Saturday, June 13, 2009

Marriage 101, Lecture 878: Charitable donations

SH got home last night from a three-day trip. As he was re-arranging the fridge and I was waiting for him to finish re-arranging so we could watch a movie, the doorbell rang. Never a good thing in the evening. We have no drop-by friends and it's almost always someone asking for money. But he answered anyhow and sure enough, it was a girl escorted by a teenager asking for -- money.

SH was upset that I ate just the middle of the cookie that he got with his Northwest Airlines food voucher. I am supposed to eat the whole thing, apparently. I told him that I don't like the edges and I'm an adult and I don't have to eat the whole cookie if I don't want to.

Only this was a new twist. Their youth group was having a fundraiser. Washing cars. So far, so good. Our cars need to be washed (and sold), not that we are in the habit of paying someone else to do it, but if the price were reasonable and for a good cause*, we would consider paying.

Yes. But. Here's what they really wanted: They wanted SH to pledge a certain amount per car that they washed. The car wash would be "free," but they would make money via the pledges.

"Why don't you just have a car wash and charge to wash the cars?" SH asked, puzzled and impatient and annoyed that they were using a cute little girl as bait to trap people into agreeing. "Why should I pay you to wash someone else's car? No."

"No" was the right answer. Yes, I know we could have taken our cars for the "free" wash, but I don't like not knowing how much I'm being charged for something.

* What is not a good cause: When the Wauwatosa Skateboarders Group wants me just to give them money for a skate park. Give. Just plain give money to the poor, underprivileged Wauwatosa youth who so desperately need a place to ride their skateboards and bikes and to skate. Because the paved bike path through the city isn't good enough?

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