Saturday, September 09, 2006

E-Bay Lesson #1

All week I've been trying to "win" an auction on e-bay. I'm not a big E-Bayer. In fact I've only bought two things on e-bay and I've never sold anything. But, I was bored one day and cruising around on E-Bay Motors when I came across a 1980 Subaru Brat.

My ex-husband had one of those once, back when my son was still about knee high. I remember he painted it Safety Yellow with spray paint after I had been in two (not my fault) fender benders in less than a month. The better to see me, I guess. If you don't know what Safety Yellow looks like; try to think back into the eighties when neon orange, green and yellow were the way to go for clothes. The yellow maybe matches what color that Brat was. Every morning when you went to go to work the darn thing was covered in bugs. Bugs that thought you were one giant flower. And the bees! Ugh, don't get me started.

Sorry, I digress. Where was I? Oh, E-bay. All week we were the highest bidder. Whoo hoo, I thought. What were the odds that I was going to find my son's first project car that reminded him of his dad, and find it within driving distance from us, and a reasonable price? (I was only paying half, and my son the other half.) I'm glad I told my kid not to get his hopes up. Although mine were up there a little bit too.

We didn't win. During the last hour the bidding war was on. And even with a friend pitching in another seventy-five bucks we would never had gotten it. I would never have paid the end amount anyway for what it was. It finally sold for $795. My top bid was $500. Let me put it this way. I think that either the person who won the auction is going to see the Brat in person and back out of the deal or somebody is going to get ripped off.

Hello? People? It's a '80 Brat for shits sake! And it is missing the rear jump seats, and the tailgate. According to the interior pictures, the dash, doors and steering wheel are from three different vehicles. Not to mention the funky home paint job. I had a hard time going over $400 on this.

Anyway I guess I'm just bummed that we didn't get it. My son is disappointed but that's life I guess. We'll find him something else I'm sure. It's just kinda sucky that we did get our hopes up by being the highest bidder all week only to be shot down at the last minute. I kinda feel like I was cheated.

Well, wish us luck on the next one.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dear Person in Charge of School Funding;

I have a child starting high school this year, and I would like to know why it is going to cost me over $400 dollars just for activity fees for my son to start school? (Not to mention the dollars for school supplies, shoes and clothes for the year) $145 for the first sport. $125 for the second, and oh my; graciously you have put the third sport free, if all three are in one year. How kind. What kid can participate in three sports a year, and still keep his grades up?

Oh, and might I mention the $35 a year ASB once a year fee, that I am paying so my son can go to school functions such as football games and dances? For a reduced fee of course.

I would like to know just what the heck my Oregon Lottery dollars are paying for exactly?

When I was in high school it never occurred to me to think about why it seemed that only the "rich kids" played sports, or participated in after school activities. But I now know why. Kids from low income families couldn't afford it. Now I know why it was a big deal when I finally got to go to a dance or a game.

It's said that participating in extracurricular activities strengthens a student's sense of pride in themselves, and makes them into better people. Gee, has anyone ever wondered why some of these kids from lower income families grow into adults with low incomes? Why the system that has been created and is being practiced is the same system that holds them (the kids) back and makes a kid feel like a second class citizen just because their parents can't afford to pay the price so they can play football or soccer and maybe learn some self esteem? (Which is the often spouted reason for getting your kid involved in sports in the first place.)

My husband is from the Midwest and went to school there. His mother (who is also a school teacher) was shocked that our kids had to "pay to play". Out there, its paid for by the tax dollars. Everyone, whether you had a kid or not, paid a small tax toward whichever school district you lived in. (incidentally, if you were a housing renter, you also got to deduct a percentage of your yearly rent when filing your taxes. I thought that kind evened it out a bit.) But no one has to pay a fee to play a sport or be a cheerleader or whatever. There is no charge to go to your own school dance. Not even prom. But not here.

So, I end this missive with a plea to whoever makes the rules. Change them, or I and my husband are going to have to start selling our plasma to be able to afford for our son to enjoy his high school years and maybe be able to play a few sports and dance a few dances now and then.


Not a Parent of a "Rich Kid"