Every Wednesday, my daughter stays at school until 6 p.m., which means I have a couple of extra hours each week to do whatever I want. (This week, I watched my first Republican presidential debate since the election season started 235 years ago. But more on that later.)
Ruby stays late to participate in an enrichment program that should not be confused with the recently implemented Saturday School over at McKinley Elementary in North Park.
Segué: In an effort to recover more than $30,000 in lost average-daily-attendance (ADA) funds, the school is having tardy and/or absent children show up on the weekend “for a rotation of reading, writing, mathematics, and time in the computer lab.” I gotta say: It's pretty fucking ballsy of an administration to tell parents how their child's weekend time will be spent. My friend's 6-year-old son had an epic meltdown when he thought he was being punished following a short family vacation. Fortunately, his mother dismissed the order-to-appear for the rubbish that it was, which is a more graceful reaction than my middle finger and I would have had.
But this column is not about one school's innovative money-raising methods, because many schools are doing that. No, it's really about various trends I've noted and have come to enjoy in some manner—either in an I-love-it kind of way or, more frequently, in an Ah-jeeze-that-one's-scary kind of way. The Doing Our Best To Make Kids Hate School trend falls into the latter category and is quite likely a whole lot less like a trend than it is like a permanent fixture of our society.However, the Young Women Getting Plastic Surgery trend is a real trend. Leading the way for all followers, the Niccole sisters in Newport, Calif., talked to Barbara Walters recently about their bodywork and the man who does it: Their dad! Brittani got her boobs done for her 18th birthday, and her sister, Charm—a victim of the Dreadful Baby Names trend that took hold in the early '90s—has daddy give her regular Botox injections. In her armpits. So she can stop sweating. I can't imagine the resulting bloat. But whatevs. I'm just waiting around for the Botox Causes Random Goiters And Irreversible Flatulence trend. Mark my words.
Another movement of the moment is what some might call the Zooey Deschanel Effect, which falls under the umbrella trend of Grown Women As Adorable Cutsie-Pootsie Dingbats. Bare Necessities underwear catalogue, I'm talking to you: Please stop showing grown adult women having pillow fights in their bras and panties. And to every lady fashion blogger around the globe, if you're older than 16, you're too old to take photographs of yourself shrugging, biting your lower lip and standing pigeon-toed in over-the-knee socks and sandals, your eyes raised to the sky as if you're thinking something deep. It's not cute. It's cloying.
When it comes to fashion, I'm very much on board with the Maxi Skirt trend and most especially, the Long Tank Top trend. My new Mossimo grey-and-white striped tanker hits just at my hips, and every time I wear it, I give thanks that crop tops are no longer. On the other hand, SDSU co-eds have widely embraced a Cut-Off Denim Shorts Trend that would make Daisy Duke blush. The unhindered use of scissors is making it nearly possible to glimpse their trans-vaginal-ultrasound portals.
Speaking of trans-vaginal ultrasounds, have you noticed the Keep Women Barefoot And Pregnant trend? I admit, given the economy and jobless numbers, I didn't exactly see this one coming. Sort of like when you eat a whole pot brownie because the nibble you had 15 minutes ago didn't do anything? This trend came on like that. I had no idea Obama's proclivity for infanticide would become the feature of the GOP platform.
Who could have imagined that making birth control widely and easily accessible would result in BLAMO!POW!ZOINKS!? Before I had time to get properly excited about it, a bunch of old white dudes with pocket silks, halitosis and dropping balls done hung the “No Girls Allowed” sign on their clubhouse door. Lo! The intellectual pontification about the female hoo-haa by male humans who wish only to roll the clocks back to 1950, when times was good, and girls jumped on beds in their underwear together. Amen, praise Jesus.
The multi-state effort to grant personhood status to a clump of cells is part of this trend, as are the relentless attacks on the teaching profession, one largely undertaken by women. It should be noted that Susan G. Komen for the Cure wasted no time in latching onto and propelling this trend. That was fun to watch, wasn't it? I mean, they subsequently joined in on the Non-Apology Apology trend, but the damage is done. They'd do well to note that too many trends at once is a bad thing. And still others are best left alone.
Take, for instance, the Narcissistic, Certifiably Insane, Religiously Imperious, Reality-Hating, Black- Hating, Mexican-Hating, Muslim-Hating, Woman- Hating, Democracy-Hating, Money-Loving, Republican Presidential Candidate Asshole trend. That trend is worse than all the Saturday Schools on the planet combined. That trend is best left un-witnessed by someone who finds herself with a couple extra hours of free time on a weekday.