International Stuck-in-my-Craw Day!

No, really. I may have made it up just now (what, I’m not allowed to do that?), but EMBRACE IT. Today’s the day to bitch and moan about things irritating you, and you get to feel just a little more superior about it because saying that something is STUCK IN YOUR CRAW is very satisfying, and somehow more justified-sounding than THESE PEOPLE ARE PISSING ME OFF.

It’s good for the soul. I swear.

Also, studies show it’s good to shrug off petty annoyances and even major worries, because you’ll stay healthier when you’re not aggravated. But other studies (mine; very scientific they are, too, with data collected over wine and chocolate while not-knitting) show that if you cannot shake these things off, it’s highly therapeutic to VENT LOUDLY.

Without further ado, let us review the items currently stuck in my craw:

The “Perfect Attendance” Award. When Chickadee was sick for the first time this year, last month, even as she tossed her cookies into the bucket I’d thoughtfully provided, she WEPT over ruining her perfect attendance. I’ve brought this up before—the kids get pizza certificates each quarter they have perfect attendance, and those who maintain it for the entire year are entered into a drawing for a free bicycle. Such a great idea, right? WRONG. All it does is make sick kids feel guilty for being sick, or—worse!—go to school ill because they cannot bear the thought of not having their shot at winning.

Why do I bring this up now, you ask? It may have a little something to do with having woken up my son this morning and watching him bolt for the bathroom. “Are you okay?” I called out.

“I’m… my stomach hurts… I’m okay!” a pitiful little voice called back.

Twice more I called up the stairs to him while he was getting ready to ask him if he was okay, and twice more he assured me he was fine. When my daughter and my husband were assembled at the table eating breakfast and Monkey still had not appeared, I went back upstairs. Behold, there was my son—my darling, never-complaining son—dressed, but curled up in a little ball on his bed.

“Honey, I think maybe you’d better stay home today.”

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” he wailed, “I’LL RUIN MY PERFECT ATTENDANCE! I’m okay! I’m coming!”

You know what? That’s completely messed up. The child is sick, he needs to stay home. THANK YOU, SCHOOL, FOR CONVINCING HIM THAT BEING SICK IS A SHORTCOMING. Hmph.

Leather: That which is overpriced, and that which looks like PVC. The last purse I bought was purchased about four years ago, and I got it on clearance (of course) for about $30. I have carried it ever since and it’s finally starting to fall apart. Fine. Time to buy a new purse.

Mind you, I’m not really a Purse Person. I don’t buy a new purse every year; I don’t change purses to match outfits; I don’t believe in purses that cost as much as used cars. I don’t know how I stumbled across it, but here’s the purse I fell in love with while I was scouting around. Please note the $325 price tag. Which: NO. I did briefly consider splurging and going for a less expensive model (“only” $175!), but then remembered that THAT’S INSANE, to spend that much on a bag.

So I hunted around some more, for a suitable purse, for months. My loving husband, during this time, was known to gaze deeply into my eyes and say “JUST BUY THE DAMN BAG” because he was tired of listening to me obsess over it.

Finally I found something that I felt would fit the bill nicely. It was still a splurge, for me—about $50 on clearance—but given how long I typically carry a purse and how little I normally spend, I felt this was a good compromise. I placed my order and waited.

It arrived yesterday. The size and pockets and such are perfect. The leather is… just a little shinier than I would like. Sort of plastic-y-looking. And so this is how I came to spend the most money I’ve EVER spent on a purse before, and it sort of looks like I bought it Target. (According to Macy’s, this is “glazed leather with a beautiful sheen.” Not “cheap leather that looks like plastic.”)

Whatever, dude. I’m carrying the damn purse. But I reserve the right to complain about it.

Rich politics. I have mentioned before that this is a very poor county we’re living in, and that of course the schools are impacted in various ways because of it. Typically when I go to a PTA meeting, we’re lucky to have 20 people there. Our most recent one had even less than that, possibly because it was raining really hard and OMG! RAIN! (Yeah, Georgia still confuses me a little….)

Anyway, none of my cronies were there (you know who you are! your penance for abandoning me shall be… chocolate!) and I was sitting alone because apparently I am that awkward girl in the junior high school cafeteria. One of the items on our agenda was a vote on buying some cameras for the teachers, and because Otto is a photographer and has A GUY who deals in equipment, I had offered to do the legwork in determining our options. So I gave a quick rundown of our choices and the associated prices, and then we took a vote. It was nearly unanimous in favor of buying the (cheaper) refurbished cameras, which was fine with me.

After that, the school guidance counselor stood up and explained that she was asking the PTA for some money because she has a group of at-risk girls who are going on a field trip into the city to see a touring Broadway show. Apparently the trip is in a couple of weeks, and all but four of the girls have come up with their $50 to go, and those girls probably genuinely cannot afford it. Would the PTA be willing to offer $200?

My thought process at this point goes like this: Hey, we just saved more than that opting for refurb cameras over new ones, so why not?

A vote was taken and the majority was in favor of granting the funds. BUT, then a couple of people got into it with the guidance counselor—how was this group chosen, why do THEY get to go and not other kids, WHY such an expensive outing, what’s the message we’re sending with a “handout” rather than making them work for it, etc. You know, these are valid points, I suppose. My initial inclination to just give them the money was perhaps short-sighted, I’ll admit. One of these two people brought up coming up with a school-wide policy for matters like this, addressing what the school will and will not fund. In the course of this discussion, someone offered to independently donate $100, so we were left arguing about a measly $100 for this group.

