What I Hated the Least Today 119/365: An Encounter

22 comments
Contributions for beer
Contributions for beer

It’s the time of the year when secondary school students are getting ready for their school leaving exams. The preparations involve them putting on madcap costumes, walking in gangs around the town and pestering passers-by for contributions. It’s something like a teenage version of Trick and Treat, except trick is not an option. The contributions are collected in cash solely and are intended towards the kids’ school leaving parties. While it is an established tradition, I think it curious that anyone should expect me to give them spending money just like that.

Sadly, I’m the annoying type of person who challenges things, asks nagging questions and blatantly refuses to do something for which there is no practical reason besides its being tradition. If there is one word for my condition, besides smartass and jerk, let me know so that I could stick it on my chest as a warning to anyone who would approach me. The student (dressed as a Michelin Man crossed with a sumo wrestler) who incautiously asked me to contribute would certainly have welcomed an early warning. I have to owe him that he coped well though.

 

Student: Ma’m, contribute, please!

Smartass: Mm, don’t you think it’s a strange tradition that people should give money for booze to underage kids?

Student: It’s not for booze!

Smartass: *chuckling* Yeah, right. I took a school leaving exam too.

Student: You did?

Smartass: (Do I look like I didn’t go to school? WTF?) Sure.

Student: You don’t have to contribute.

Smartass: *snort* Thanks, I know I don’t have to contribute.

Student: (goes away)

 

Now I see how genuinely disgusting and universally detestable person I am. Not only did I contribute nothing but I was also nasty to the poor kid. It somehow didn’t sound so mean as a real exchange, but stripped of tone and gestures, it is pure evil. Now I depressed myself. I still however maintain that I’m not contributing anyone for booze unless they contribute me for rent.

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22 comments on “What I Hated the Least Today 119/365: An Encounter”

    1. The thing on the wall is historical logo of a local brewery, and yes, it is a bee, which, as I just researched, represents the diligence of the brewers – busy as a bee. I’m glad that you like this rather random snap 🙂

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  1. Really good point in the end there … nobody will contribute to your rent!

    There are traditions with regards to this both here and back home, but they’re different. Back home, it’s getting to be inside … the ones finishing grade 9 (end of compulsory school) have graduation parties/balls, and the girls got to have dresses that cost like $800+. This used to be reserved for they who finished the other school (pre-university … different system), and they used to have champagne breakfasts out in the parks. Poor parents, that have to pay for all this crap.

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    1. I’m aware of the prom tradition, and I’m not too thrilled with that either. I’m not a fan of ostentatiousness. It looks to me more like an additional stress factor – to have an expensive dress, to secure a dancing partner etc. – but all I know about proms is from movies and they just as well may exaggerate it. Champagne breakfasts though sound like good fun!

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      1. Yes, they have either BEEN in the US, or seen it on TV, so that whole tradition has made its move across the Atlantic. It wasn’t in place when I finished school, but we still got very drunk LOL

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          1. I didn’t tell my mother I was smoking for years. Then I did, and then I stopped smoking, and then I started again – and I have no intention to tell my mother that I’m back to smoking. While earlier I wanted to avoid fuss, now I think it’s a white lie that will prevent her from getting unnecessarily upset – she’s not the youngest anymore and not very fit, physically or mentally, either. Why upset her with something that she can’t change and doesnt’ need to know.

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          2. After two years of smoking, somebody told on me. She sent me to a psychiatrist (!). Eventually she had to accept what she couldn’t change.

            I totally agree about the white lie. I would have done the same thing. In fact, I did, but with my uncle. Tried to quit, some time in 1999, and told him I’d quit. Then I started again, but never admitted that to him. Now they’re gone.

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          3. WTF?!?! I hate it the most when people poke their noses into other people’s business. Ratting on someone is a no-no. And sending you to a therapist? No comment… I have a similar, though different experience – years ago I went to my general practitioner, complaining of fatigue, and he dispatched me to a psychiatrist because he believed I was anorectic/bulimic. I was very thin but I had no eating disorder. I can’t describe how angry and frustrated I was when I was practically refused treatment because the GP decided on a wrong diagnosis.

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          4. Yeah, it was a bus driver, who’d seen me — he knew her and my uncle well. Jerk. Yeah, the psychiatrist — that was priceless! No proportions whatsoever to the problem. It was as if I’d started heroine or something. Geez. I got to do that test with ink spots … Rorschach whatever. And that was all. I happily lit a cigarette when I got out of there. I believe I was fifteen.

            That was pure laziness on the GP’s part. Very unsettling — they really should take their time and hear their patients out before doing something like that. Had you lived in the States, you could have sued him 🙂

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          5. I started smoking at 19, so I was legally off age and didn’t even live with my parents anymore – though on their money.So it wasn’t that hard. I do remember how much I hated the weekends though, which I used to spend in the parental house. Otherwise I was staying in the city where I studied. I never heard of the Rorschach test, but I’m sure that unless I’m determined on my own accord to stop smoking, nothing will make me stop.

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          6. It’s some test in psychiatry.

            I had the ‘advantage’ of her working nights at the hospital, which made for pretty free smoking 🙂

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  2. I have to admit to feeling the same as you about contributing to teenage drinking. I keep being reminded of the nights where it all went wrong and I’d hate to think some kid I knew was in an accident or something just as bad and I’d contributed to that…..its a real conflict of conscience for me…

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