Let me start out by saying that I don't carry cash. Almost ever. I only carry it when I know I'll need it. My kids got me out of the habit of ever having cash on me something like 10 years ago. If I carry it, they spend it.
I haven't talked about my daughter's softball stuff this year at all. I've meant to, but, really, I've had other things on my mind and just didn't get to it. The main thing you should know is that we let her do fall ball, this year, for the first time. Yes, it's difficult to keep up with the softball schedule during the school year. So difficult!
But, anyway, she had her first fall tournament this past weekend. Which they won, by the way. I'm just telling you now because this post isn't about that. Actually, this post isn't really about softball at all. So, see, when we got there, I had to pay to get in. I had to pay to get in!
There were some problems with this:
1. I have never had to pay to get into one of my daughter's softball tournaments before.
2. No one told me I was going to have to pay.
3. I don't carry cash.
Needless to say, I was a bit irate. Hmm... "a bit" might be an understatement.
As I was pulling out my cash... oh, wait! the cash. Well, see, after my daughter and I were already in the car and pulling out, I thought, "Wait, I better go in and grab some cash so that I can buy water if I need to." Because I didn't have any water to take with me. Yes, I didn't plan ahead very well for this particular tournament in those regards. So I hopped out of the car, much to the chagrin of my daughter who was worried about being late, and ran back in for some cash.
So I was pulling the cash out of my pocket as I was being upset about the whole thing, and I said to the girl who taking the money, "What if I didn't have any cash on me? No one told me I was going to have to pay to get in to my own daughter's softball tournament." The girl didn't answer, but a woman standing nearby did. She said something like, "Well, I guess that would just be too bad."
I was already irate, but that pissed me off. It pissed me off that some random bystander would make that comment to begin with, so I said, "Well, it's messed up. It's messed up to charge the parents, who have to drive their kids to the tournaments, to get in to see them play. No other tournaments charge." And that was the point that I found out that she wasn't a random bystander but someone who worked for the park the tournament was being held at. Needless to say, we got into it.
Let me digress for a moment. The night before, my wife and I had been looking at an article about the current victim-hood culture we have. It was an interesting article that I would link, but we were reading it on her computer, and I don't remember what site it was on. The thing that was most interesting was how "victims," in order to support their victim status, resort to proclaiming as publicly as possible about how they have been wronged. This draws sympathy and weird support form people they don't know and makes them feel validated in their victim-hood. Basically, rather than trying to work out an issue or taking some proactive approach, people tend to just, well, I'll call it "tattle."
I had gone on off to find my daughter. She didn't have to pay to get in (because that would have been even more messed up since they have to pay to play in the tournaments anyway), so I had sent her ahead to find her team while I was paying and getting my wristband on. Once I found her, I stopped to text my wife (who wasn't able to come to the tournament because, in her work, this is the busy time of the year, like tax time CPAs) that we were there. While I was doing that, my daughter's head coach came over and tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Look, I'm on your side, but..."
You can always tell by the "but." As it turns out, the woman I had words with was the director of the tournament, and she felt so victimized by me that she had to go tell the head coach of my daughter's team to have words with me about it. Because nothing says "I'm a victim" better than tattling. I felt like I was in kindergarten again.
Is this really what we've become in the United States? A nation of kindergartners who can't deal with their own problems? I mean, this was a grown-ass woman, older than me, and she felt the need to complain to my kid's coach about me saying it was messed up to charge the parents to get into the tournament. And let me tell you, it's one of the crappiest parks my daughter has played at. Maybe the worst. But the obviously expensive parks haven't charged anything. Which, at this point, is not the point.
So what is the point?
The point is that people need to grow up. When did we stop teaching kids not to tattle? I'm pretty sure that's not a thing anymore. I know it's not at my kid's school. We don't teach people to work things out anymore. We just teach them, culturally, to be a victims.
That's messed up!
[Edit: These tournaments are not related to any kind of school district league. These are organizations that hold the tournaments for the various softball leagues. None of this is related to schools. The teams have to pay to participate in the tournaments, and that's not cheap. Effectively, we've already paid for our daughter to be at any of these tournaments playing in the first place. This thing where I had to then pay to get in is kind of like when a store charges an entry fee so that you can go in and buy stuff.]