Saturday, November 8, 2008

Where can I get one?

Ahh, the elections are over. The air is crisp and the leaves are beginning to turn colors - yes, even in Texas. Halloween has passed and the candy supply is dwindling. The days are getting shorter and we're getting ready to put up our Christmas lights. All this can mean only one thing...

It's time for fall fund-raiser sales!!!!

Every year just about this time I am inundated with offers from neighborhood children to support their schools, support their marching band, support their soccer team, and support their scout troop. How in the world did any of these organizations ever survive before fund raisers??? I can buy a regular size bag of M&M's for $1, or for $7 I can buy some adorable Christmas wrapping paper with pictures of Santa performing various wintertime activities - skiing, sledding, or even participating in a snowball fight. For $10 I can buy a magazine subscription, to go along with the existing stack of magazines I have that I'm already not reading. And, just $15 will get me a box of popcorn that will help send a young boy to summer camp with his scout troop. Never mind that I can get an equally-sized box of microwave popcorn at Walmart for about $6.

And, the terrible thing about fund-raising is, I'm an enabler. I love kids and I will usually buy what they are selling. Texan Papa always says, "Don't feel guilty and buy something you don't need!" I am a big believer that, "I'm a big girl and if I don't want something I can just say no." I mean, who doesn't need wrapping paper? Who doesn't need some candy? Who doesn't need a magazine called "Texas Outdoor Monthly"?

I DO try to have some vague criteria in my own mind when deciding whether or not to part with a personal check for possibly unnecessary purchases. I think to myself, "Has this kid ever darkened my doorstep before today? Has this kid ever even said "Hi" to me? Or is this the kid who stole Peppermint Patty's scooter?" If I don't know the young entrepreneur, I am less eager to give him or her my business. But I have no problem at all giving my money for a worthy cause when I can actually say to my child-neighbor "Hi, Emma. Are you selling something for your school, Oak Street Elementary?" The other day a kid hopped up to my door and half-attempted to peddle a coupon-type magazine for local businesses and eateries. Here's how the conversation went:

Texan Mama: "Hi. Can I help you?" (name unknown to me. Never seen this kid before)

Kid: "Yeah, hi. I'm selling this coupon book, thing. It's got, like, a lot of coupons in it. We gotta sell them for football. They're good, I think. Do you think you want one?"

T.M.: (stunned by his marketing prowess) "Well, how much are they?"

Kid: "Um, they're $20."

T.M.: "Oh, thanks but I don't think so. Good Luck."

Kid: "Okay" (now turning toward his friend who's on a dirt bike up on the street) "Hey dude, she said no. Think your mom'll buy it?"

On the other hand, some fund raising items practically sell themselves. The Queen Mother of all fund raisers is one that Peppermint Patty has participated in for the last 2 years: Girl Scout cookies. We have already gotten prepped by the Girl Scout Council for this year's sales. My mouth is salivating and my pocketbook is twitching. Here in TX, I'm finding that the sales go a little bit differently than when we lived in the Midwest. Here, the girls actually acquire the boxes of cookies, then (much like in the movies) they load the cookies up in a wagon and walk house to house offering up the cookies in exchange for a second mortgage on your home. Not that $3.50 per box of cookies is so high, but when is the last time you saw someone buy just ONE box of Girl Scout Cookies?

So, prepare yourself for the assault of your doorsteps. They are coming. In full force. Wearing a uniform. And they will be armed with adorable smiles. Get your checkbooks ready.

17 comments:

Scary Mommy said...

Ugh, I detest those. My husband is the biggest sucker and will but ANYTHING that a kid tries to sell him. I rarely do, and I'm sure am known as the neighborhood bitch. And last time, when I actually bought GS cookies, they were stale. Lesson learned, no more for me!

Scary Mommy said...

and I'm laughing at your comment intro. I have some people I'd like you to go all Texan on for me. K?

Jaden Paige said...

I think it's even worse when the parents bring those fundraiser things in to work! I am way less likely to buy something if you're not a cute little kid :P

Eudea-Mamia said...