But here’s the thing: The dissenting voices were two women whom I know and like. After the meeting we talked about it some more, and I admitted that perhaps I hadn’t thought it through and they had some valid points. Not only did I get a distinct “you cannot be in our club” vibe off of them (which I fully admit may be my neuroses rather than truth), but they went ON AND ON about how it’s not fair to the other kids, and why do the PROBLEM children get REWARDED and how AWFUL it is that the guidance counselor has picked something SO EXPENSIVE. At least one of these women is wealthy (I’m not sure about the other one). “My kids don’t get to see $50 a ticket shows!” she said. And that may be true, but her kids live in a fucking mansion and are going to the Caribbean for Spring Break, so really, SERIOUSLY, she is going to begrudge some underprivileged kids getting to see The Lion King with a bit of fundage from our last chili supper? I… just don’t get it.

I left there with a really bad taste in my mouth, and I’m still bothered. Either I’m missing something, here, or I’m just now CATCHING something, here, that I wish I hadn’t. Neither option is particularly appealing.

If there’s something stuck in YOUR craw today, feel free to vent. Let’s get it all out so that we can return to our regularly schedule mush for Love Thursday. Heh.

72 Responses to “International Stuck-in-my-Craw Day!”

  1. 1
    Sharkey March 5, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    You know, once you buy your first expensive purse, the second one is oh-so much easier. It’s kind of like a drug, really. I’m lovin’ the one with the giraffses (spelled as my niece–and now my entire family–pronounces it).

  2. 2
    Megan March 5, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    I feel you on the perfect attendance crap. One school system was even worse because the school got funding based on how many students were actually in attendance each day (what?? because tiny butts on tiny chairs really add up on that damn depreciation of capital equipment??) so they would call you up and demand to know JUST HOW SICK was your kid? They would GUILT you into sending your sneezing, sniffling, snot-filled kid into school so they could get just one more dollar (also ensuring seven more children would be out the next week). GAH! Heck we’re not in that school system any more but I SILL feel better for venting!

  3. 3
    Brigitte March 5, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    As soon as my brain gets in gear, my craw will nearly explode, it will be so full of stuck things.

    I’ve been looking for a new purse for a year now. I need a long strap, so I can have both hands free. More than one large-capacity pocket, so stuff for my toddler can be separate from MY stuff. And filling one pocket cannot be allowed to bulge into the other pocket, negating its storage space. The pockets have to ZIP closed. The material must be fairly light in weight, but strong, and hopefully just basic black. Nope, can’t find it anywhere.
    >:-(

  4. 4
    prophet March 5, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    sigh. . . . we started the day [this very day] with the sermon on the mount – you know, the part where you-know-who talks about it being just about the same to say “You fool!” to someone as to murder him. . . . So venting feels a bit off-the-radar of possibilities for me today.

    bummer.

    I had a bunch of stuff I could’ve aired out, too. (hmmm. maybe that’s the point?) grin. Oh well. All the best to you all!

  5. 5
    Chris March 5, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    I’m in Atlanta (hi!) and live in a neighborhood that has folks from all kinds of soc/econ backgrounds. I’ve seen both sides of this coin- the folks who have means feeling like they are somehow disadvantaged because a kid on the free breakfast and lunch program gets sponsored for the holidays. At the same time I’ve seen families who sign up for programs that live in nicer houses, drive better cars, and, in general, have nicer stuff than I do, but their kids are still on all the “hand out” programs. What’s up with that? It makes choosing where to expend my efforts *interesting*.
    And as long as we’re talking about things that make you go “grrrr”- PUT YOUR DERN TRASH IN A TRASH CAN!!!
    Thanks, I feel so much better:)

  6. 6
    Karly March 5, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    Mir. Oh, pretty Mir. You truly do need that D&B bag. It’ll last forever and its GORGEOUS!

    As for what is stuck in my craw? My MIL. She’s always stuck in my craw though, so that’s nothing new.

  7. 7
    Bikini March 5, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    To paraphrase an email I received from someone at work earlier: “My CRAP is very important. It is possibly the MOST IMPORTANT CRAP EVER. And also, it smells like roses, and even though I don’t work in a group you support, i.e. – the equivalent of have a toilet in your stall, I’M GOING TO CRAP ALL OVER YOU.”

    It was awesome. I need chocolate for breakfast now.

  8. 8
    Bob March 5, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    1) did the disadvantaged girls get the money to go to the show?

    2) what were the valid arguments against?

    3) why are you in love with purses made out of giraffe skin?

  9. 9
    Kate March 5, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    “My initial inclination to just give them the money was perhaps short-sighted, I’ll admit.”

    Perhaps. But I doubt it. And after considering the merits of the opposition’s point of view, I still think your first impulse is right.

    I’d say girls who are at risk and short of cash enough not to be able to afford the Lion King probably already *do* know, or soon *will* know what it means to work for essentials as well as extras.

