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11/11/2006 - 9:27 a.m.

IT'S REALLY A SHAME

It's a shame. The girl in the local high school's theater program who had the indoor pool, the pool tables, and all the rest has graduated. Now, they have to settle for large basements and all sorts of electronics. It's really a shame.

We had a cast party here once. It was for a play with a small cast. They stayed for the make-your-own-ice-cream-sundaes (which I could do because I'm apparently more mess tolerant than some), played a round of darts, and politely excused themselves to go to Pizza Shuttle, which is open quite late. They did not say so but I knew. Our house had been judged and found substandard. We just don't have the opulence they expect. It's really a shame.

And so, the same people, the richer people, hold the parties over and over. Most of the parents at these houses say gracious things in public such as "we like having the kids congregate here" but sometimes I wonder what they say in private. Not that I really care. No matter what they say, I'm not buying a larger or fancier house. But I sometimes have visions of them (or at least the less nice among them) shaking their heads and complaining about all the parents who "force" them to host the cast parties. It's really a shame.

It's about the money and it's not. I would be happy to contribute money to the parties. I would be happy to contribute time and come over and help chaperone them. I just can't host them because the kids won't stay here. I don't have enough expensive toys. But no one ever asks for money or time. It's really a shame.

There are good things about living in my community but the amount of money that floats around is not one of them. I don't worry about not having that much money or, if you prefer, not being willing to spend it that way (and with some people it's one and some the other.) But, at one time or another, each of my children has looked at the situation and concluded that it's really a shame.

But, luckily, they grow up a little—and now they are not sure at all that it's really a shame.

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