Monday, October 3, 2011

The Thing That Won't Go Away

3 things signify the official arrival of fall.
  • The kids go back to school
  • apples are ready for picking
  • One of the kids will bring a nightmare home from school.
Nightmares come in many forms; coupon booklets, magazine sales, frozen meat, muffin batter, garbage bags, calendars, saran wrap, greeting cards, candles and plants. Each one of these nightmares comes with its own unique brand of horror. There is the imposition on family and friends. The back-log of unused coupon books from school years past that lurk in closets and junk drawers. My mother just recently used the last of a roll of saran wrap purchased 12 years ago. (that's a one-time sale) You can buy those greeting cards but I guarantee that you will forget you have them. Somebody has to lug all of those buckets of muffin batter around and shelp a van load of frozen chicken breast to people willing to pay exorbitantly to appease a child.

In recent years I have actually just opted out of the fundraiser and written a cheque to the school. 30 seconds to fundraising. I wish that schools would just be up front and outwardly suggest that they hope every family can fundraise $50 for the school in any given year. This way we could just all write our cheques and avoid the window dressing. This would make me very happy.

Instead we get this...

No other fundraiser regardless of its urban legend has the power to paralyse me faster than the dreaded Chocolate Bar flog.

I have 3 kids; there have been years when our house had 90 chocolate bars to unload! That should be enough to turn anyone's mood sour but not the real reason I hate this sugary tradition.

I ran a chocolate bar fundraiser one year when the school council I chaired was saving for a new playground.
I still say a little prayer of forgiveness each night in repentance.

$23,000.00 in chocolate we sold. It was an accounting nightmare. The days of counting pennies, nickels and dimes. The hours of shuffling boxes and boxes of chocolate. Chasing families who ate their bars and never returned any money. What was promised to be a quick efficient 2 weeks was actually 30 days of (pardon my language) hell! We raised a heck of a lot of money, that's true, but I think everyone involved left a small piece of their soul in the counting room.

It's been a few years since one of our kid's schools choose chocolate for project funding and when I laid eyes on the box I have to admit that I felt my lower bowl loosen post-traumatic stress fashion.

Beyond the conjuring up of bad memories, beyond the irony of selling chocolate in a world where childhood obesity has reached epidemia, is the inevitable threat of consumption. It is a fact, I will eat these bars. They are my kryptonite, the one item that will trump all my efforts at healthy eating. I will dig in my purse for $3 toss it in the box time and again, and by the time the fundraising monies need to be returned to school I will have put on 7 lbs. I would have sent the box back to school unopened and uneaten with a cheque to cover our family fundraising contribution, but my son in his entrepreneurial nature began selling in the pursuit of an Xbox before I got my hands on the initiative.

You cannot even begin to comprehend how excited I was when I peeked inside the box tonight

I only have 2 1/2 more bars to go...this fundraiser is only going to cost me another $7.50!

Gratitude today the we only had to sell 1 box.

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks