Mother of All Mavens

A whole lot o' nothing. And then some…

I’m just a girl who can’t say no.

Got your attention, didn’t I? Well get your pervy minds outta the gutter. We’re not going there. Not today anyway.

No, today I’m talking about thons. That’s right, thons. No, not tuna in French (thon), but ‘a-thons’. You know the ones: walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, spin-a-thons. As much as all the charities bombard us with gift of giving guilt around Christmas time, I always succumb to the old fashioned sponsorship request. Biking for breast cancer? I’ll give. Dance-off for diabetes? Sign me up. Golfing for gout? Here’s a twenty.
I’ve been known to toss many a charity-by-mail request. Sometimes unopened. That’s because I know that if read about the starvation in Sudan or the plight of puppies I’ll immediately get out my Visa. No cause is too small – I always get suckered in. But if I can resist opening these letters, I can assuage my guilt for not giving. So sometimes, I admit it, I dump ‘em.
Phone requests? Never. In this, the age of call display, I don’t answer unless I know who it is. Usually. If I see the name of an organization, no matter how noble the cause it’s pretty much a given that I won’t pick up. Again, the guilt factor. It’s easy to hang up on a telemarketer with a quick “sorry-no-time-thanks-bye”. But when someone asks you directly to give to leukemia? How can you say no without sounding like a selfish ass? You can’t.
I hate having to call up and – gasp – speak to someone. It makes me feel like my donation, while big for me, is a paltry drop in the bucket. And it’s not the kind soul on the other end of the phone’s fault either. It’s my own guilt talking. My personal preference is the email request. Always personal, but not too personal. And it’s convenient too. Just click and pay. No talking.
Actually, I did have one friend who sent me an email request that I deleted (the email, grammar police, not the friend). And I still feel badly about it. OK, not so bad that I’ve retrieved the email and sent something. I didn’t. ‘Cuz while obviously important to my friend, this cause was, for me, simply too small a fish in a vast ocean of deserving causes. But I feel kinda guilty. And of course every time I see that friend I wonder if they’re on to me. Or if they think I’m a miser. Or a tightwad. Maybe now they’ll bust me and start. But I hope not.
That one blip aside, chez moi if you’re a friend, and you ask, you’ll get lucky. How could it be any other way? Forget about the guilt of not giving, I can’t leave a friend high ‘n dry. Fact is, no matter how broke you are, someone else has got it worse. Waaaaay worse.
Excuse me while I hop off my high horse here.
I’m not saying you’ve got to drop a hunny every time someone asks. Let’s face it, that gets expensive. And while your friends are getting fit and having a grand ole time, you’re going broke. And that’s no fun at all. But a little something, no matter how tiny, does go a long way. Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to judge what someone gives. I’m not. I’m judging what they don’t give.
Whoa Trigger…looks like I’m still riding that horse.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m hardly the most generous of souls. I’m neither the gal who’s volunteering nor the hard-core crusader. My spare change, and anything I can scrounge, is usually spent on clothing – for me or my kiddies (after all, charity begins at home). But I still try to do my part – in a lazy, sit-back-and-sponsor kinda way. Yep, that’s me, saving the world one tiny tax-deductible donation at a time.
If you’re one of my regular readers – or shall I say, one of my regular, local, readers – you’ve probably been hit up by me in recent days. Possibly even twice. Hey – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And yes, you’re absolutely correct if, as you read, you’re thinking “hey wait, this is more of a guilt trip than a guilty pleasure”. But before you close me down and go back to work or whatever it is you’re really supposed to be doing, give yourself a little pat on the back. You’ve just completed a guilt-a-thon!
Congratulations! Now open your wallet….

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