    If those women want to find out what their kids need to do to qualify for the program, I think they would find *it’s not worth the price they’d have to pay for their kids to get tickets to a show.*

    I have spent a fair amount of time around at risk kids. What I have learned is, the educational argument for supporting such programming has to be considered in the long-view. Seeing plays in grade school lays the groundwork for other future experiences with “high culture.” It’s giving kids practice being in situations that, if they hope to become NOT at-risk, they need to know how to negotiate.

    Today, it’s plays. Tomorrow, it might a college classroom or internship interviews. God forfend such enculturating practice should also be FUN. Oh no. Because poverty is never, ever supposed to be fun.

    What has been sticking in my craw lately is the moral superiority that too often comes with entitlement.

  10. 10
    Mir March 5, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    Bob:

    1) The $100 was granted as a “loan.” The entire group of girls will hold a fundraiser of some sort to make the money back.

    2) The only argument against that I found halfway valid was that without a school-wide policy in place, how do we pick and choose which of these events to fund? The rest basically boiled down to “but we are giving handouts to bad kids and it’s not fair to the good kids,” which sort of made me want to smack people. “My kid doesn’t get that” is not, in my opinion, a valid argument when the kid in question gets food, shelter, love and safety while the kids who are being given a chance to go on a once-in-a-lifetime outing probably do not.

    3) It’s, um, not actually made from giraffes. And I don’t know.

  11. 11
    Kate March 5, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    This is also for Chris above:

    The situation you describe is rightfully bothersome. Two things come to mind when working your concerns into my POV.

    One is, when I worked with high-school aged at-risk kids, I heard one interesting refrain over and over again. That was, poor families would put economic effort into one nice thing- it was usually a one-time expenditure (nice used car, stereo), and it was one thing that made them feel like normal people.

    When my parents were looking down the barrel of divorce, my mom would have gotten the (nice) house, but wouldn’t have had the income to pay the mortgage *and* for everything else.

    The second is, how much does the money lost to potential fraud that you can see stack up against the benefits of the programs that concern you?

    I am blessed and lucky enough that such potential abuse of public programming does very little to affect my baseline stability.

  12. 12
    All Adither March 5, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    If only you could’ve whipped out your new purse and handed over the funny money that came in one of the plastic pockets. Then it would’ve been settled.

  13. 13
    Ellen March 5, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    I did the spendy bags for awhile and now am back to the cheap. I find I go through the cheap at a rate 3x the spendy so maybe not the best idea. Although I can go trendier. And I am kind of in love with the giraffe.

    Stuck in my craw right now: people who think that they way to get what they want is to bully other people. I have (professionally, nicely) stood up to two people this week. Neither of whom have answered my email or apologized (in one case for being a general jerk and in another for lying). I pick my battles carefully under normal circumstances but this week I am just done with being a doormat.

  14. 14
    Leandra March 5, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Why do these women begrudge these girls a little bit of fun?

  15. 15
    balconygal March 5, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    There is nothing more annoying – at this very moment at least – than shiny leather on a purse when one isn’t fond of shiny leather. Why, oh why, did you keep it? I know I wouldn’t have bothered to send it back either but…

    Stuck in my craw today is easy. Huge basketball game tonight. At the beginning of the season when I passed the tickets on to a friend I had no idea it was going to be so huge. IWANNAGOOOOOOOOO. I’ll get over it but still. And said friend is just rubbing it in. Meanie.

  16. 16
    Lisa- Domestic Accident March 5, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Are you sure the purse looks shiny because it looks just beautiful on the ‘net. When having a bad day(s), it’s best to focus on purses. And chocolate. And wine. And possibly a good rerun of 90210.

  17. 17
    BethR March 5, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    That perfect attendance thing is pretty ridiculous; how many kids control whether or not they go to school anyway? I can think of ways to encourage good attendance without making such a big deal about it – maybe a ticket for the raffle for every week where they have perfect attendance? That might be enough of a reward to discourage phantom tummyaches but not so much that a kid will voluntarily go to school while really ill.

  18. 18
    Niki March 5, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    Stuck in my craw today – people who think that their “duties” are more important than mine, and that I should drop everything (i.e. contract for 250+ employees) to rush to meet their every pitiful little whim. And who want me to create a contract for a potential employee, but can’t tell me the duties or the salary. Yeah, sure – can I just make it up?

    I get it about the school – my kids used to go to a mostly-underprivileged school. We couldn’t get reduced-price lunch because my tiny little part-time income that bought us groceries pushed us over the state limit. Most of those kids wore far better clothes/shoes than my kids, and had far nicer cars. And the “wish lists” for the needy families were mostly comprised of high-dollar jeans and video game systems. I do think it’s hard to determine (without a net worth statement) exactly who is more needy. In my mind a more equitable way would have been to have all of the kids work together on a fundraiser to raise the funds for all to go.

  19. 19
    Vane March 5, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Ohhhh … thanks for the chance to vent!!!

    Stuck in my craw today: My ex being 5 days late on his child support payment (for the third time in a row) aaaaand … this guy I was supposed to have a meeting with at 8:30 who’s ONE FREAKING HOUR LATE!!! (And I need this meeting so I’ll just have to suck it up … grrrr …)

    Ok, I think I do feel a little bit better, thanks! I hope your Monkey feels better this afternoon.

