Saturday, November 10, 2007

All in the name of ten cents...

The sun is VERY bright today. I'm sitting by a window and it's shinning like it's summer time. A small part of me wishes we had this weather, but we'd have to miss Christmas and that wouldn't be worth it. We can't have it all, but once in a while, it would nice to be selective.

Halloween wasn't even two weeks ago, and it's already Christmas mania. There's Christmas commercials on TV, and holiday displays and deals in department stores. There's also pretty tree lights downtown. They make me happy. When it's dark and I'm passing through the neighbourhood, I see the lights and feel excited for the holidays. Maybe that's why the lights are there.

It now costs an extra 15 cents to ride the bus. Drivers will accept old tickets plus an additional 15 cents. Such chump change doesn't sound like much, but it's tricky to scrounge the exact amount.

I was on a wheelchair taxi with an older gentleman who was certain that the fare rates didn't change for another month. Being a senior, he was required to pay an extra ten cents. He got very annoyed, raised his voice and told the driver that transit officials said the rates stayed the same until December. To him, the issue wasn't about ten cents, it was about the taxi driver asking the man to do something he wasn't obligated to do. When the man started getting very worked up, the taxi driver phoned his boss and passed the phone to the angry gentleman. I could only hear one side of the conversation, but when it was over, the passenger forked over a dime. Peace at last.

Maybe when we are older, dimes matter a lot. Maybe we start to think people are out to get us, even if they are only driving us home. Maybe we have to hear about change from the top of the ladder before we take it to be the truth. Maybe we mean well, but we're stubborn. Maybe we try to hard to preserve our dignity, even if it really is just ten cents.

I wonder if that same man who was on the taxi the other day will notice how early stores and media advertise the buying of gifts and the celebrating of holidays. He probably thinks it's wrong - that stores are just trying to get us to buy into the Christmas hype and consumer culture. It's the truth. We do buy into things and culture, but there are good things about doing so - like pretty Christmas lights.

No one likes price hikes, but I'd rather pay 15 cents extra to travel than sit at home. Life is too short and it is satisfying to successfully find 3 dimes after a lenghthy search.


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