Friday, December 17, 2004

WARNING: May offend

Quite honestly, this is one of those posts that, if it offends you, write it off to my frustrating day and cut me some slack. I was watching Oprah while sweating my guts out at the gym. Today's was entitled, "Oprah's Favorite Things." Her audience was made up of school teachers, and each high price-tag item she brought out, from designer travel bags, Maytag washers and dryers, to MP3 players and laptop computers - each audience member received one of each. The women (I didn't see a man among them) screamed and hollered over each new item that was presented. According to Oprah, the companies donated these items to these teachers. I have a problem with this. 1. Why do people want to watch Oprah being smug over all the things she can afford and others can't? I thought common etiquette when you were around those less privileged than you was to not act like you could afford so much more than they could....did I miss something here? Much less, listening to this woman talk about how she bought 4 cases of ridiculously expensive bath soap "so she wouldn't run out" was insulting. And she quoted the price on everything she gave away. Did I miss something, or is this bizarre? 2. Why were these women so giddy? Have they no self-respect? It is one thing to get a freebee from a show - that is kind of cool - the company get free advertisement and you get to enjoy their product. But these women received high price-tag items, totaling probably well over $5,000. Personally, I would have been insulted. Oprah stood there acting like some kind of god. I would have felt like her charity case. And what about living within your means and earning things? To just have a bunch of expensive junk given to you....for what ends? Where is their sense of pride? I have a great amount of respect for teachers - they put up with a lot. And if they stick with it, they are well compensated: they have excellent benefit packages, great retirement options, and after 20 years, their salaries top well over $60K. I've seen retiring elementary school teachers making over $80K. Not to mention, there is job security. While they put up with a lot - and I know they do - they have excellent perks that many jobs do not. Honor our teachers? Yes, by respecting them and raising your children to appreciate and respect them. Give them a bunch of stuff they can't afford and don't need? Only if you are on a ego trip that needs satisfied.