This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm a hypocrite, but I like myself anyway

First of all, and this has nothing to do with being a hypocrite, just an administrative matter, if you will -- I'm dropping the APAD prefix for a regular daily post that includes a picture/pictures.  If I am not writing a post and am just keeping up on the pictures, I'll title the post APAD --  .  I don't know why I'm telling you all this -- I'm sure you don't care!  Back to the point of the post...

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.]

Humble and embarrassed, I explained to our waiter, who was lovely.  And trusting.  He said to come back to pay whenever we could in the next couple days.  Already a hypocrite I couldn't also bear being a freeloader/dine-and-dasher as well, so we drove home and then back over the hill to pay the bill.  Yes, the family who tries to limit drives over the hill to twice or three times a week.  Twice a hypocrite, I guess.

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.


jenni said...


what a day, what a post, what a lot of thinking your are doing.

we were always no weapons... guns kill, we never did the play fighting.. worked with J & G.

we did watch and love starwars. (how's that for contradictory..) anyway... when J was little, the action figure's guns were all removed. later, he asked about them... he was about four or five.. anyway.. that was when we had the gun discussion.. the weapons, the killing, all that.

he decided that he still wanted the was play, not real.. but he also decided that the guns would shoot jelly or some other substance that would slow down his adversary, rather than harm or kill.,

fast forward.ten years.... to his sweet, loving, little brother..
who is one of those kids.
that play.

and shoot. and sword fight, and re-enact peter pan to a tee.

and yup.. it gets ya thinking and wondering, and feeling confused,

and I was really only going to post "wow" in the comments here.

so there.

Holly said...

Marlyn, your girls are soo cute!

I think it's great you are so worried about the weapon issue. We need more thoughtful parents like you in the world. :)

I just love the list for Christmas and birthday. Alex has such great penmanship for someone so little!

We left a plate of cookies out for Santa, and my daughter wrote a note to Santa asking him draw her a picture of Rudolph, which she put with the cookies. So "Santa" responded that the elves were the lucky ones with all the artistic ability and talent and that his talent was to spread joy and cheer this time of year by bringing presents to all the good boys and girls. Ugh. She's 9. She's going to figure something out sooner or later...