18
Aug

My neighborhood is da bomb; I love it. It’s clean. It’s safe. It’s super residential. I never wanted to live next to twenty-somethings who partied all night long even when I was twenty-something, and thankfully they have steered clear of my ‘hood. Instead, you’re more likely to find the residents here tending to their rose gardens, chatting it up with neighbors or walking their Labs and picking up after them. This makes me very happy. I’ve been living here for a few years now and can honestly say that I adore pretty much everything about it.

Except for the kids. They’re becoming a problem.

Apparently the purpose of owning a home is to have a place to stash your offspring, as it seems like every house on my block has at least one child. Until recently this hasn’t been a problem. I’m out and about quite often – running is my stress outlet – and every time I go for a jog at least one or two tots will smile and wave their chubby little hands at me as their moms push their strollers by. Totally cute, right? But those preteeners… They have got to go.

It all started with the lemonade stand. For the record, lemonade stands are for children under the age of ten, and I’m being generous here. The crux of a lemonade stand’s marketing strategy – the only reason why it works – is because the kids are little and adorable. That’s it. That’s the hook. Why else would you buy that watered down waste? Not to mention the questionable sanitary conditions of said lemonade; you think those chunky little fingers weren’t inside a nose moments prior to grabbing that cup of bacteria-infested refreshment for you? But when all is said and done, that cherub is just too cute to refuse, so you buy the lemonade that will be used to water some nearby grass. Though once those diminutive entrepreneurs hit ten years old, it’s time for a new gig. Why? Because they’re neither little nor adorable anymore. It’s true and I have proof: my fifth grade school portrait. It’s atrocious. Pre-braces and on the verge of yet another growth spurt, I bear a shocking resemblance to that chick from Welcome to the Dollhouse. Moreover, for whatever reason – cattle and chickens juiced up on steroids, global warming, Keeping Up with the Kardashians – kids are, ahem, maturing faster than ever. Meaning? The cuteness factor disappears even earlier nowadays.

Anyway. There are these girls in my neighborhood, all about ten to thirteen, and I swear they have a lemonade stand set up every week. I know this because I’m constantly running past them. Note the word “running.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry cash or credit cards with me during a run. (Did you read that, Mr. Mugger Man?) In fact, it’s the only time I can leave the house without my arsenal of “things.” No cell phone. No planner. No wallet. But these kids don’t get that because every single time I jog past, they scream, “Lemonade!” and I do mean scream, which is another reason I wouldn’t buy from them had I the cash on me. Not a fan of the hard sell. However, I tried to be polite the first time this happened. I kindly smiled and shrugged, “Sorry!” So what did they do? Those brats just continued to yell “Lemonade! Lemonade! Lemonade!” in rapid succession as I fled down the block. This has happened now four or five times.

You may be asking, “Why don’t you just jog on the other side of the street?” For one, I refuse to be intimidated by those pint-sized bullies. I’m not going to change my routine because of them. Second, it wouldn’t matter. If they saw me across the street, they would either yell louder or chase me down. Perhaps that seems a little far-fetched? They wouldn’t actually chase me down, would they?

Last week. I was just minding my own business, jogging along peacefully. That’s when I saw them… Six or seven in all. No lemonade stand this time, though. They had graduated to full-on gang activity: hanging out on the street corner and loitering. Yet being the glass half-full gal that I am, I thought this could be a good thing. I approached with cautious optimism.

However, I couldn’t immediately cross the street due to passing cars, and this would prove to be my downfall. I had to do that lame jogging in place maneuver, and these kids thought it was hilarious. They promptly decided to join me. So there I was, stuck with a half-dozen obnoxious preteeners, all jogging in place together.

It was time to get out of there. Not willing to be the subject of their ridicule any longer, I darted into traffic and somehow made it to the other side of the street in one piece. I wasn’t alone. They had all followed me. Now what? What exactly was I supposed to do? I knew that if I said anything, this would only incite them to worse behavior. At the same time, the indignant prig in me felt compelled to admonish them for their bad manners. “Does your mother know what you’re doing?!” In the end, I did nothing. I was a kid once; I still know how to play the game. They want attention, plain and simple. To ignore them is the only winning strategy, so I did my best Helen Keller (who runs) impersonation and kept my eyes on the road. I never acknowledged their presence… And it worked. Before I finished the next block, they had all quit their quest to annoy me. Or maybe I’m just twice their age and in better shape. Or maybe next time I pass their lemonade stand I might “accidentally” kick their table and spill that disgusting swill. I’d be doing the whole neighborhood a favor.

Image: Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 Responses to “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue”

do it! i double dog dare to kick their lemonade stand!

jason
August 18th, 2011

Double dog dare?! Dang, now I have to do it! 😉

Me
August 18th, 2011

I would love it if in your next blog you did kick over their stand. Your neighborhood sounds fun. People singing at all hours and preteens running amuck.

Caroline
August 18th, 2011

The worst age there is! I say a full on assault of their lemonade stand.

Eileen
August 18th, 2011

Not that it would stop me, but if I did kick over their stand, I imagine my next blog post would feature a mob of angry kids and their (I’m assuming) self-righteous parents chasing me down the block ala Frankenstein. Would make a great post, though. 😉

Me
August 18th, 2011

Oh man! If Eileen is telling me to go for it, then I have to! 😉 I love how everyone is totally Team Anna. I’m feelin’ the love.

Me
August 18th, 2011

Those tweens have gotta learn sometime, right? Gotta learn to respect their elders and get past the development stage where they believe the world revolves around them. Oh wait, I know grown adults who never got past that stage… whatever! Kick the stand!

Becky
August 19th, 2011

i was woken up today by the same (except in the midwest) screaming lemonade kids! it took all my power not to go outside with a broom and chase them away. i understand them saying “lemonade” when someone passes by but must they scream it at the top of their lungs to wake the poor night shifters!

Heather
August 19th, 2011

You are so right! That’s what bothers me the most; these brats think the universe revolves around them. Time to knock ’em down a peg. 😉

Me
August 21st, 2011

Hahaha… That would have been AWESOME!!! And seriously, is that how they think they’re gonna sell lemonade? By annoying anyone within hearing distance?

Me
August 21st, 2011