Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You Can't Guilt Trip Me 'Cause I am the Queen of It

As parents with a child in college we are inundated with a lot of offers to purchase stuff on behalf of our newly minted freshman. One thing that is driving me bonkers are the letters I receive offering their services to compile a care package for our daughter.

As if.

I send these to Squirrel when money allows.  I don't need this service but they seem to think I do and have stepped up their game.

The most recent letter starts out with a little story about a student who didn't receive one of the stupendously glorious box o'goodies.  The shame! The horror! But it was the next line that cracked me up:

"Because so may students receive Care Packages during exam time, it can hurt if a student is left out.  This year we have a solution to make sure every student feels supported at this critical time."

Critical* - really now.  Critical is for dying patients in the hospital and code reds on the Homeland Security chalkboard.  I know exams are important but I wouldn't call them critical in this sense.

It goes on:

"A Care Package is tangible proof that the people students count on are thinking of them at exam time.   It makes them feel supported, not alone.  It's also fun."

What* - no exclamation mark after fun - come on people.  The use of the word "tangible" also makes me smile - yep, nothing says "I love you" like a couple of bite size snickers and a juice box.

But here is where they try to guilt me into the purchase:

"Last year, parents chose the Spirit Pack as th best way to support their students through the rigors of finals.
If you have sent one before, you already know how much it helped.  If you haven't, you can be sure your student will appreciate the same kind of support other classmates receive." [The underlining is theirs.]

Okay - the gloves are off gang - they are using the peer pressure card here.  I am going to be a bad Momma if I neglect my lil' darling because the Joneses didn't forget Timmy.*  Jeesh people.

I am sure this marketing ploy works on a lot of parents, especially parents of new college students but, Tadpoles, I was raised on guilt.  I know firsthand how to dish this stuff out.

I have already started drafting my email response:

"Dear College Fundraiser - Thank you so much for your lovely letter.  It is so nice to know that others are so concerned for the welfare of our lil' punkin. Your letter was so touching. Unfortunately at this time we are unable to afford your carefully crafted gift package as we are being evicted, her father has lost his job and we just had to put Fido on life support.  So as you can see it just wouldn't be feasible. It saddens me that our daughter will feel like such an outcast and alone, as your letter so clearly states, since we are failures as parents. Sniff, sniff."

Whatdya' think*

* - the asterisks replace all question marks in this post - sorry my question mark key is not working.


Calandreya said...

LOL - I have a daughter in college, too, and am always amused by those awful letters, and dismayed that the university thinks they're important enough to send on university stationery. Regardless, the "care packages" are full of crap she doesn't even like. We make sure she gets plenty of the things she does like, and a small budget in case of emergencies. I'm glad I'm not the only parent who refuses that junk.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Hey, I think that you a quite possibly the most insane person on the planet beside moi. I am so glad that Shelley went to college before that sort of blatant crapee started. Honestly, I guess they have to make money too, especially since tuition is so what????? And now back to our regularly scheduled blah, blah, blah. Are they crazy or what?
Send the letter I double dog or Scooby and Spot dare ya. The Olde Bagg
finally I get a vert word that is useful...quennut. That's what you are, a guennut of the world. XXOO

life in the mom lane said...

I too received those emails last year.. and like you did not respond.. I am however referred to as a "bitch" at times so *shrug*. If my kids don't know I love them then a couple of snickers & a juice box is not really going to sway their opinion of me... and trust me... they know... I know the universal "day brighter" and "uplifting gift"...

CASH.. cold hard CASH.. let 'em buy their own damn juice boexes ;)

Sally said...

You crack me up! I don't think I ever received one of those premade deals and I managed to survive just fine. Plus, they should save some of that money from sending quilt letters and spend it on the students :-)

Sally said...

sorry...guilt, not quilt :-(

Anonymous said...

OMG, that kills! That is so crazy, like if I'm the student who didn't get a "spirit basket" and I get an F on my final, I'll blame it on not getting the basket.

Since I just started following you, I wanted to tell you how sorry I was about hearing that your mom recently passed away - I am glad that my baked beans on toast made you smile and think of her though!


Michaela said...

Who do these companies think they are!? By all means, send your letter. No Australian university would allow such crass commercialism, I have to add. It would be regarded as an invasion of the student's privacy, to use their details for such marketing.

qandlequeen said...

I DETEST those letters. Detest them. While I loved getting care packages, they were personalized, with stuff I needed. I never had the opportunity to send care packages off to my daughter as she managed to be home every single weekend. She just raided the cabinets.

Qoddess said...

You've been quoted!