April Moments

Maybe, just maybe, telling the story is just as important as the story itself

Serious thoughts and silly musings too

Shots were fired at the Federal Building in Wheeling yesterday. Three security guards were injured. Police shot and killed the shooter, a former Wheeling Police officer. My Facebook feed was filled with news stories and commentaries about the incident all yesterday afternoon and evening.

And you know what the topic of my blog was going to be today? My random musings about grocery store coupons, poor grammar in washing machine reviews and a West Virginia business that calls itself a zoo. I felt like I couldn’t post my silly reflections, given the very serious situation so close to my hometown of St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Yes, I have some thoughts, maybe even some of them valid, about the shooting in Wheeling yesterday. I thought about how I used to work just a few blocks from the Federal Building. I thought about my visit to the Federal Building back in 2009 when I participated in the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Wheeling program. I thought about how gun violence really can happen anywhere, even in a small town like Wheeling.

Then, I thought about the question on the parent survey I received from my daughter’s daycare center asking, “Do you think your child is safe at our center?” What a difficult question to answer. Is anyone really safe at any facility – workplace, school, childcare center? If someone really wants to open fire, are security officers and keypad entries going to stop him or her? Physically – no, we’re never completely safe. I was going to circle “YES” on the survey because I didn’t want anyone at the daycare to feel bad. After yesterday’s shooting in Wheeling, I decided to circle “NO.”

So, yes, I realize there was an active shooter situation in Wheeling yesterday. But I am still going to share my random musings.

  • I wonder if the Kroger cashiers are ever impressed with my savings. I always wait until all my groceries have been scanned before handing over my Kroger card. I like the dramatic finish when all the Kroger card savings pop up, then my e-coupons display. THEN, I give the cashier my paper coupons. Despite the cashiers’ apparent desensitization to the savings, I often let out a “Woo!” when I see how much I’ve saved. I proudly admire my receipt as I saunter out to my car. I think if I were a grocery store cashier, I would totally be high-fiving customers in recognition of their savings.
  • I wonder about the online reviews rating washing machines. Mike and I need to buy a new washer, so I have been reading many customers’ comments, trying to determine which brand and style is right for us. And, well, I just don’t know if I can trust a reviewer who writes “it’s” when it should be “its” or “your” instead of “you’re.”
  • I wonder about a zoo I visited over the weekend with my family. When paying for admission to the business, patrons can buy food to feed the animals. A young boy who I presumed to be the owners’ child told me, “Some animals even do tricks for food!” Like that was a good thing. Ahem, using animals for entertainment is at the bottom of the totem pole for me. Most of the animal displays are equipped with PVC pipes. Patrons drop food down the pipe, and the animals retrieve it. Many of the animals sit next to the pipe and bang on it, garnering for attention and food, of course. It made me sad. And mad. I thought zoos were supposed to be about education and conservation. I had a difficult time finding signs that described the animals on display there. If there were signs, they were small and not at all prominent. I felt so guilty for patronizing the business. Elliot even noticed that the animals were stressed; on the way home, he said, “I feel sad for those animals.” I will never go back there.

Originally published on ovparent.com.

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