  20. 20
    Amy-Go March 5, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Things That Are Stuck In MY Craw:

    1. These women at your meeting. Mean people suck. They need to get that memo.

    2. My kid has Strep. Fourth day now. Shot of antibiotics on Monday was supposed to fix it within 24 hours. Supposed to be back at school today. So I could get back to having a life. GUESS who’s still home with a 102 degree fever? Lysol, anyone?

    3. Winter, you may end now. Thank you.

    Wow, I enjoyed that. Thanks for the venting forum! ;)

  21. 21
    Jennifer March 5, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    Stuck in my Craw –

    Badly run caucuses in Texas AND perfect attendance. I WORK at a company that gives perfect attendance awards. how dumb is that?? Like that’s gonna stop me from calling in when I really need to go shopping. HA

  22. 22
    Stacey March 5, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I absolutely HATE perfect attendance awards. Seriously, the stupidest idea ever. Why even bother having a sick policy?

    Also, I don’t go to PTA meetings anymore, because I don’t like sitting all by myself like in Jr. High.

    Hope you have a good day.

  23. 23
    Melisa March 5, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    My craws are mostly empty, but just had to say that I love the fact that the D&B purse doesn’t have their logo plastered all over it. I feel like I should be getting paid if I’m doing their advertising for them.

  24. 24
    tori March 5, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    I KNOW about the perfect attendance crap. My kids have the flu right now and they are begging to go to school anyway. With temperatures of 103! This is probably how they were exposed to it in the first place you know.

    I also do not like the rewards the kids get in school. My kids are well behaved always, never have had a discipline problem, and thus don’t have “improvement” in their behavior so they never get any awards. The kids who misbehave can show improvement and then get some sort of award/recognition. Way to make my kids want to misbehave so they have room to improve. That’s what I would have done when I was little. Thankfully my kids understand that I would be pretty upset if they started misbehaving just to get an award when they know that you should do the right thing just because it is the right thing.

    I get the theory on the reward, but there needs to be some kind of recognition for the kids who consistently are following the rules then too. My kids would be happy with a chart with their name on it. Anything to make them feel like it is noticed that they are consistently good kids.

    It sort of reminds me of when I was in high school and they started paying the kids who had already had a baby not to have another one in high school. What about the kids who didn’t have any babies in high school???? Nothing for us. Again, I get what they were going for, but not fair! (Life is not fair, I teach my kids that, I know that, but come on!)

  25. 25
    Mama Bear March 5, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    Ah a chance to vent! Hooray!
    1. Perfect Attendance policies: stink! Miss 9 is home for the 3rd day now with a random tummyache/fever/runny nose/exhausted/dizzy virus that has also ruined her perfect attendance; and just the thought makes her cry.
    2. The school called me to sub last week for 4 different people! They knew I couldn’t sub last week because of prior commitments, so now that I said no, I didn’t get called this week for 2 jobs in 3 days. Guess I’ve been blacklisted in spite of 10 years of subbing exclusively for 1 school!
    3. I am home with sick child, whom I love dearly, but I would love to not catch whatever she has… help!
    Thanks for the vent.

  26. 26
    MomCat March 5, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    The &%$#@* perfect attendance award has been stuck in my craw for eight years. My kid has a weak immune system. I’ve seen kids sitting in her class with fevers, constant coughs, and horrible substances pouring out their nostrils. My daughter shouldn’t have to live in a bubble. We do many things to boost her immunity, but last year she missed 23 days of school because of the perfect attendance award. Huff. Grrrr. And, Snarl generally.

    (Warm, fuzzy hugs and chocolate to everyone)

  27. 27
    Tink March 5, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    “THAT’S INSANE, to spend that much on a bag.” ??

    Are you absolutely sure?

    (Sharkey and Karly, I’m with you.)

  28. 28
    Kimmie March 5, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Poor Monkey.

    Yes. PTO is a pain in the patoot. I didn’t have enough sense to be the jr high girl in the cafe. Now, I’m amongst the actual council members trying to tell the 5th grade teachers “Sure, we’ll give you $1200 for the kids’ field trip but YOU can explain to them why they won’t have a grad cake or a fun Middle School duffel bag/t-shirt because YOU spent all their money on a crappy field trip they don’t want to go on….”

    My vent for the day? SNOW. The street dept did such a horrible job cleaning up today. I meant to go workout but, after sliding through a couple of intersections, decided to take my big butt home.

  29. 29
    jennielynn March 5, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    My craw is so full of stuck stuff that I just deleted a freakin’ novel in your comment section. My biggest craw-sticker? My former best friend who has decided we can no longer be friends, since I have my “little family” and she is single. WTF?????

  30. 30
    Mom101 March 5, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    Entitlement is the bane of our society. That $50 is probably what that woman spent on her electricity bill Tuesday when she accidentally left the lights in the East Wing on all night.

    That is sort of my vent today. Although I’d also like to vent about why Nate still puts the dirty socks NEXT TO the hamper instead of IN THE HAMPER. But it’s just so fucking trite.

  31. 31
    Aimee March 5, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    Stuck in my craw today:

    1. Politics. I won’t get into specifics because I don’t want to hijack your comments section and start something, but I am MAD. And technically, it’s been stuck in my craw for about a week, now.

