The Women’s Marches are not for us–at least, not the big ones like L.A.’s. We decided that last year, and then Mr. Sandwich suggested we make a last minute-try, because he could see how much I wished I were there, standing next to my friends to support our beliefs. And it was literally last minute; we threw backpacks together, bundled Baguette into the car, and set out.
We never made it. The Metro Red Line trains were too crowded; while the other riders waved us on, the crush clearly was too much for Baguette to manage. But I tried my best, and I got to cheer on and support other marchers. I feel like I got to be a part of it on some level.
This year, we didn’t even try. I couldn’t imagine that we’d been any more successful than we had been last year, and the photos my friends are posting on Facebook confirm that, indeed, this event is not right for Baguette. Instead, we made an almost last-minute decision to take her to the snow, of which there has been precious little in area mountains this year.
I decided to make a donation to an organization or two, and I figured that would be it.
But then another friend posted that she had gone to the Redondo Beach march. And I realized that, as always, there are more options than the ones right in front of me. The L.A. march isn’t right for us. But maybe there are smaller events that would work better for Baguette.
There’s a lot of 2018 left–but let’s see what 2019 brings.
You know how some people have a junk drawer? For the past several years, we’ve had a junk room.
That wasn’t the plan. It was supposed to be my office, for the freelancing business I was going to have on the side. But that’s not now things turned out.
To begin with, I don’t freelance. I have a business license and no business, which means that every year I get to tell the City of Los Angeles that I am happy to pay them a percentage of $0. Add to that the fact that we have no time and no energy, and that means that on the rare occasions that we clean up, we wind up making stacks of things and then saying, “Just put that in the office.”
What that meant was that we had a room so full of stuff that we wouldn’t let Baguette go in there. We went in as little as possible, and then felt guilty just looking at the closed door. Our house is not that big, which means that removing a room from use drastically reduces our available space.
So last week, Mr. Sandwich and I took two days off of work. We sorted and threw out and recycled. We made a trip a day to Goodwill. And, based on a tip from a co-worker, we made multiple trips to Office Depot to deposit papers in the locked shredding bins that will be disposed of by Iron Mountain.
We pushed on through the weekend, and are continuing throughout the house. But this room was by far the worst, and that meant it was the place to start. So what did that process look like?
I’m facing the same thing. My workplace has one. My alumni club has one. Baguette’s day care has one. Each of them benefited a local organization, which I also like.
It’s easy enough to go through the pantry and select nonperishables that I don’t need or can’t remember why I bought (green enchilada sauce in mild, medium, and hot?). But then where do I take them?
This year choosing a food drive was also easy. I drive to Baguette’s day care but not to work, so it’s easier for me to drop canned goods off at her center’s office than to manage them on the bus. And I didn’t go to my alumni club’s December event anyhow.
The university I work at has a program for students with children; we gave Baguette’s infant carrier and stroller, Moby wrap, Boppy, and assorted other items to a grad student whose baby was born prematurely (she should be home by now, I think, and I’m so happy I was able to provide some supplies to help bring her home from the hospital).
Earlier this year, we sent a friend stationed in Afghanistan a huge box of food, which she shared with the other soldiers at her base. Last month, I donated money and blood and a box of baby wipes and formula to various organizations helping with Hurricane Sandy.
I wish I could send everything I have to New Jersey. It’s 3,000 miles away, but it’s local in my heart.