Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today was the "freezingest" day that I've been out at the crosswalk! Everyday I seem to say that! I am bundled up like a bear (and am grateful that my uniform came too big so that I can wear layers and layers of clothes under it) and waddle around at the crosswalk much like a penguin. I actually stay pretty warm... except for my fingers! Even though I was issued regulation snow gloves (remember... they remind me of Mickey Mouse they are so big), they do not do much for keeping the fingers from freezing. I've started stuffing the hand warming bags into the over sized gloves, but the warmth doesn't get to the fingers. My hands are looking forward to spring.

While I stand at the crosswalk waiting for the elementary school children to arrive 5 or 6 junior high school girls ride down the street on their bicycles on their way to the junior high school. They all wear gym clothes and they look like they are freezing! Most of them don't even wear gloves. Are they crazy?! They are allowed to wear gloves! They are allowed to wear jackets and coats. Some of the sports teams even issue winter coats but no... these young teenagers choose to freeze on their way to school.

My kids were the same when they were in junior high. Leiya was issued a nice looking black coat that all the kids on her kendo team were given (paid for). But would she wear it? Nope. It was "uncool" so the nice, expensive coat sat in the closet. I wonder what ever happened to it. Leiya too chose to freeze on her way to school rather than be "uncool".

And I remember when Takumi entered junior high he had the option to buy the rain wear that all the kids had. Plastic jacket and gathered bottom pants. But I had mistakenly decided that since we already had a rain poncho that was usable that he could use that. One morning when it was raining cats and dogs I pulled out the poncho and insisted he wear it.

No way! He was not going to school in anything as "uncool" as a rain poncho.

"You are crazy! You can hardly see outside because of the storm! Wear the poncho. I PROMISE that I will buy you the dumb rain wear that everyone has! Just wear this today and I'll go to the store and have the rainwear you want for tomorrow."

We had a major argument over the poncho but my son left the house wearing it.

Grumble, grumble. What is the difference between a rain poncho and school rainwear? But that is the way teenagers think so later that day I bought him the jacket and pants. I happened to run into my neighbor while I was shopping and she innocently said,

"Oh, you are buying Takumi the rainwear? Yes, when I saw him today along the road near the junior high school, he was absolutely soaked! He looked like he'd fallen in the river!"

What?!! I sent him to school wearing the rain poncho!

It turned out that once outside our front door and at the other side of the forest, Takumi had removed the rain poncho, stuffed it into the bicycle basket and proceeded to school in his gym clothes. Soaked is right! These teenagers would rather look stupid than "uncool"!

And for all the ruckus about having that school rainwear, a few months later it was "uncool" to even wear that, and so it was relegated to the closet where I'VE worn it a few times. So what if I look like an over aged junior high school student. At least I stay dry!

I've thought about buying some cheapie gloves for the junior high girls that ride by me every morning but I know it's not because they can't afford them that they don't wear gloves It's because it is "uncool". I imagine their mothers are shaking their heads every morning when the girls leave for school. I sure did!

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