Thanks for the warning. I'll dodge the front door for the next couple of weeks. And the grocery store entrance. And warn hubby for work...curse those girls!

Em

Toots said...

Texas Mama, you are hillarious! I'm a glutton for punishment with these door-to-door kids too, they get me all the time . . . I guess I forget to wipe the "sucker" stamp on my head before opening the door, darnnit!

Oh and I'm sending you an email about the whole historic post . . . hehehe

Heather said...

Oh, how I loathe the school fundraising season (which goes, y'know, from October through June...). Thank GOODNESS our local Girl Scouts don't wheel wagons of boxes door-to-door, or I'd be totally sunk. I *always* buy GS cookies (after years of being on the selling end as a Scout myself), and it is much easier to fill out the form and check off one box per kid than it would be to resist the actual delciousness sitting in front of me, calling my name. EEEK!

Noah's Mommy said...

When it comes to kids...No becomes a word NOT in my dictionary...I have to just not open the door....yep I admit it....I'm one that hides in the other room until they leave...rather than suck it up and say no....

Dorsey said...

My hubby just buys them at the office and makes sure to get the ones with coconut on them, since I won't touch them. But I'm screwed if he buys a box of Tagalongs (or whatever they're called..the shortbread ones). I always buy a can of vanilla cake icing when I get my hands on those and eat them like its chips and dip..LOL

Becky :) said...

Here in CA when my boy has to do a fundraiser for school they don't even allow the kids to go door to door to sell it. I'm usually in charge of taking it to school and selling it there. Which usually brings in quite a bit of sales. Or my family members get the call from the boy.
But when you throw in to the mix Girl Scout cookies, I'll buy them everytime. Doesn't matter!!! I was a Brownie in my day and I rocked the cookie sales. My fiance's best friends daughter sells them every year and she makes a killing from us.!!!!

jori-o said...

Oh dear. I didn't realize it was THAT time of year again. I love me some thin mints!

LaTonya Yvette said...

I already have my girl scout cookies ordered. I get hit up by co-workers this time of year for. It's hard to say no. Texas Momma, you can make any story seem so funny!

Happy Campers said...

We buy just ONE box! :) Actually, I buy just one box each time I get asked by a Girl Scout. Because I hate saying 'no thanks'. I buy them from neighbors. Girls in front of WalMart. Girls at soccer games. You name it! But if I bought more than "just one" box from each one, we'd end up with WAY too many cookies (which is bad how?). We love GirlScout cookies!!

Bridgett said...

I will always buy GS cookies--but they don't happen here until the spring. Daughter's a Girl Scout now, so even more so.

Other than that...I'm a curmudgeon. I will buy the bulbs that a couple of schools around here sell, because they are decent bulbs (same as the MO botanical garden's). But I won't buy wrapping paper when I can, yes, buy it December 28th on sale. I buy, grudgingly, the boy scout caramel popcorn because their moms buy GS cookies from us. I'll buy a wreath from the parish at Christmas.

But I far prefer events as fundraisers. I'll go to anybody's trivia night, for instance. Silent auctions, too, for the most part.

Nicole Feliciano said...

It's wrapping paper at our school. Sigh. Can't I just write a check?

If you are feeling lucky, I've got two I am running this month:

Paper Shouts $50 GC

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2008/11/paper-shouts-holiday-card-contest.html

And an adorable art backpack from Little Jet Set:

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2008/11/contest-easy-holiday-travel-with-kids.html

Anna See said...

Aargh. We just got through the cub scout popcorn thing. At least G.S. cookies taste great. I (oops, I mean Jake) had to hit up all of the relatives to buy $30 tins of popcorn.

WheresMyAngels said...

I loved when my girls sold AVON for a fundraiser at school.

Hippie Family... said...

when we were kids, my brother ate a whole box of caramel bars thinking he would, who knows... find the money?? then he puked all over my mom's Oldsmobile 88 on the way home from soccer practice...
I guess, just be glad that was not the case?? I bought magazines, candy, crap, ya... the cuter the kids the worse they are.