NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 30, 2012

Idiosyncrasies in our society

As I See It Sara-Anne Eames
Newburyport Daily News

---- — As I have aged, there seems to be an obsessive attitude in people that is harder to accept than when I was younger.

First of all, this election is way off kilter. More than $500 million has been spent on the campaigns, more “dirt” being thrown, way too much rhetoric and way too many debates. I’ve said it before; we need to limit all campaigns to six weeks like most European countries. Say what you have to say in that frame time and get on with it. The phone calls are disruptive (sometimes four a night) and the mailings are ludicrous. Meanwhile, people have lost jobs, savings and homes. Many have given up looking for work! This campaigning has been going on for over a year! Thank goodness Nov. 6 is soon!

Secondly, a young boy wanted to support his family as well as a stranger during “Cancer Awareness Month” so he dyed his hair “pink”. The press gave him wonderful news coverage, however, the educational administration of his school refused to let him come to school! To me the school system is the “Ogre”. What a wrong message they are sending. His aim was to bring a message of support to women who have suffered, succumbed or survived breast cancer! Thank goodness we have children who are aware and want to show their concern. How inventive he is!

Thirdly, why does a business that has been complimented many times for their excellent employees not have a sense of humor and compassion for the employees who do such excellent work! Instead, for one small comment in one of my past articles (which was meant to be humorous) they inferred that it could reflect on the company in a negative way with its connotation! Please relax and get a sense of humor. There are much more important matters to be addressed.

During one of our regular Friday get-togethers a number of us got into a conversation about several practices that we felt inane.

Why should Father-Daughter dances be terminated in public schools. They are now deemed inappropriate, Please! My favorite memory was my dad escorting me and a friend to an eighth grade dance for fathers and daughters. Diane, my friend, didn’t have a dad so she had been invited to join us and my dad took turns dancing with both of us. I was so proud and happy. That memory will never die!

Another thorn in our side is the ban on peanut butter in the schools because of allergies. What can parents do who can only afford peanut butter and jam and can’t afford cold cuts, etc.? Peanut butter is a staple in most houses. The parents should be responsible for their child’s eating habits not the school. When we do trick or treat, locally, we choose not to have peanuts in the candy we hand out, but, we’ve been told that non-peanut products are processed on the same machines as the peanut ones so where does this information take us? We certainly recognize that peanut allergies as well as other food allergies are very serious and can be life threatening. Is there a better solution?

Last, but not least, is the answering service on most businesses asking you to press “one” for English. How about pressing one for listing of other languages? Shouldn’t other minorities be given the same options? I believe English is still the primary language of the United States. My pet peeve is when, as a retiree, I call the company that I worked with for 29 years and it takes me 15 minutes of pressing buttons to get who I want on the line!

I’m going to finish with a quote from Eugene O’Neil because sometimes we humans worry too much about the wrong things.

“Dogs do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have and to obtain the objects they have not. There is nothing of value they have to bequeath except their love and their faith”.

Keep the faith!

Sara-Anne Eames lives in Newburyport.