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Monday, September 13, 2004

Rolling Up My Sleeves

I have decided to take action against the dark sadness pervading my soul. No longer will I be a slave to the gray clouds of gloom. I'm going to do something bold to break the chains of depression. I'm going to default on my student loan.

Just kidding. I actually have a much better idea. I am going to do volunteer work. I believe it was Mother Teresa who said, "If people would just stop bitching and get off their ass and help somebody, the world wouldn't be so fucked up." And she's right.

I went to a volunteer organization this weekend for an interview. This organization, GOYA, or "Get Off Your Ass", helps match volunteers with opportunities that appeal to their unique skill sets and talents. I arrived at the office eager to be matched up with a volunteer opportunity that matched my gifts. Unfortunately, the volunteer coordinator, Ursula, said there were no organizations currently requesting my skill set. "But, I don't even use my teeth," I pleaded. She still said no.

We went through a list of opportunities. Most of them were just not a good fit for my skill set. It was frustrating. I finally had to level with Ursula. "Look," I told her, "if I could cook or build stuff or fix cars I would probably have a boyfriend already and wouldn't be bored and lonely enough to volunteer, so stop trying to get me to build houses and prepare meals for the homeless." She ordered me out of her office, and I had to go to another agency to fulfill my desire to help others.

Thankfully, I found SPIT. "Save Poor Innocent Tikes" is one of those charities where you sponsor a disadvantaged child in another country. You get a picture and occasional letters from your adopted child. I was disappointed to learn that most of the children don't have computers, because I was really hoping my adopted kid could just read my blog to keep in touch with me. I also don't remember how to use a pen and actually write a letter, so I doubt the kid will hear much from me until he/she gets a Gmail account.

I sat down with Rex, the volunteer coordinator for SPIT, and looked through some photos of poor disadvantaged children. "This is, Rosa," said Rex, weepily, as he shoved a photo across the desk. "Her family has one goat and one chicken that provides all their food," he said sadly.

"She has a chicken? AND a goat? Man, what a lucky kid. I don't have a goat. I don't even have a goldfish," I complained. "I'm not helping her."

"But Rosa has no shoes," Rex started to explain.

"Tell her to sell the goat, then. I'm here to help disadvantaged kids, not children who have their own petting zoo," I snapped.

Rex looked like he might cry. "But - - "

"Next picture," I said firmly.

We went through several other photos. One boy in Gambia was kind of cute, but he had buck teeth. And his skin wasn't great. I didn't want pictures of him showing up at my house. Too depressing. We kept examining pictures together, but most of the other kids just, frankly, seemed a bit too needy. I hope that doesn't make me sound selfish, but I just don't need the pressure of knowing I am saving someone's life. I am afraid I will become arrogant if people start depending on me that way.

I felt disappointed with the sponsorship options I was being presented with, so I asked Rex if there were any Asian boys over the age of 18 who were into bodybuilding and just needed a pen pal. I was answered so rudely, that I'm not even going to tell you what Rex said to me. But let's just say I won't be supporting SPIT in the future.

Tonight I am going to attend an orientation meeting for a literacy program that helps teach people to read. I figure this is a volunteer opportunity that matches my skill set and will also benefit me directly. Clearly, the more people I teach to read, the more hits I will eventually get on Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

What can I say? I'm a giver.

1 comment:

Brian said...

my god, I can't stop reading your blog, it has me absolutely in side splitting fits of laughter. STOP IT!