Time for a Rant

If you’re looking for something insightful uplifting look elsewhere. I’m in the mood for a rant.

— 1 —

My life currently revolves around John’s high school marching band.  Between rehearsals, home games, and competitions I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.  And that’s with an awesome carpool partner! I woke up in a cold sweat the other night at midnight, sure I’d fallen asleep accidentally and needed to jump in the car and go get John from a competition.  Ridiculous, of course, since John was asleep in bed, it was the middle of the week, and they never get back until 2am anyway. Just a stress ream.

— 2 —

On my days to pick up from rehearsal I am appalled by the lack of teamwork shown by band members who perform together spectacularly well on  the field.  As in three competitions – three Grand Champions well. And I quickly lost track of all the other awards they’ve won. They pretty much need an extra SUV to haul all the hardware home from each competition. But they get no awards when it’s time to clean up and put equipment away after practice. One evening last week as the band director dismissed the band members he reminded them, via the megaphone that may or may not be surgically attached to his face, that all band members were expected to help put away equipment before leaving. By equipment, I mean all instruments, even the huge percussion pieces that take two or three people to wheel around, massive props, multiple small props, and the usual debris that accumulates when you put a bunch of teenagers in one place for three hours.  I started the stopwatch on my phone, and within two minutes of that announcement twelve cars had left the parking lot.  Maybe a couple of those parents had little ones they needed to get to bed, and a couple of them may have been up since 3am for work.  I can identify.  Grab your kid and go. But the rest of those kids should be staying to help, not skipping off to Mom’s car and leaving the few responsible kids to stay and work an extra thirty minutes before they get to leave.

— 3 —

This past Saturday the band didn’t compete.  They hosted a competition for other high school bands.  All parents and all students were expected to pitch in.  We’d done this several years when Aaron was in high school, so we knew what we were in for.  I felt like a total slacker when I emailed the parent in charge of the hospitality room, volunteering my cooking services, but not my time to staff the room.  I explained about my physical limitations, and that my husband would be working a double shift, but I also wanted to contribute and would be willing to cook all sorts of things in advance and have my husband and son drop them off the morning of the competition. No response. Waited two weeks.  No response.  So I emailed the bake sale parent.  She responded quickly and was grateful for my offer of help, so she got two Trader Joe’s bags filled to the brim with delicious homemade treats, all individually bagged and labelled. Moral of the story: when you’re asking for volunteers and someone contacts you and wants to help – don’t ignore them.

— 4 —

My dogs are resisting all forms and training and I’m finding it very frustrating.  They won’t cook, clean, do laundry, or even load the dishwasher.  They refuse to even “fetch” my phone, my glasses, or my keys when I can’t find them, and I know perfectly well they are capable of that.  They are Retrievers, for goodness sakes! Thus far the only tasks they’ve proven dependability for are announcing the arrival of the mail or the UPS truck and letting me know when it’s 11am or 5pm.  Those are meal times.  If they could remind me of when my medications are due it would be much more helpful. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

— 5 —

British TV series seasons are much too short.  How is five to seven episodes a season? Americans may be fat, lazy, and rude, but at least when we film a TV series it lasts long enough that  viewers at least have the cast of characters straight before it ends.  Yes, I’m complaining about Broadchurch.

— 6 —  

Why do restaurants with wifi keep it so cold all the time?  Do you figure if my fingers get numb I’ll buy an overpriced coffee or leave?  Well, that was rather clever on your part, but probably not worth the bump in you electric bill.

— 7 —

Being disabled sucks. I don’t typically complain, because God knows it could be a lot worse, but I’m just really frustrated with the constant pain, the red tape and paperwork, the financial fears, the physical limitations that I can no longer pretend are temporary, and the general feeling of uselessness to society in general.  And this is me on maxed-out Prozac. Next post will be more uplifting, informative, entertaining, or something.  Promise.

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8 thoughts on “Time for a Rant”

  1. You can borrow my four year old. I have taught him to fetch quite nicely, thank you very much. However, he has not mastered the corkscrew just yet. We will get to that right after (or before) he learns to tie his shoes. By the way, I think you should feel free to complain whenever you want to, or feel like it. You got a crappy deal, and there’s no sugar coating that. But useless? Oh hell no. You’ll never, ever be useless.

  2. Marching band is intense, especially in a competition band. But, if it helps – I have lots of happy memories and lessons learned – so despite your hours driving to-and-from, it will pay off eventually 🙂 (Side note, I should go thank my mom for all that driving!)

    1. Yes, thank your mom immediately!! And I think I enjoy the performances and competitions I’m able to attend almost as much as my son 🙂 Just driving past a high school in the Fall and hearing a marching band practicing always makes me smile 🙂

  3. I can totally relate to you when it comes to High School Bands. My daughter, who has graduated, was in the marching band. They did everything you described, games, competitions, practice and hosting other competitions. She was never home and since she couldn’t drive, I was in charge of taking and picking her up. Let along paying for band. I don’t know about you, but the price for a kid to participate in band is outrageous. Anyway, at the time when the market crashed and my husband lost his job and me a Realtor suffered the effects of the housing crash, we both were working between the two of us 6 part time jobs all the while still selling Real Estate. So participating in band was as you can imagine, very difficult. We did what we could! I was not always able to go to competitions, because they are usually on the weekends and that is when I worked my part time job and did Open Houses. So, long story short, a fellow parent didn’t like that I couldn’t come all the time and called to tell me I was a bad parent all the while demanding I pay her for items that she ordered for my daughter that my daughter didn’t even need for the competition but since all the other girls were ordering them she ordered them for my daughter. Never did I ever get a call asking me if this was okay with me! Not that I wouldn’t have consented to the order, but we were going through a rough patch and needed to watch our spending on nonessential stuff and here this lady was calling me a bad mom! Seriously! My daughter never participated again!!!

    Thanks for listening to my Rant!!

    1. Those sorts of parents make me insane, and from what I’ve heard from friends no band is free of them 🙁 Yes, marching band is SO expensive, and since I’m unable to work right now for health reasons paying for band (not to mention gas getting there and back and all the other stuff we DO have to buy) means NO extra expenses, certainly not extras forced on us by other band parents.

      1. Its so good to talk to someone who understands. I have felt like a scumbag for so long. She made me feel like I was taking advantage of her and don’t pay my bills. Talking to other parents in the band at that time said she was terrible to other parents as well. I don’t feel like an island but it will be an issue I will remember for a long time. Band was definitely not a good experience. I hope you have a better one from now on!!

        1. Isn’t it a cruel irony that one thoughtless person can ruin an important experience for an entire family? I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. I wish there was a way to just remove those memories entirely – they creep to the surface entirely too often, and can suck some of the fun out of otherwise wonderful times.

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