This is an outrage!! (white people problems)

The other day, a letter came home from my son's preschool urging the parents to take action. The title of the letter was "This is an outrage!!". I was pretty curious to read it, since they rarely send non-preschool related letters home. What on earth could be so big a deal?

As it turns out: suburban parking. My son's school is in a really nice, very expensive area of Orange County. (We do not live in this neighborhood). Apparently there is a city ordinance proprosed that everyone is up in arms about for this particular suburb. It involves some parking issue about only being able to park in front of driveways . . . or was it not being able to park in driveways? (It was hard to read because my eyes kept involuntarily rolling). The letter used very strong wording, imploring us to get involved. In bold letters at the bottom, it read "remember, this will affect you and your children forever".

Now, lest I sound like a completely unsympathetic person, I can see where this scenario might be annoying. There are people who may have a really tight squeeze trying to get both the Hummer and the Escalade in one parking spot. The nanny might have to park down the block. If people throw a dinner party, their guests' Jimmy Choo shoes might leave a blister by the time they walk from their cars. This is serious!!!

Okay, wow. I really am a completely unsympathetic person. I can't even write about it without mocking. I actually intended that paragraph to be sincere, and couldn't even muster the strength to care about this.

I guess the whole thing smacks of priviledge, and there seems to me to be quite a myriad of actual outrages going on in our world today. It reminds me of a video I saw recently:

Admittedly, I am prone to this, too. I have abused my facebook status updates (and the exclaimation point) asking people to write their congressman over a lack of fashionable maternity clothes, and stewed about ordering white paper towels that arrived decorated with hideous 1980's geometric patterns. I hope it's obvious I'm joking - but there is always just a wee kernel of truth about the ridiculousness of issues that get my own blood boiling sometimes.

So this gets me thinking: what is really worth our exclaimation points? What would make me not roll my eyes if sent home in an urgent letter with my kids?

What is something that I should truly feel outraged about?
  • There are 129,000 kids in US fostercare waiting to be adopted
  • Marital rape was just made legal in Afghanistan
  • Children are being kidnapped and forced to live as soldiers in Uganda
  • 2.7 million people in Darfur remain displaced
  • An estimated 75% of children in the Gaza strip could be clinically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
This are just a few of the things that I really do feel disgusted by. Send home a letter urging me to take action on some of these issues, and I may actually respond. Parking . . . not so much.

What about you? What is worthy of your exclaimation point?


  1. don't you love the concerns of people! seriously? i love that you live in OC and can tell us about all the rediculous things that come out of that place!

  2. Patterned paper towels?! NOOO!!!

    I don't know how you have it in you to write such great posts with a child between your legs.

    It IS so important to stop and think what truly deserves our energy and exclamation points.

  3. LOL -- we LOVED the flippin video.

    sometimes we feel so so jerky for not feeling sympathetic to the complaints of the vast majority of the western world. we *are* jerks, but still.

  4. Good thoughts of reflection.

    Here's one of my own:

    I'm sad to hear about when the news talks about a member of the community who dies, but sometimes it appears that we as a community lack the awareness that in other nations around the world death is happening left and right. I feel like people almost worship these individuals. It bothers me that we don't mourn the deaths of those who are suffering from hunger, lack of healthcare, warfare, prostitution, and natural disasters.

  5. I know I shouldn't laugh but that video was awesome! Watching those pathetic white people try and dance was beyond comical!

    My exclaimation points would be for the fact that children are still eating dirt in Haiti while the rest of us continue to throw out left overs.

    It would be for the girls who have their genitals mutilated all over the world while we book our next Brazilian wax.

    It would be for the countless prisoners of war who are tortured and killed in the name of defence.

    I could go on....


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