Hi friends. Or should I say friend. I don't think many people read this. I know of one. Because he tells me he reads it and gives me feedback on every single post. Thanks Olivier. If I actually knew you I'd say you were my new best friend :) So hello to you, and thanks for tuning in.
I'm kind of a nervous person at times. Well more like a neurotic nervous person, or nervous neurotic person. Whichever order you choose, I am IT. So I really really hate it when my days get disrupted by things I haven't planned for. Which is why going to the grocery store has become a huge source of anxiety for me. See, we all have to eat. And I believe in eating well, so I believe in getting groceries quite often. Therefore I have to actually go to the store and purchase them.
This was all well and good until the introduction of the dreaded clipboard people. This is what I call them: the dreaded clipboard people. Even as I type this my palms are starting to sweat and I'm getting fidgety. Oh the dreaded clipboard people. Why must you invade my space and disrupt my routine??? If you aren't familiar with the clipboard people, you will be able to recognize them because:
a) they carry clipboards,
b) they stand outside the doors at shops such as grocery stores or your Targets and Walmarts and the like, and
c) they are always REALLY excited to talk to you (I don't think I've even ever encountered a Jahova's Witness that was more excited than the clipboard people).
What do they want? Your money. But they're quite crafty and I find almost evil. They don't want your spare change or a couple bucks like a homeless dude on the side of the road or the Salvation Army people with the bells at Christmas. No. They want like bank account access or a credit card number. They scoff at the $5 you might present sheepishly and proclaim, "this is all I have". They accuse you of not caring about gay rights, women's rights, the environment, child welfare - you name it - if you don't leave your inheritance to them and their cause you are a terrible terrible person.
As you read this you might think, Gee Bonnie, you do sound rather cynical and horrible about these wonderful people who are just trying to make a difference in the way society works. I used to be like you. I used to be that way too. I used to discuss the issues and excitedly become willing to give my money to Green Peace and to to Prop 8 and women's rights and the like. Yes, I'm liberal. Yes, I want change! Yes I will give you $10!
Oh, that's not enough you say? I'm sorry, did I hear you right? You want $88? in order to snub the politicians who are opposed to Prop 8? Are you out of your FREAKING MIND? Oh, I'm sorry, you need my bank details to debit $20 a month for Green Peace? And there's no way I can cancel this transaction unless I change my bank account number? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
See, I did give an exorbitant amount of money to Prop 8. And you know what happened? The Supreme Court overturned it anyway. Even before that, I gave some more money to one clipboard guy and then got hassled by another clipboard guy the next day who did not believe me I had JUST donated to the same freaking cause! And I did give a monthly donation to Green Peace. And found there literally was no way to stop the debiting so I was finally forced to change my debit card.
Then I had an evil clipboard guy accuse me of being cheap when I told him I was a starving actor and had literally $20 for the rest of the week to live on and was actually willing to give $5 of that to him if he'd leave me alone. And THEN I still filled out his dumb petition for whatever cause he was representing and the bastard CALLED ME and asked me out on a DATE! (this seriously happened.)
So after a few of these incidences I got a little nervous every time I'd go to the grocery store. And if I saw the dreaded clipboard people, I would beeline for the other entrance. Or I got clever and would pull the "fake cell phone call" maneuver just to get in and out of a place I had to visit.
But sometimes I would get caught off guard. Sometimes I'd think I was strong enough to actually say "N-O" or walk right past them. I mean, I know I'm liberal. And I vote liberal. That should be enough right? Or giving like $5 should be enough right?
It got so bad if I saw them standing there I'd just get out some cash and thrust it into their hands before they could even say anything and say rather quickly "thisisallIhave!" and walk away. I even freaked out on some little kids selling candy outside Bristol Farms (along side a clipboard guy). So I gave $10 to each - the clipboard guy and the kids. There were 2 little kids and the one kid said he needed money too because they were selling candy separately, so I screamed at him these words:
The world is a competitive place and if you want to succeed you'd better move yourself to another spot if you want to win!!!!!
I have just turned into an old croan. I seriously should have had a walking stick and a black cloak with huge spit balls spraying this terrified child.
But this is what it's become! Why must I be pestered all the time to donate money? And then be made to feel like I'm not generous. And I'm MISS GENEROUS. My friend's ipod got stolen. So I bought her a new one as a surprise and had it sent to her house. I bought a homeless crazy guy a $90 blanket because he had diabetes and was freezing. I also gave him my number which was a really bad idea and he kept calling me to tell me where he was and - get this - to APOLOGIZE for not keeping in contact too often. So I'm definitely not stingy. And plus, it's not like I have tons- o-money anyway. Newsflash: I didn't win Hell's Kitchen. So I don't have $250K in my back pocket.
But I guess the thing that really gets me mad is that I can't just say NO and be ok with a person thinking I'm selfish or stingy or whathaveyou. Shane tried to do some cognitive behavioral therapy on me and attempted to forcibly make me walk past the dreaded clipboard people and just keep walking.
It didn't go too well.
I think some days I just went back to the car and refused to go inside the store.
They don't have dreaded clipboard people in New Zealand. I feel safe here.