Ammo Grrrll calls this one MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, A Flagrant Reader ‘Fesses Up. She writes:
Back in the early days of the Psychotic Ninny Wing of the feminist movement, now dominant, I read an article about a Men’s Auxiliary of “supportive” men who stipulated to the premise that men were despicable. They opened each meeting by chanting “I am a lowly and abject turd.” Surprisingly, this did not catch on as a mass phenomenon, but I now feel their pain.
It is possible that I, too, am some kind of noxious digestive waste product. For it is time for me to admit that for about 8 years, I read bedtime stories to my child! Yes, it’s true and I offer self-incriminating visual evidence. In fact, I did not confine my reading just to bedtime, but sat him on my lap throughout the day and read to him from the age of 3 months. It continued long after the age of 3 when he could read himself.
And I did it without even once thinking about the callous indifference with which I was “disadvantaging” others! My parents had also disadvantaged my peers while they were living it up on $80 a month in college on the G. I. Bill. Par-tay!! Yes, they bought Little AG a brand new Golden Book twice a month (a quarter apiece), and read to me constantly, instilling a life-long passion for reading and learning. Oh, the humanity!
Isn’t that amazing? Not only are people who read to their children merely “advantaging” their own. According to a moronic leftist college professor – but I repeat myself — these Haters are actively “disadvantaging” others. His ideal solution is to abolish the family, but he has a few kinks to work out there. He’ll start with abolishing private school. (No matter. Unlike Obama and his kids, nobody in our family went there.) Oh, I hear you saying, “Sure Ms. Rich White Hetero Oppressor, you could afford books.” Well, no.
We were poor as dirt, living in a two-bedroom flat in the Mission District in San Francisco where we rented out the second bedroom to single boarders. Except for continuing the tradition of a semi-monthly Golden Book (by then, over a dollar), we borrowed books from the public library. Which we walked to, since we did not own a car. On the rare occasions we required a car, my best friend drove. She had a car. She was a single mother on welfare.
The winter of 1974-5, the rainy season was particularly relentless. We couldn’t get to Delores Park or the library for weeks. Somebody in our building put out a bundle of old magazines for the trash pickup and I took them and cut out pictures of dogs and kitties, cars and trucks, and pasted them on construction paper and made up stories to read to my little boy.
Every Tuesday was Free Day at the San Francisco Zoo. It cost a quarter for the trolley ride each way. Usually we brown-bagged it, but once a month I budgeted a dollar to squander on a hot dog to share with my toddler. One Terrible Tuesday (a day that will live in infamy) a seagull swooped down and stole that hot dog, our Precious. Oh, the crying, the shrieking! But eventually my 2-year-old got me calmed down.
The neighborhood center had Baby Gym once a week wherein the tots were encouraged to jump off little ramps onto mattresses and hang on what were surely germ-factory rings. Cost? Bupkiss, nada. Can’t read? Group Story Time at the library was also free.
So, in addition to reading to him myself, I thought it important to provide modest cultural and physical enrichment, none of which cost a dime. No amount of “income inequality” figured into it at all. I had a husband – the excellent Mr. Ammo Grrrll – and he had a job. But after taxes, we barely netted more than my friend got on assistance and food stamps. We paid rent; she lived with her mother. By the way, as my co-conspirator, Mr. AG read to our son too. I want to make that abundantly clear so we can be cellies at re-education camp.
Class envy peddlers like Mr. Krugman, Princess Cheekbones Warren, President No Private School for Thee, Just Me, and all of that fake-populist millionaire crowd are just dead wrong. It is ALL about personal responsibility, values, and culture. If successful middle class people in general, and Asians and Jews in particular, have historically valued scholastic endeavors more than some cultures, embrace that. Emulate it. If we spent every discretionary penny on educational opportunities for our child instead of cigarettes, tattoos, Air Jordans, or even pretty basic consumer goods, I’m not sorry.
Generations of self-sacrificing African-American parents worshiped education as the way up from poverty and millions succeeded through education, courage, and hard work. If “turning over in one’s grave” were a reality, the deceased ancestors of the droopy-drawered, “education is a white thang” idiots would surely be a new source of energy.
Oh, and the aforementioned welfare mother? We moved back to Minnesota; she took a medical-coding course while on assistance. She got a good job, and saved up for a down payment on a tiny condo far from our degenerating neighborhood. It had gotten so bad that she had grocery bags stolen from her car while she was carrying the first two bags into the apartment. Our park became an open-air drug bazaar.
She worked the rest of her life till retirement. Today her son is a wealthy video-game artist living in a million-dollar mansion in San Francisco. It has a 360 degree view of the Bay Area including the sketchy neighborhood where two determined young mothers read to their beautiful little boys.