The Glover Park Holiday Party was this past Friday night. The party is just as much a neighborhood event as it is a school event. Because I like to be all helpful and shizz, I checked out the list of volunteer spots available to see what help was needed.
You gotta know your limits when you sign up for these things. It’s all fun and games until you slack off and someone’s kid flies out of the moonbounce and face plants on the gym floor because you are too busy retying your ponytail for the 17th time, hoping this time you didn’t have any hair bumps. That said, I signed up for the toy donation table.
Here’s the deal. You bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, and you get a raffle ticket. The prizes vary from bottles of wine to restaurant gift cards. All good stuff. If you bring multiple toys, you get a raffle ticket for each. The Marines are there, and they haul the toys away and handle the donation portion. Seems simple enough.
Some pretty sweet gifts started arriving and it really warmed my heart to see such nice stuff fill the table so quickly. But then, as it always seems to happen - whether it’s in a real estate transaction, or rescuing a corgi, or volunteering at school - someone pees the bed thereby sucking the wind out of my sails and making me question everything about humanity.
This man and his son handed me three junky plastic mazes with the tiny silver ball that he GOT FROM A FURKING HAPPY MEAL!!! I have to say, I was NOT happy about this. People brought in giant easels, tents, unloaded 15 toys they picked up for kids who won’t have anything else to unwrap this holiday. These people have the nerve, the furking (yes, FURKING, I am trying to make this blog more family friendly) nerve to hand me 3 pieces of plastic crap from last year’s happy meal and expect 3 raffle tickets in return.
Not on my watch.
They got one raffle ticket. They said “Uh, three.” and I said, “Well, these are very tiny toys considering the big items some other people purchased new. You can keep two of them if you want.”
Yes. Of course I said it. It’s absolute bullshit that they had the nerve. God. Just come to the party and bypass the toy desk. And in front of a Marine? These men put their lives on the line for us and you have the nerve to show up with this piece of crap and seriously hand it to them?
Just in case you’re thinking, “Well, this is sad, what if they don’t have the money to buy a new toy?” I get it. That’s fine. But, it wasn’t a requirement to bring a toy. Insulting the process and hurting an innocent child is something else entirely - and then expecting something for it? Whoa.
I wish I could say that was the extent of it. Nope. It got worse.
A man came in with his two kids and opened up a plastic Safeway bag to show me what was inside. I saw some oranges in there and a toy. He pulled the toy out and handed me a train car. But, it’s one car. The front and back of this thing have the hook and eye that indicate there are OTHER cars that connect with this train car.
So really you just grabbed something from your toybox that your kids no longer play with, and brought it here so we can do what with it - throw it out? Um. Thanks? Then they handed me a tiny little plastic figurine of some sort. Like the size of a hatchimal or something but not a hatchimal. I put it with the train and handed them one raffle ticket as well. Because, come on. I’m all about “it’s the thought that counts” until you’re dealing with some child who has nothing to open on Christmas morning and then all bets are off.
Then there was the group of 5 or 6 kids in the corner whose parents were clearly nowhere to be found. Their children were smashing plastic water bottles on the wall and floor of the gym. Real Estate Dad is more one of those “kids will be kids” type dads where I’m like, “Is this really my life now and get those hellions off my lawn” parent. Even he was like, “This is sort of outrageous, and no one says anything to them. That bottle almost hit you in the head when they threw it off the wall.” Yup.
So that was my Friday evening.