's face. (I would have; in fact, I'm STILL giggling.)
  • The school took CT aside to "have a talk with her."
  • When my friend called the school, they told her that CT should be more aware of how she may be hurting other kids' feelings.
  • My friend didn't laugh in the school's face.
  • When my friend asked what she was supposed to do about it, she was told "maybe you should do what I do, and just not have birthday parties." (She should have laughed again. Right here.)
Are you KIDDING me?

First off, as a mother, if you have a problem with my child, you come to me.

Second, what exactly do you think the school is going to do about it? Tell me that my child has to invite everyone or she can't have a birthday party?

Third, the school should have informed this woman that this has nothing to do with school and they were not getting involved. (Or told this woman that her daughter is a stuck up little diva and being left out is pretty much going to be the norm for the rest of her adolescent life. Too far? Nah, she's the one that called the school.)

End. Of. Story.

But no, not so....

The school decided to have a side conversation with CT about this, then speak to all the classrooms to explain that not everyone can be invited to everyone's birthday party outside of school, then sent a letter home with all the kids requesting that for all future birthday parties the invitations be given to the teacher who can then hand them out discreetly to the students invited. (Which would be acceptable, except that it wasn't invitations that upset this little princess, it was other girls talking about how excited they were to be attending.)

I have discussed this matter with The Man and we have decided that in no way has CT done anything wrong. She's turning six and is excited about her birthday party. The school should mind their own damn business and should have told the woman that this was a personal matter and to attempt to approach CT's mother, my friend.

These, my friends, are FIRST WORLD problems. I can guarantee you, in no third world country are there children that have their mommies call the school because the kid in the next hut didn't invite them to their party. Why? Because they are too busy working in the fields helping their families survive. Also, a lot of them probably don't have a phone. Or the ability to send their daughters to school.

But seriously, where does it end? In 10 years is this same mother going to be calling the school to complain that the boy her daughter likes doesn't want to date her? Or maybe she'll call the Dean of the University because the young woman two rows over has a newer laptop and that makes her daughter feel bad.

At some point this little girl is going to turn to her mom and (not so) politely tell her to mind her own business and get the hell out of her life. At some point she is going to realize that her mother is an embarrassment to her, and likely the reason she hasn't been invited to any birthday parties since she was six.

Of course, this is the same mom who will probably tell her kids that putting out will get you love.

First world problems, my friends, first world problems.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Signalling; Not Only is it Nice, it's the Law

So I've noticed recently that fewer and fewer people are using their signal light. Like a dramatic decrease in appropriate signal usage. Once I noticed this I began to see it more and more.

Not only is it stereotypical bad drivers, it's also regular people, bus drivers, taxi cab drivers, and the police.

Now if you live in the country and you never encounter another driver, then frankly I couldn't care less if you signal or not. But when I am trying to exit a parking lot, and the five vehicles that are in my lane choose not to signal and turn into the parking lot, I lose my temper. A little.

So for those of you out there that don't signal, one day someone is going to lose their shit on you. And it will likely be one of my kids that does it. Not only will I have to shell out money for drivers education (where I'm told you will fail if you don't use your signal light) I'll also have to pay for anger management for my kids. Our plan is to enroll them in both programs at the same time.

So here's examples of when no one cares if you signal:

  • If you are a pedestrian. 
  • If you are flying a plane.
Chances are, if you are behind the wheel, you are none of those people. It is more likely that you will fall into one of the following categories, where it is very much appreciated if you signal, because everyone thinks you're a douche bag if you don't:
  • If you are driving a car.
  • If you are driving an SUV.
  • If you are driving a truck.
  • If you are driving a van.
  • If you are driving a rental vehicle.
  • If you are test driving a vehicle.
  • If you have passed your driver's test.
And most importantly, if you are driving and you are going to turn and someone else is waiting to exit that same entrance. Signalling lets them know your intention in this case your intent to turn, thus allowing the person waiting to exit an opportunity to actually exit. It also lets the people behind you--who are likely travelling at maximum allowable speed--to prepare for your inevitable slowdown to accommodate your turn.

