January 4, 2011 § 1 Comment
It’s pretty amazing the number of times sugar can come up in a day. Today I got blind sided when I least expected it: at school I was asked to buy Girl Scouts cookies by the same friend who asks me every year. Ordinarily I would’ve responded with a sizable order, heavy on the Tagalongs and Thin Mints, please. Hey- it’s a good cause! Instead, I surprised my friend- and me too, really- by declining.
Now normally I’m a big supporter of, well, just about everything. That’s because I remember being a kid and selling things, and how hard it was: flower seeds and greeting cards and glass jars of popcorn and Florida oranges.. you name it. Sometimes it was just to benefit the very deserving Eve Would Like to Have Some Cash Fund, but just as often it was for German Club or the Methodist Youth Group’s upcoming trip to Somewhere-or-Other. And then there were those big yellow cartons of M&Ms which benefitted… what? Band I think. Of course those sold themselves: all you had to do was place the big box on top of your books as you walked down the hall and kids would practically throw themselves off the stairway landing to buy a pack or two, scrounging coins and crumpled bills from the bottom of their pockets.
I remember even then feeling like: this is weird. Why is this so easy compared to selling everything else? And maybe, just maybe, there was something a little wrong with selling candy to a captive teenage audience… were they paying with bus money, I wondered? Or lunch money? Another less ethical but more immediate dilemma came in the fact that I was my own best customer and often had to quickly come up with my “cash drawer” shortfall. Whoops!
So today the sugar project has me wondering: how many things do we justify in the name of a good cause, that we ordinarily would object to? How hard would it be to find alternative ways to express our support?
Hmmm. I think… I think I’ll ask my friend about making a donation, instead.
PS- Yesterday for the first time I asked a waitress if there was any sugar in the meal I was ordering. I’ve been toying with all kinds of plausible justifications from “I’m allergic” to “It’s for religious reasons,” but in the end simply asked her if she could check.
“You don’t want it in there?” she asked, without too much interest.