Friday, June 02, 2006

I want to be a dad

Last night, my husband had his annual Open House at his school, so I had to take Boogie to her "Dad's Night" at her preschool. I went with her and her grandpa and it was great.

It started with us sitting outside while all of the kids in the school got together on the bleachers in front of us. Along with the music director and his acoustic guitar, they sang 4 songs that they've been learning this month. The pastor said a few inspirational words, and then it was on to the activities.

For food, they had pizza and chips, watermelon and cookies, cheetos and oreos, all the scrumptious things you love to eat. At different stations on the playground they had various events. You could eat dirt and worms (chocolate pudding with crushed oreos and gummy worms). You could get your face painted. You could stand on stumps and hit each other with those noodle things that you use in the pool to knock each other off the stump. You could use your whole body to wave these gigantor bubble makers to make the hugest bubbles ever. You could gather a pile of wood and molding, using glue and nails (along with saws and hammers, which I wasn't quite sure was age appropriate for the kids), to make a bird house or an airplane or whatever else some of the talented dads could make. You could get shaving cream and fake razor and shave your dad. Or you could get some paint and make your own pet rock.

We had so much fun. Boogie's grandpa made her a birdhouse. She got her face painted and ate some dirt and worms. Little Dak was happy because he had food (I had to get him a plate after he stole some chips off some little girl's plate). A great night.

Then I thought, "What the hell?" I had attended the mom's night last month (excuse me, it was called Mother's Tea ... which should give you an idea of how different it was than the dad's version.)

Ours started with us sitting in the chapel. Each class in the school (the 2 1/2-3 year olds, the 3-year-olds, two classes of 4-year-olds, the 5-year-olds who aren't ready to go to kindergarten, and then the big kids who come to the school before and after their regular school until their parents get out of work) came out to sing three songs. While it's nice when your child is out there singing, it's pretty long to sit through five other classes of kids you don't know singing their songs until they all come out at the end to sing a couple more songs as a group. Just singing four songs total, as in the dad's version, was definitely better.

We also listened to a motivational speaker talk about how important our role as mothers is. But she came across more as, "look what a great mom I am with my great kids" than telling us we were doing a good job.

So an hour later, it was on to the activities. Oh wait, there were no activities. Just iced tea, punch and little cookies. No pizza. No watermelon. No giant bubbles.

Why do they think that mom's aren't interested in that stuff? Why is it that when a group of men and women get together, the women congregate in the kitchen and talk about shopping, while the men sit outside by the firepit drinking beer? I'd much rather be outside. Sometimes, i think it would be better to be a dad.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Does anybody listen anymore?

Today at work, I had to purchase a gift card for one of our clients. I had looked at the American Express Traveler's Cheque card, but the minimum denomination was $300. I decided to check out the Visa TravelMoney card, but after searching the entire Visa web site, I couldn't find anything on a minimum order. I decided to call their customer service center for help.

VISA Rep #1: Hello, this is Visa, can I have your card number?

ME: I don’t have a card number. I’m looking for information about your Visa TravelMoney card.

VISA Rep #1:You don’t have a card number?

ME:No, I am just looking for information about your Visa TravelMoney card.

VISA Rep #1:Are you traveling right now?

ME:Pardon?

VISA Rep #1:Are you traveling right now?

ME:No, I wanted to purchase the card for someone who is attending an event, so they don’t have to use traveler’s checks.

VISA Rep #1:So you want to purchase a card?

ME:Yes, but I wanted to find out if there is a minimum denomination to purchase the card.

VISA Rep #1:Oh. Do you have the card number?

MEUmm, no, I don’t have the card yet.

VISA Rep #1:Oh, well let me transfer you to our special services department.

When he transfers me, I'm connected to a recording that asks me to press numbers for security issues. When I don't press any numbers, it puts me through to the hold music, which is interrupted by a voice asking me to please have my report number handy for the next representative.)

VISA Rep #2:Hello, can I have your report number?

ME:I think I may have the wrong area. I was just transferred here by the main Visa customer service area. I’m looking for information on your TravelMoney card.

VISA Rep #2:Oh, what is your card number?

ME:I don’t have the card yet, I’m looking to purchase it.

VISA Rep #2:Oh, what phone number did they give you to call here?

ME:They didn’t give me a number. They just transferred me here.

VISA Rep #2:Oh, let me find someone who can help you.

I was then placed on hold for 10 minutes before the guy came back to apologize for the wait before he put me back on hold for another five.

VISA Rep #3:Hello, how can I help you?

ME:Yes, I had a question on your TravelMoney card.

VISA Rep #3:Yes?

ME:I just needed to know if you had a minimum amount that you need to purchase the card.

VISA Rep #3:That is a good question.

ME: (Thinking in my head ... that IS a good question).

(He proceeds to read directly from a brochure about the Travel Money card, and all of its features and benefits.)

VISA Rep #3:It doesn’t say anything about the minimum amount. Let me go to our Internet web site.

ME: Never mind, I was already on there. I'll just go to one of the locations that sell the card and ask. I was just hoping to save some time by calling.

VISA Rep #3: Well, if there is anything else we can help you with, we're here 24 hours for you.

ME: (Thinking to myself ... yeah, because you guys have been such a big help already.)