Here's a fun little fact to go along with it, if someone hits you because you failed to signal the accident becomes your fault. That's right, your insurance will go up, you could go to court and have to pay for things like "damages", "loss of wages", "pain and suffering". You'll also get demerits on your license. Enough of those and you'll be taking the bus, because driving is a privilege and if you can't handle it, the city offers public transportation. If you feel you are too good to take the bus or the train, you can always call a cab. But when you are sitting in the back of the cab, I bet you'll be hoping you have a driver that knows how to use his signal light.

To make you non-signalers look even dumber, vehicle companies were nice enough to put the signaler within pinkie reach of your left hand. You don't even have to move your hands from the recommended 2 and 10 position to reach it. Even if you signal at the LAST possible second, you can just drag your fingers along with turning the wheel and the signal light will go off! THEN just to make it EVEN easier, the signalling stops all by itself when the turn has been completed and the wheel has returned to it's resting position.

For those of you who do use your signal I thank you, the universe thanks you, and all of the law-abiding citizens thank you. 

For those of you who don't signal, and will not signal even after you read this, we don't thank you at all. Not even a little bit.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Dear Fetus

Dear Fetus;

How's it going? Good? Yeah? I'm happy for you.

I have decided after several verbal conversations, to put this in writing and so have it on record that your current actions are not acceptable.

Your lease isn't up for another 12 weeks, and while I'm all for early moving, it is too soon. Your new home is not yet ready for you. I'll need at least 8-10 more weeks to prepare. I know, that seems like a long time, especially considering that is just over a third of your entire existence at this point. It also seems like a long time to me, and I don't think either of us will be happy if you continue to chip away at the walls of your current home in an attempt to break into freedom.

You may not be aware of this, but practising knife fighting at this point is not something that I find acceptable. It is also unacceptable to be using what I can only assume is a jackhammer in an effort to remove walls or add windows to your current living area. There is a very strict building code, and unfortunately tenant renovations are not on the approved list. Consider this your cease and desist order. 

There is only one exit and for safety reasons this has been blocked off.  I understand that you are very quickly out growing your living space ... believe me I know.  I am also aware that while the living space you have provides you with all the things you need, you are probably starting to look for additional stimulation. This is a fair and very reasonable request. I will forward it on, and have the man with the very deep voice talk to you more often.

To make the next 8-12 weeks more pleasant for the both of us, I have comprised a list of things that I think will be mutually beneficial:
  • There will be no more tap dancing, parties, knife fighting, or kick boxing. The neighbours have been complaining, they have been around a whole lot longer than you and frankly we both need them right now. It is in your best interest to keep them happy.
  • My kidneys, liver, bladder, spleen, lungs and ribs are not there for your personal amusement. Surprised? One day when you are all grown up and have a fetus of your own, you'll understand and I'll be there to say "told you so".
  • I will continue to provide you with regular intervals of sustenance, however if I happen to be running a minute or two behind schedule, you have to stop making me sick. When I'm sick I don't really feel like eating, and if I don't eat; neither do you.
  • Water is important. While I know that you are literally swimming in it 24/7, I happen to need additional amounts to live. Getting angry and throwing tantrums are not something that will change the fact that this is a requirement.
  • During the next 10-12 weeks I would appreciate it if you were able to fall into the same sleep schedule as everyone around you. I understand that it is very dark in your home and that day light and night time don't mean anything to you but they mean something to me. We would get along a whole lot better if you slept when I did, that way we both can get the rest we need and I can stop crying from exhaustion.
Now that you have my list, I await your rebuttal. Considering you are not currently being charged anything for your room and board, I would be surprised indeed if you have any qualms of your own. I will assume that any lack of communication (verbal or written) is agreement on your part. However, if you object to any of these terms, please submit your reasons in writing no later than the end of the week.

Thanks,