    2. Coworkers who think they can just waltz in a half hour late without having to call…

    3. … and bosses who let them get away with it

    4. $4/gallon for gas here in SoCal. Seriously.

    5. Those women at your meeting. Ugh. And perfect attendance — what a joke. Sick kids should stay home. End of story.

    Whew! Thanks for letting me vent. Now I can look forward to Love Thursday.

  32. 32
    The Other Leanne March 5, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Perfect Attendance awards suck. In my place of work, we have a “Sick Leave Incentive.” If you go the entire year without using sick leave, you get a bonus 8hr vacation day. Great, sick people come to work and blow all over, making the rest of us so sick we have to stay home and use the dang sick leave.
    Stuck in my craw? The guy who works from home “earns” the bonus day every year! You can hear everybody grumbling and snorting when his name is announced on the list of winners. Stupidest. Policy. Ever.
    ‘Scuse me while I get the pliers to extract all the crap that is stuck in my craw right now.

  33. 33
    Anne March 5, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Stuck in my craw – attendance Nazis. My son has missed 10 days this year because of the petri dish that is his classroom and I got a notice for a mandatory meeting to discuss the importance of attendance. I couldn’t help but point out that if people – students AND teachers – stayed home when they were a Level 5 biohazard, he wouldn’t have caught the plague and missed school. Sheesh!

    Thanks for the vent – and I love your blog!

  34. 34
    AmyM March 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    What is stuck in my craw today?

    Three words: Used. Car. Salesmen.

    Why do they insist on playing the “Ahhh, that’s a pretty low offer… I’ll have to talk to my manager and get back with you in 15 or 20 minutes.” (Said offer is very close to Blue Book value.)

    45 minutes later: “Yeah, I talked with my manager and we just can’t let that car go for that little. How about [offer] + $900?”

    “No. [Offer].”

    “Tell ya what… I might be able to get you [offer] + $500. Lemme give you a call back in 30 minutes or so, after I talk to my manager again.”

    1 hour, 15 minutes later: I’m imagining him staring out his window, sipping his coffee, waiting to see how anxious/desperate I am and if I call him instead. (Keep twiddlin’ your thumbs, homeboy. I’m NOT calling you.)

    Gah. I know… don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  35. 35
    liza March 5, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    Stuck/Craw
    1. Customers that ask for my help with something…and then talk the ENTIRE time I’m trying to explain the process. Cause why did you ask me for help IF YOU ALREADY KNEW HOW TO DO IT!?
    2. Boyfriends that want sexy time even though they have been a serious grumpy, annoying, demanding, mess for two weeks.
    3. Bloated PMS emotional body.

    Or, you know… work, boyfriend, hormones.

    Thank you!

  36. 36
    Deb March 5, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    I think Kate’s post above was wonderful. This may be the only chance these girls get to do something like this but hopefully it will be the start to something wonderful for them. Those ladies are nasty and should be ashamed of themselves. And how wonderful that someone made a personal donation, that person is just great!

    Stuck in my craw today:

    A teacher who negatively comments in class “well, you know there are other authors out there, not just Dr. Seuss” when it is a great week to celebrate reading with children. And the “I just don’t get why everyone is so in love with him” (again, in the classroom) Do I need to tell you she is a 2nd grade teacher? hello?? We only have 66 more days to deal with this…humm…teacher….wahoo!

    I think most of what she does just annoys me and I could write a novel about it.

    I think you ladies would enjoy our PTA meetings, granted we only have 74 kids in our school (grades K – 4). We hold the meetings during a family night out event so the kids come, work on crafts or whatever the scheduled event is, we run through our agenda and budget, then go back to the kids to enjoy the family night. All done in the same room so it works nicely!

  37. 37
    Anne Glamore March 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    Our batteries are located in the laundry room. While getting flashlights ready for the upcoming tornadoes, one of my 3 boys went off-task and screwed with my bra that was hanging up to dry.

    When I put it on the straps had been tightened to the point it was like trying to wiggle into a straitjacket.

    Dudes, leave my undergarments ALONE!!

  38. 38
    DR March 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    A couple of observations from a TN retired teacher which may help you better understand the school’s “encouragement” for perfect attendance: (1) School funding (esp. at the state level which is generally 1/2 to 3/4 of school funds) is based on ADA (average daily attendance) rather than ADM (average daily membership). This is an issue public schools have tried to change for years and a worthy cause for your child’s education. Instead of funding the actual number of students in your class, funding is based on average attendance of said students. (2) You probably insist that your child do make-up work but many children do not have that encouragement. Since so many skills are built upon the prior lesson, you have difficulty with continuity of learning. (3) If you get down to the actual classroom level, in spite of the difficulty in teaching pre-requisite skills to a child who’s missed 4 consecutive days of school, teachers prefer you keep your sick child at home. It is heartbreaking to have a child in your class who literally cannot hold his head up. Plus, if he has fever, you can expect a few more students to “participate” in the sickness before the week is over. (4) Perhaps your children do not need the motivation of rewards to come to school but the social condition of “not showing up at work” has trickled down to the classroom as children model their parents’ behavior.

    Sorry this is so long but I wanted to share a broader picture of why schools are so concerned about attendance.

