The Middle School Niche Market

So I’m trying to figure out if I’m out of touch or just a little touched in the head. D1 is 13 and came home the other day with a flyer for a middle school trip to Washington D.C and NYC for the low low price of $2300. Which actually, is not a bad price at all for all the places they’ll visit – IF SHE WASN’T ONLY 13!! It’s not officially school sanctioned, it’s an outside travel agency that apparently specializes in ripping off families through peer pressure. Because, “Mooooooommmmmmm, everybody’s going!!”

REALLY? In this economy? I can’t imagine that all those people have “already written the checks” as she put it. Her friend N is definitely going – which was news to N’s mom when I emailed and asked her about it. Sure, it’s a great adventure and places she should see at some point but $2300 for ONE child to go have fun? Um, hello? That would pay for all of us to vacation somewhere closer or maybe for one of her sisters to get braces on approx. 1/2 her teeth. I don’t think it’s going to happen. Besides, no way in hell she’ll be eating NY bagels and pizza without me. I’m the mom dammit!

But, I can’t help but feel a little guilty because I’m not working and it’s so fucking expensive to keep me alive. I’ve taken a poll though and the interested parties think it’s worth the price. I’m sure the fact they were eating warm brownies and ice cream when I presented them with the options had nothing at all to do with the answer. And no, there was no medical marijuana involved in the making of the brownies! Shame on you for even letting your mind go there. I was out.

So I’m left wondering if this is a new trend or if middle schoolers have always gone on big expensive trips without their families?? We went out-of-state occasionally as a family and once we went up to Canada because, well I’m not sure why we went there. I think it had something to do with wanting to go swimming and my parents decided swimming was more fun in hotel pools and that’s where we ended up. That’s about as exciting as it got. I didn’t grow up in a rich family so maybe others were doing it and I just didn’t notice. While we were camping was everyone else in Europe? That’s where half my daughter’s Facebook friends apparently spent the summer. I saw the updates so she wasn’t just making it up.

As of now she’s staying home and I think that’s going to have to be ok for both of us. Honestly, even if we had the extra money, I’m not sure we’d let her go. She’s my 1st born, she’s still kind of young and I’d miss her. A friend once told me guilt is a worthless emotion and not to waste my time on it. She didn’t have children.

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8 thoughts on “The Middle School Niche Market

  1. That guilt comment came from my brother’s aunt-in-law and she had tons of kids. She just knew what you know. What she thought was right for hers is all that mattered regardless of what everyone else was doing.

    • I suppose the comment is probably the best way to go if you can do it. In most cases I can – with my kids I’m still working on it. Who has the energy for all that guilt right?

  2. I’m here on Marinka’s (very good) advice. Got myself up-to-date, laughed a lot, got that tight feeling in my stomach a bit since I’m a Mom too, love your snarky writing style, and I say: $2300??!! Hah!

    If you have some “flexible spending,” spend it on some family time, doing something you all can enjoy together. (Yes, I know that’s a tall order – that lovely week on an island in Maine was “the worst vacation *ever!* according to my 14.5 year old son, although he was observed laughing out loud a few times…)

    Looking forward to more.

    Andrea in Vermont

    • I knew I could count on all of you to back me up! Thanks! I’m so much rather take that and spend time with everybody. Thanks for following Marinka’s advice and coming over!

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