I am angry.
This morning, I sat blearily eating my breakfast when I saw this: an article scolding parents mothers who don't bake their own cookies to bring to the bake sales. Apparently it's offensive that some of us are stopping at the convenience store to buy oreos after packing everyone's lunches, before going to the winter festival (drop off bake sale offerings at 8:20 a.m. please!) which will make us late for work, at which we will then have to stay after hours, to get home and frantically help with homework, make dinner, get to bed before doing it all the next day.
But don't you realize you could have made rice crispie treats in that time? Sure! It would have been super-easy! All you would have to do is buy the ingredients in time, mix it up, press it down, and wash all the dishes. What's time-consuming about that?
Why does this make me so freaking angry that I am writing about it on my blog, which has absolutely nothing to do with any of these subjects? (Maybe school is where you read books, and also have bake sales, and so…nah.) One of the powerful memories I have as a new parent at our local school was when the PTA president stood before us and said, "We need your help! We need the money from those bake sales, and if all you can do is buy a box of Entenmann's, go ahead! We love Mrs. Entenmann, she's raised a lot of money for us over the years."
See, it takes courage to bring in the Entenmann's box. We know that the person bringing in the individually wrapped homemade peanut brittle is looking askance at us, but guess what? As the wise and overworked PTA president knew, the whole POINT of a bake sale is to raise money for the school, schools which are currently suffering from ridiculous budget cuts. And if the overworked, stressed out parents manage to help by buying a box of cookies, that is a good thing. We lost our Spanish class. We lost our art supplies. We are losing too much, and that's why we have bake sales, not to titillate the taste buds of discriminating parents.
The piece also infuriatingly notes that this reluctance to bake is particularly surprising given that "We stick up our noses at out-of-season blackberries, and compete over the brands of our stoves and dishwashers." Um, I don't know who does this, except for some fictionalized, imaginary New York Times reader (maybe there's how it connects to children's literature), who actually embodies the sometimes ridiculous ethos espoused in its home and dining sections. What the rest of us do (besides stopping off on the way to school to buy a bag of Chips Ahoy) is skip the blackberries because they're too expensive and they go bad really fast in our broken but not broken enough to buy a new one refrigerator, the brand of which we have no control over because it came with the house.
I went on the site to declaim angrily, but there appears to be no way to leave comments, or it is still way too early and I am missing something obvious. So you fine people are hearing about it, for which I apologize.
But come on, New York Times. Why so scolding and out of touch? Why are you printing articles that seem to be slated for the paper's 1954 edition?
And I love the stupid New York Times! I get home delivery of its plaintive printed edition! I tote it around with me! And not only that, but I bake—all the time. Almost compulsively. But this article? Has me wanting to defiantly close my oven for good.