    Mir, as far as the guidance counselor/trip funds are concerned, a solution for future issues of this sort is to encourage the teacher (possibly with parental help) to apply for grants. There are many available for at-risk kids and are usually easily funded in the $500 and under range.

  39. 39
    Caz March 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    You get an award for perfect attendance!
    When I was in elementary school there was no such thing. Once, on the last day of school my 4th grade teacher announced that myself and one other student had perfect attendance all year. But that was it, just an announcement. And as a 4th grader it was actually pretty embarassing, since all the other kids looked at you like you were this huge goody-two-shoes (note that I was in a gifted program, so the whole class was pretty goody-goody to begin with). It sort of conveyed that you weren’t cool enough to have missed school to go on vacation or were sick or something.
    After that year I started faking sick a few times a year so I could stay home and screw up my attendance record. Maybe overkill I know, but still I was a 9 year old uncool kid obsessed with being in the “in” group.

  40. 40
    StephLove March 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    A random vent, huh? Okay. I can oblige. I ordered some lift-the-flap Maisy books for my daughter’s upcoming second b-day from Amazon. Used, but the seller said they were “like new.” The first one arrived yesterday. In my experience, new books do not have flaps torn off and taped back on or missing altogether! So annoying.

  41. 41
    DR March 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    In spite of the length of my previous comment, I have to submit my “stuck-in-the-craw” issue.

    I am so fed up and irritated at getting “help” from people unable to speak understandable English. My last encounter ended with me saying “Don’t you dare hang up on me!” after several attempts to get a supervisor. The only thing I understood was “Chan I holp chu wit eny ting else?” after 10 minutes of being on hold followed by 5 minutes of trying to understand what was being said with no help whatsoever!

  42. 42
    liz March 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but if the $200 is a loan, shit, I’ll throw in some money. Lemme know. I won’t go into it now, but I have Things stuck in my craw today too. :)

  43. 43
    Stephanie Chance March 5, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Didn’t the parents of the ‘good’ kids get upset that they had to work to pay for the ‘bad’ kids to go? Hopefully it will not be made known that the reason the girls are doing the fundraiser is because some of the girls could not afford to go.

  44. 44
    carrie March 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Stuck in my craw today — my husband (who is legitimately very ill with a terrible illness, so I’m not suppose to complain about him, but … ) has been throwing a pity party for himself for 3 weeks. Seriously, I’m ready to use balloons and streamers to decorate the house to help him celebrate how sorry he feels for himself. But that’s on the inside. On the outside, everything that comes out of my mouth is rainbows and unicorns. I can’t wait for the day that he is healthy enough for me to curse him out.

    As for perfect attendance — while I HATE what your school does, the No Child Left Behind act counts school attendance in determining if schools are making adequate yearly progress which they need to make to stay afloat. So a school in which this is a problem may need to do something (even manipulate kids) to keep their attendance rates in line. I know, it’s no fair to the kids who DO show up, and I don’t think your school is doing the right thing, but this may explain why they do it.

    As for the at risk kids, for gosh sake, I understand why the one person donated $100 — probably so people would SHUT UP ALREADY! Yeesh. Nothing like watching the privileged begrudge the underprivileged a tiny treat.

    Okay, plenty in my craw, but it does feel like this offered a cleaning out the craw opportunity. Thanks!

  45. 45
    donna March 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    I? was one of those underprivileged kids. There are days, most recently as I look back on my life, that I think how unfair the school system is when it comes to financial class. I agree that kids should be taught to earn rewards, but why does that always apply to kids who don’t have much to begin with? I could go on, but then it would sound like I was just whining and waiting for a handout. I think the trip is a great idea, and underprivileged kids who probably ‘don’t deserve it’ really wouldn’t be interested in art anyhow.

  46. 46
    jp March 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    My ‘Stuck in My Craw’ rant for today????
    Why do we bother teaching our children to do the right thing and to be honest when some other kid gets away w/ murder becuase they ‘know somebody’ or they know how to play the game better?
    My kid gets punished for being truthful!!!

    Can I rant again……….I don’t feel better yet!

  47. 47
    Jess March 5, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    Stuck in my craw: a TOTALLY insensitive blogger showed me a gorgeous, $325 giraffe purse that I can’t have. Dammit. All other purses will fall short from now on, I can tell. *sigh*

  48. 48
    Ani March 5, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    totally in my craw today:

    2nd grade teachers who hound their students about spelling tests, while encouraging “invented” spelling in essays, and (my gripe-of-the-week)…MISSPELLING WORDS ON THE SPELLING LIST.

    Perhaps I am just not feeling like an “OPTOMIST” (sic)

    Reading comments above, BTW…what is the deal with the second grade? Is it the career graveyard for people who should long have retired from teaching little kids???

  49. 49
    beth March 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    I don’t mind perfect attendance awards, because I know they aren’t aimed at me. And I use it as a way to show that life isn’t fair, and both luck and effort are needed sometimes to win a prize, but that prizes, while fun, aren’t what school is about, blah blah blah do you think they have tuned me out yet?

    And I make sure to pull my kids out for two or three days in early October to go visit my mom in Texas and then we don’t worry about attendance for the rest of the year :-) (hey, summer break is July and August — who in their right mind would go anywhere near Houston in either of those months?)

