And my love affair with Ms. Moon continues . . .
Speaking of the oxymoron, I'm again at Barnes and Noble today trying desperately not to listen to the wingnuts. And again, I'm failing. But I think I did find one of the people that Ms. Moon is asking for. She's at the table behind me, well now she's in front of me because I had to turn around to look at her. She has just made a phone call to a doctor's office to set up a consultation for a "mini facelift." I wonder what that means. Does she have a small face? Does she imagine that gravity has done her less a disservice than others? What I'm sure of is that "mini" has nothing to do with what she will be paying for it.
Whenever I think of people having voluntary surgery, I can't help but think, "I wonder how much that is going to cost. I wonder how many flocks of chickens that would buy. I wonder how many pairs of shoes that would buy. How many vaccines? How many school books? How many mosquito nets?" I hate to be judgemental, I swear I do. But the frivolity and arrogance of many Americans really gets my blood boiling.
I wonder if this woman here, Kathy with a K, has thought about the mosquito nets. And if so, how did she decide that her neck flab was more offensive than the wholly preventable death of a child? How? And if she hasn't thought about the shoes, I say to you "How didn't she?" I find it absolutely impossible to buy anything for myself without thinking about other mothers who cannot. And I'm only buying $19.99 Crocs that are on clearance! How did she buy that Polo shirt and those designer jeans and those snazzy leather flats? My guilt would be crippling if I was shuffling around in those things.
Maybe she is a generous soul. Maybe this neck shrinking is her gift to herself after all the good things she's done this summer. Maybe she just returned from Africa or the 9th Ward or Guatemala. Maybe she has been busy nursing the sick and clothing the poor and shoeing the unshod. She must feel great, really thankful. She has earned this little indulgence, right?
If all of that is true, then she must be well aware of how far a little money will go in these impoverished places. She knows what the Dollar can buy. She knows the difference that the 9 cent vaccine makes in the jungles. But she did good work. The village that she just returned from is a better place now, healthier and cleaner and safer.
But what about the village around the bend? And the one around the next bend? And the child that was 101st on the list of folks to receive the 100 vaccines that she brought with her?
I have to go and buy a flock of chicks now. I thank Kathy with a K for reminding me.