Passionate about poinsettias

Every week, every single week, without exception, there is a day in which I think next week things will slow down and I won’t be so busy and even though I know it’s not true, it somehow keeps me going. I am currently in the pre-long weekend am I going to have a nervous breakdown? frame of mind. Why is there always so much to be done? Why is there a leak in one of my winter tires that is causing me to re-jig everything in my schedule so I can take the tire to the shop on the Thursday before the long weekend? Why did I think it was a good idea to add three more things to my to-do list when I should have subtracted five? Why am I the only one to care about gifts and cards for in-laws’ birthdays?

This last one I know is a bit of a sticky issue for many of my friends. Many – most? – of my friends are of the school of thought that spouses should be responsible for spouse’s family members birthday/ Christmas/ whatever kinds of cards and gifts. However, a) I do love my in-laws, and b) I like to ensure that people in my life should be celebrated on their birthdays. Putting a and b together means that c) I find myself responsible for cards and gifts, because the thought of people getting no cards and no gifts makes me sad, which is what would happen if I did not take responsibility for that task.

Marriage is all about harmoniously splitting up life tasks, isn’t it? Car things are strictly a Blue Job around here, which is why my husband put the winter tires on my car, and then realized that one of those winters has a leak in it. That tire was residing in the back of my car, waiting for me to drop it off at the tire shop, which is fortunately very close to one of the studios that I taught at today. Normally that would be a Blue Job too, but due to the long weekend and also it being Winter Tire Season, it falls to me.

Speaking of Winter Tire Season, we had a couple of very nice days around here, after the snow melted. Here is my back yard Monday at 12:30 pm (bonus Barkley shot!)

And here is my back yard Tuesday at 12:30 pm.

In other words, we are back to snow and absolutely dreadful frigid temperatures, which is depressing. Thank god for bobby pins, because a bun is the only possibility for my hair in this weather.

While I’m complaining about things, I will bring up a huge pet peeve of mine: crappy fundraisers. Last night I went to possibly THE MOST boring meeting ever for my younger son’s spring sailing trip on the west coast. Literally, all information at that meeting could have just as easily been emailed out, and would have saved me sitting in the gym listening to the principal, whose passion for this experience is both admirable and manic, talking about how the numbers have dipped and how we should all be pressuring other kids to join in. Listen, the pressure for kids to participate in this activity is insane; my older son did not participate as he went on the big Quebec trip back in eighth grade, but he was subject to constant pressure from the principal and a number of teachers. I wanted to say but did not that perhaps the reason numbers have dipped is that our province is in a recession, and has been for several years, and depending on what the next few weeks bring probably will be for years to come, and perhaps not every single parent in the school can afford to send their kids on a completely optional trip. Mystery: solved.

But the fundraising. The fundraising. I do not have a problem with fundraising using things that people actually need, want, and consume. The gift card fundraiser, for example, is fantastic. I also love the Growing Smiles campaign, which involves good prices on bedding plants, herbs, and vegetables, with quality products. The fundraiser the school has decided on, however, is my most-loathed one: the Christmas poinsettia fundraiser. I have an enormous problem with selling crap no one wants to my friends and family. I have also been pressured to buy poinsettias by all my friends for years and years. NO ONE WANTS THE POINSETTIAS. Each student is supposed to sell TWELVE POINSETTIAS AND YES, I AM YELLING.

Apologies to those of you who actually do like poinsettias. Let me know, I can hook you up with some overpriced flowers.

When it was question time, I asked how the raised funds were dispersed and if there was a fee for those “unable” (read: unwilling) to participate in said fundraiser. I received the highly unsatisfactory answer that twelve poinsettias were the minimum, and after that, the cost of the individual trip would decrease. The cost, by the way, decreases by about $5 for every poinsettia sold, after the first twelve. The principal started to move on but I felt the need to ask what would happen SHOULD a student sell less than twelve. It turns out that the school cannot actually levy a fee if one doesn’t fundraise, but they do suggest a “donation” to the tune of $150. DONE. I will be more than happy to do so if it means I don’t have to harass everyone I know to buy poinsettias.

Who knew I was so passionate about poinsettias?

Wow, I am in a MOOD. That mood was just exacerbated by the fact that I broke a nail opening up a bag of dog food. How did that happen? I’ve been taking biotin for my hair and nails and now I feel betrayed. I feel betrayed by Big Biotin.

Argh, I can’t end on such a complainy note. Oh! I know! The birthday party for my dad was a huge success; the worms and dirt were popular with the younger crowd, including my own kids who somehow managed to eat both layer cake and cupcakes, in addition to consuming about half a turkey between them. And speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. xo


  1. I hated fund raisers and school meetings when mine was small. I went to exactly ONE PTA and opted out. I would have donated that cash too rather than beg people to buy poinsettias. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I was going to say my favorite part was “Apologies to those of you who actually do like poinsettias. Let me know, I can hook you up with some overpriced flowers”—but then I got to the part about feeling betrayed by Big Biotin. My favorite is still my favorite, but it has competition.

    I just HATE stupid fundraisers. I just HATE them. Why sell stuff no one wants at prices no one wants to pay—and that, if they DID want to pay, they could pay A LOT LESS? Let’s bring some SENSE to this. Also, I will ABSOLUTELY pay $150 to not have to sell A DOZEN poinsettias to people who, if they wanted poinsettias, would buy them themselves for seriously $5. Poinsettias are not some sort of limited-access luxury product. I can get one CHEAPLY at the GROCERY STORE if I want one. This is like having a fundraiser where one tries to sell the people a $10 pack of Oreos they could just as easily buy at the grocery store for $3.

  3. I was wondering recently why it seems like we have so many fewer school meetings to attend at the middle school (I realize why we have no meetings at the high school) and it hit me. The Colombia trip and its incessant informational meetings and attendant fundraising was last year. I’m glad North got the opportunity to go to another country but I’m also glad we’re not doing it again this year. So…much…work.

  4. Yes! Why doesn’t every organization simply plainly state the buyout fee? My parents love to donate to the kids’ trip funds for their birthday/Christmas gifts, but they are downsizing and don’t need any unnecessary items. Just tell the grandparents how to make out the check FTLOG.

    Also Big Biotin made me laugh out loud.


  1. […] I’m sure, and yet I cannot help but worry that we have had no parent meetings for this trip since the one in October, in which the principal showed us a video of the trip he took in 1999, told us to pressure other […]

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