    On the PTA thing, I know kind of the feeling. We recently were asked for some money to help a kid in a neighboring school who has a deadly condition. On the one hand, it was clearly a worthwhile cause, but on the other hand, we need some kind of policy because there are many more worthwhile causes then we have money for. So we voted to give the money but try to come up with a policy that has better guidelines.

  50. 50
    Pave.Gurl March 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    I have a sneaking suspician that the self-same women who are complaining that their kids arent’ going to the ATL to see Lion King also don’t make their kids work for their allowances or for incidentals on their spring break trip to the Carribean — that the kinds that need to “learn to work for things” are the ones already working for the small benefits they do manage to get.

    My craw is stuffed full of corporate world machinations and byzantine decision-making policies reversing previously approved plans and campaigns.

  51. 51
    meg March 5, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    “What has been sticking in my craw lately is the moral superiority that too often comes with entitlement.”

    in total agreement with Kate! I won’t even start to vent as I may not be able to stop myself typing but I have to say those exact same women (and teachers it seems) are also in NZ and at the international schools here in Fiji. How uncanny! I wonder if they cloned them…

  52. 52
    Anne March 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    My vent: I’ve been in a “head butting” contest with the local school district this last week. I’m trying to get them to provide my daughter the services she needs when she turns 3, mainly OT to help with her Sensory Issues. I want clinic-based, since the “least restrict situation” for my daughter is at home with me. They want to put her in the “special ed” preschool. Dear god, could you see the bad habits she could bring home from there? Nevermind the general white noise of a chaotic preschool setting will drive her insane! I got so annoyed at the eval, that I had to walk out so I didn’t BSlap someone across the room. I see some serious battle at the IEP…. Grrrrr….

  53. 53
    Momma Chaos March 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    First let me say that I love Love LOVE the bag.. I say splurge.. Of course saying that I never would, but I can tell you to do it right?

    Stuck in my Craw today:
    1. Waiting on the phone to ring for a very important call- and yet the stupid thing sits silently….

    2. Finding out that a person you wondered about being into illegal stuff REALLY is.. Hmm, getting arrested and charged with not 1 but 7 different felony charges probably isn’t going to put you at the top of my list of people I want to associate with.. And no people, I do not normally ‘hang’ with drug dealers.. lol but ya know sometimes you’re thrust into these situation. Gotta love DCS!

  54. 54
    Melissa March 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    Oh, bless you, I need this today. But I don’t want to hijack the comments, so I’ll leave it at this:
    SNOW. And the countless idiots who, despite living in Colorado, have not one clue about how to drive in it.
    Thank you.

  55. 55
    Denise March 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    I really hate rich politics. Hate it with every fiber of my being. Hate.

    Also hate perfect attendance awards.

    Blah.

  56. 56
    beth March 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    HUGE VENT!!!!! Why do I have to wait WEEKS to get an appointment with a specialist. Or that I have to wait for test results to be mailed to another office before they will even attempt to set-up an appointment. I will drive the crap over right now if they’d let me! What is the point in telling someone they have some horrible thing and then making them WAIT! I’m sure the stress caused by doctors is not good for anything.

  57. 57
    Shalee March 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    The irony about the attendance is that if you DID send your sick child, then those at the school would be *itching about the nerve of some parents sending sick kids to school. It’s a no win situation for everyone.

    Craw stuckage: Watching people who have lots of extras complain about not having enough money. Hello? You CAN exist without cable, cell phones and this month’s shopping spree, not to mention the brand new car and constant dining out… Can you not be thankful to God for just one moment? And after that, learn to live within your means?

    Friend who married someone who had two counts against mate (her strikes, not mine) of being divorced and having a child. Now she complains bitterly about stepchild often at work and about “The Virus” – the ex-wife.

    Political ads that attack the opponent rather than support themselves with evidence of the ability to get things done. These are the moments when I’m really glad that I don’t watch tv.

  58. 58
    jessica March 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Well, you’ve all made me feel so smug and saintly about keeping my case of the creeping crud home from work that I don’t know if there’s a thing left in my craw! Oh, wait, yes there is.

    1) Being sick. And not, “I think I may perish before the end of the day,” sick, just, “eh, I feel like the bottom of the dog’s water bowl sick.” In other words, sick enough I shouldn’t be at work, not sick enough to be guilt-free about it.

    2) People who do not understand right-of-way. Or courtesy. Of course, I can understand where it might be difficult to drive for someone with their head firmly planted up their rear.

    That’s probably enough for now. I need to go take something for my cough and lay down.

  59. 59
    Lauren in MI March 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    So I’ve been lurking for a while and enjoy reading your blog! Leave it to complaining to get me to comment! My boss has been stuck in my craw for the last couple weeks, especially one it comes to this one project that I have done the last few months. It was never explained very well, but I thought I had a pretty good handle on it…but then she gets upset at any little mistake. It makes me feel like I can’t do anything right…sheesh.

    But I’m at work now…so I better be quiet :)

  60. 60
    Jenni March 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    Thanks…now I want the damn giraffe purse, too!

    Today my craw is all filled up with the city of Cedar Park, Texas! It only took them a few months to complete the huge toll road project……but they have been destroying the streets in my neighborhood for almost a year! I am SOOO tired of the cable, water, and electricity being shut off for one thing after another and the detours are driving me nuts!

