So. Obama's minions are attempting, once again, to take over the roles of parents in telling kids what to do, what to buy, and how to live. This time, the EPA cut loose with a PSA telling kids to shop at thrift stores for school clothes, to use recycled products as school supplies, to use paper and plastic bags taped to the outside of their books in leiu of the cool book covers available at office supply stores and Walmarts, and to not take more than one packet of salt, pepper, or ketchup, or more than one napkin.
I get my kids new clothes. I remember having nothing that came new from the store (except underwear, which my mother rightfully thought gross getting second hand), and I remember how badly I resented that.
I also remember the attempts at bullying that only failed because I've got thicker skin than a rhinoceros, as well as a harder head.
I ate school lunches every day--my sister and I got free lunches, and sometimes we couldn't afford to take lunch even if it was something we didn't like. And even when we could, Mom couldn't be arsed to help us pack one. Sometimes the only thing that made them palatable was a butt-ton of salt, pepper, ketchup and mustard. Many days, the lunch ladies would remind us to grab several of the tiny, inadequate napkins because the food was going to be messy.
My son, picky eater that he is, takes peanut butter--no jelly; he doesn't like it--sandwiches for lunch every day. Three slices of bread, slathered in honey peanut butter and folded over. Takes two sandwich bags. He also takes a juice box, which gets thrown away.
Yes, I covered my books with paper bags that I then covered with doodles. There were no book covers available, and no money available for them.
When it gets to that point, I'm going to let my kids pick out their book covers. Yes, they'll have to pay for more than just the basic out of their allowance, but the options will be there. And if they'd rather use the big roll of white butcher paper we have, and cover their books with doodles, that'll be fine, too.
However. Having the EPA sticking its nose in to tell kids to buy second hand clothes, use recycled trash products, and to take only ONE packet of each condiment and napkins reeks. "You shouldn't want nice things. If you do, you're an elitist, and shame on you."* "You should accept trash for your belongings." "You shouldn't take [blogger's edit: make?] more than your fair share."
Who the fuck do they think they are? The nation's parents? Seriously? The only ones who have the authority to talk to my kids like this are my husband and me. Maybe their teachers, depending on exactly what is under discussion.
*Tell that to the race-baiters (and white trash, from my experience, which can be just as bad in the "Oh, so since I'm poor, I'm not good enough for name brands?" attitude) in the free shit army whining about being asked to take RoseArt supplies--which I liked better than Crayola, when I was younger--that Angel blogged about.
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