Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about grocery budgets and spending on food generally. I commented that we rarely eat out anymore since I just don't find most restaurant food appealing -- I have become a complete snob about the ingredients in my food and the source of those ingredients, let alone the manner of preparation. Well, this morning the little, formerly-sick Bubbles woke up and wanted potstickers. They begged and begged to go out for Chinese food for lunch. I was happy to see their appetites had returned so I obliged. And we enjoyed the food. When I went to pay, I realized that I had forgotten my wallet at home (I had put it in my farmers market sack
and then set it on the counter when I emptied the sack and it never found its way back to my handbag).
[Total aside, the wallet was a Christmas gift from Alex -- her school had a market where the kids could pick gifts -- she bought a ball game for Gregorie, a cashmere scarf for her dad and this wallet for me. I was very proud of her choices.]
After paying the bill I decided to hit Home Depot (I won't even touch on the hypocrisy involved with shopping at a big box retailer, hussssshhhhhh) because they had storage boxes on sale and I needed one for the girls Barbies (sssshhhhhh). While looking at the boxes and comparing quart and gallon capacities (I can multiply and divide by 4 easily enough but why is there not a standard for labeling these things?), I turned and saw that the tiles I wanted for the kitchen backsplash were on clearance, discontinued.
Good news, $3 a square foot cheaper, bad news, not going to be in stock much longer. I stacked the heavy boxes into the cart and headed with the salmon-colored 20-gallon box to check out. We paid -- yes, we still had the wallet -- and went to the car. I loaded the heavy tiles into the back of the UNlocked Volvo and set my purse on top of them while I pulled the girls out of the cart. I shut the hatch and went to return the cart and realized that the Volvo had automatically locked itself. With my handbag inside. With my key inside my handbag. With my key and my phone and my wallet inside my handbag. Embarrassed again, I took the girls' hands and led them back into the HD and asked to use the phone. I was clearly not the first person to ask this -- the woman nodded towards the phone before I got the words "in my car" out of my mouth. I called my home-sick-in-bed husband and explained. Explained that he had to drive over the hill and bring me a key. Yeah. Another car, truck actually, over the hill...
But all this is a preface to the true hypocrisy I wanted to discuss. Alex turned six on Dec 22. You may know that she made a nice "wish list" this year for her birthday and Christmas.
I was impressed with her list and tried to accommodate it. I didn't stop to think long about "bow and arrow" or what that "meant" -- I just thought, "Wow, what an original list!" (I did nix the swan.) And I looked for a bow and arrow. I found a "cool" all wooden one made in France, that used the actual flexing of the bow, rather than an elastic string, to propel the, suction-cup-tipped, arrow.
It came in a simple cardboard box with no extra packaging - -the assembly instructions were even printed right on the inside of the box (in French) and the front and the back of the box were cut-outs of two different targets.
And I think that that's when it hit me -- when I saw the targets. Targets. Things you aim at. Things you SHOOT at. Yeah, uh, duh. It's a bow and arrow! It shoots. It's a "weapon" (okay it's not -- it has suction cup tips). But it is. It's a toy weapon. A shooting toy. I would never (okay I'm thinking maybe I should never say never) buy my kids a toy gun. Not even a water pistol. And yet I didn't pause a second, I never even THOUGHT, about buying the bow and arrow. And I wonder why.
Is it because I think archery is a "reputable" sport (and range shooting with a rifle or pistol is not?). I'm now wondering about things like swords (not the feather sword -- yeah, Wiggles, I know -- they have had for years that I let them use a part of a pirate costume) but more about epees and the like. Would I let them fence? What about karate or tae kwon do or judo? I am a dedicated pacifist. But I'm feeling confused. I am a carnivorous pacifist. One who actually believes that the ultimate free range animal is one living in the wild. And that humans are supposed to eat animals but that they are also supposed to respect them and treat them fairly and not waste them unnecessarily. And I do think that hunting with a bow and arrow is way "fairer" than hunting with a rifle! And maybe that's my answer. Or at least one that will let me sleep tonight.