I aspire to activism. I have a cause, I have drive, I have conviction. What I don’t have are time, money or connections. In fact, I am so mired in digging myself out of post-divorce devastation, I barely have a life. My kids are worth any travails I must endure for their benefit, so I sally forth. This is not a cry for help, merely a statement of fact, an acknowledgement of resolution.
The struggle to emerge from the ashes of divorce can be all-consuming. I am hamstrung with a mortgage, car note, taxes, child support and related expenses. I am working, but not currently earning enough to catch up. I’m treading water. Of course, none of the entities to which I am obligated is interested in my troubles. This is not a cry for help, merely a statement of fact, an acknowledgement of resolution.
Every day, I work to reestablish discipline and order in my life in the face of pressing demands, and they are pressing. I get letters and phone calls every day demanding money that I do not have. I half expect to see billboards along the interstate bearing my name, photo and an itemized list of what I owe and to whom. This is not a cry for help, merely a statement of fact, an acknowledgement of resolution.
With my firm resolve to bear all of this without suffering a total meltdown, one would hope that I could walk into a nationally known big box store and buy myself a pack of sliced mushrooms to enjoy as part of a wholesome, tasty meal that I would prepare for myself.
I suffered my daily barrage of slings and arrows without complaint. I answered the phone and told the bill collectors the same thing I’ve told them for weeks and promised to pay as soon as I could. I suffered the daily two-hour odyssey home from work to a house barren of children but full of laundry, dishes and chores. Out on my feet, I chipped away at a to-do list that could be printed on a ream of paper. All of this I managed successfully.
What I could not do was buy a fresh pack of sliced mushrooms from this nationally known big box store because, as of July 18, this store had out for sale a pack of mushrooms with a buy-before date of July 7, 2017!
I am a single father beset with a range of conundrums that run the gamut from financial to technical to emotional and I manage them quite competently. Should I also be expected to check buy-before dates on perishable vegetables at a huge store chain that hires dozens of people who can and should be doing just that? Now, I’m crying out for help! Give me something!
You know, when I was preparing to cook my wholesome, tasty meal, I opened that pack of mushrooms and immediately noticed the slime coating them and the noxious odor that wafted up from the package. It was only then that I noticed the buy-before date. Ordinarily, I would have simply tossed the ‘shrooms and returned my focus to more pressing issues, but I felt compelled to stop: This, I thought, is a flash point. What kind of activist can I ever hope to be if I suffer this utter injustice in silence?
I have the mushrooms with me tonight. I’m going to march right into that big box store in the morning and demand my money back. This is not a cry for help, merely a statement of fact, an acknowledgement of resolution.