Sunday, July 10, 2011

Would you rather ...

High School Girl has a game she plays with her friends when they're so bored that board games are the only stopgap in the long, bleak moments stretching between activities in their go-go-go summer. It's called "Would You Rather" and it poses two equally terrible options that the player must choose and offer reasons why.
WOULD YOU RATHER have five bottles stuck on the fingers of one hand for a year -OR- a bucket stuck on your foot for a year? "Neither" is not an option here!
The fascinating part of this game for a parent is hearing their reasons, which are ultimately based on value systems they're only vaguely aware they are developing. 

Adults live in WOULD YOU RATHER land every day. We have to make difficult choices, resorting to the "lesser of two evils" without always being fully aware of the consequences. We're given misinformation, insufficient information, and downright incorrect information, and must formulate intelligent decisions based on factors out of our control.

Do I take that high-paying job with all its risks and unknowns when my present job, while boring and stressful, is at least stable?  Will my kid thrive in the new neighborhood and schools when we chose them based on a realtor's recommendation and a few Google searches?  Should I invest in the higher cost health plan with its lower deductibles and extensive coverage or the low cost plan that assumes my family will stay healthy?

I have a few suggestions for the game: 

WOULD YOU RATHER go into bankruptcy-inducing debt to pay for your kid's college OR take a great job you love that has no healthcare benefits?

WOULD YOU RATHER be sentenced to watch Nancy Grace 24 hours a day for a year OR to go back to Middle School for three years?
WOULD YOU RATHER everyone knows where you are thanks to smart phones OR no one care where you are?
WOULD YOU RATHER have 1,000+ friends on Facebook OR a few really good, lifelong friends?
WOULD YOU RATHER pay higher property taxes because your home value is stable OR pay lower taxes because your home value is declining?
WOULD YOU RATHER own a large flat screen TV with no cable service OR a clunky old TV with free, extended cable service?
Despite the game's rules, sometimes the real-world answer is both. Or neither.

Have fun with that ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I love a parade.

This year, the Knitternall family enjoyed Dunwoody's 4th of July parade from quite a different perspective. While we've marched alongside Troop 764, St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, swim team, and Dunwoody Nature Center entries in the past, this year, we did this:

We're having a blast supporting Terry in his bid for City Council. And discovering even more reasons to love Dunwoody.

For example:

  • Kids say "thank you" when you give them candy. (Even the loudly assertive "We want candy!" contingent said "thanks.")
  • In one morning, we got to say hello to more friends and neighbors than we normally see in a week.
  • Dunwoody Police Officers on Segways - fun!
  • Boy Scouts serving barbecue - the logistics are impressive and food quite good.
  • Even as they melted into a sweaty puddle of overheated, flushed red exhaustion, parade participants and watchers wished each other a "Happy 4th!"
  • The Dunwoody Homeowners Association and their volunteers ... just wow. Until you've been IN the parade, you can't fully appreciate all the work that goes into staging the state's largest 4th of July event.
  • I bet the MJCC's Clifford the Big Red Dog bus could do a brisk business just giving rides to small ones. Loved the balloon ears.
  • Hint to Italian food aficionados - Dunwoody's Carrabba's Italian Grill is not only a great place to eat, but the manager is a really nice guy and the restaurant is very generous in supporting the community.
  • Master Gardeners ... the secret behind Dunwoody Nature Center's native plantings.  Their parade entry was accompanied by Junior Counselors, a cadre of volunteer teens who support the environmental education center's summer camp.
  • Dunwoody High School ... band, football players, cheerleaders, lacrosse team, principal - our home town school does us proud every year.
  • Peachtree race runners, who arrive to cheer on the parade after their early morning exertions (and celebrations).
  • Unabashed patriotism, from Army and Marine bands to small children in special July 4th ensembles. Gotta love it.
  • Instant gratification - getting to see all the parade entries we missed thanks to Dunwoody Patch.
We look forward to next year's parade. Rain or shine, it's the anchor of our family's July 4th celebrations.