    Whew. Thanks for letting me vent!

  61. 61
    meghann March 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    I’ve aways hated perfect attendance. Way to rub it in the other kids’ faces who weren’t lucky enough to skip the plague!

    One year, my son missed perfect attendance only because my grandfather died and we went to the funeral. I mean what, was he supposed to not go, just so he could get awarded too?

  62. 62
    Aunt Jo March 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    Thanks for telling us it’s okay to unload today. I’m about to go empty my craw. The B.S. around here’s fixing to come to a screeching halt.

    Yes, school attendace rewards are garbage. It’s also crap when you work and miss one day, but the office requires you to bring a doctor’s note for the missed day. Idiotic.

  63. 63
    Little E March 5, 2008 at 8:01 pm #

    Hmm. As a second grade teacher that works her tail off, dedicates hours of time, and knows MANY other teachers that do the same, I truly challenge you to one week at our job. I know those of you that are writing these posts have absolutely no respect for teachers and pass it on to your child. 1. We want your children well and healthy. We don’t encourage ill children to come to school. 2. I think the PTA women sound horrible. “At risk” does not equal “bad”. 3. The vast majority of teachers are forced to follow guidelines and curriculum they don’t agree with. I promise we are doing the best we can.

    So, what sticks in my craw, people that criticize teachers. And I’m not checking this for spelling errors so I can give you something else to stick in your craw.

  64. 64
    Lulu March 5, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    And here my whole life I thought it was “stuck in my crawl.” Thanks for clearing that up. :-)

  65. 65
    Heather Cook March 5, 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    “I know those of you that are writing these posts have absolutely no respect for teachers and pass it on to your child.”

    What sitcks in my craw is people who make ASSumptions.

  66. 66
    becky March 6, 2008 at 12:38 am #

    @heather: haha!

    anyway. stuck in my craw? having to work (outside the home). for stupid insurance. gah.

  67. 67
    Wendalette March 6, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    *Delurking again*
    I know; it’s after midnight and technically it’s Thursday, but if the sun isn’t up, it isn’t tomorrow yet.
    Craw sticking object?
    Students in a high-faluting upstate university (of which you may have heard) in a high-faluting upstate J-school who cannot actually follow instructions. Students who after receiving verbal and written instructions along with the necessary sources, angle, and outline (twice! and once more right before they started writing!), still cannot write an article on the subject which I–a grad student at said high-faluting upstate J-school–have assigned.
    I have (well, I HAD) such high hopes for the future of journalism.
    You can lead a horse to water, and practically shove its face in it, but you can’t make it….drown?
    I hope when I leave this place it will be to become as pretty as you, Mir.

  68. 68
    Tammy March 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    My kids school has the policy that if they aren’t fever free for 24 hours, they aren’t to come to school. They do the perfct attendance/free pizza thing, but big deal!! They won’t let your kid back in school without basic proof they are no longer sick, but if they miss more than 7 days a semester, they turn your name over to child services because of excessive absentee!!!! OH COME ON!!!
    BTW…i could never pay that much for the purse either but…SO PRETTY!!!
    What’s stuck in my craw?? OH my..EVERYTHING!! Primarily, why will a 14 year old boy refuse..adamantly REFUSE, to put his laundry in the hamper until after I have finished all the other laundry??? And…why does the increase in testosterone levels cause a marked drop in their IQ????

  69. 69
    Shannon March 7, 2008 at 1:29 am #

    Unfortunately (at least here) schools get their funding based on their average daily attendance. So that is why they reward the kids for attendance. I remember in 4th grade our teacher went on this kick about how she had read (I think?) about some class who had perfect attendance for the whole year. And she wanted us to BE THAT CLASS.
    And we were all pissed off at the kid who ruined it in November by coming down with the flu or something. And what’s really messed up is that I think our teacher was pissed at him too. Seriously.

  70. 70
    susan March 7, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    What sticks in my craw the most here is the idea that “at-risk” kids are the same as “bad kids.” That is such a classist thing to say! I also think schools that have these perfect attendance policies should differentiate between excused absences due to illness and absences due to Caribbean vacations for those non-spoiled kids who’s parents won’t buy them tickets to the Lion King. But that’s just my two-cents on that.

  71. 71
    Steff March 7, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Do you have Dillards? A little secret – every three months or so they put their reduced merchandise on clearance and give you antoher 30% off, this is the best way to buy a Dooney. I have loved Dooney’s all my purse carrying years and have only 3 that have lasted forever. I used to throw everything in my pockets and when I can’t find something it is usually in my pocket if that tells you how much I hate purses. So if you have a Dillards stop in a scope out the current selection of Dooneys in a couple months a select few will be discounted and you might find one you like.

  72. 72
    Nicole March 8, 2008 at 12:30 am #

    Even worse is my silly sister, sending her son to school to keep up his attendence in 1st grade, as long as he’s stays until 10am it counts. She doesn’t send him if he’s complaining sick, but she might suspect…Dad’s put a stop to that nonsense.

    What sticks in my craw is the arguing over the principle of it- rather than see it as $100 they have to blow it all out of proportion. As a kid we used to complain that certain low income schools had better uniforms, free text books, etc. But we were kids, adults should know better.

    And co-workers who are supposed to be your friends complaining to your boss. Mean!

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