My 15 year old niece has moved in with us, due to her mom going to Iraq. Tiffany has had a very poor upbringing, and we are a little surprised that she hasn’t been any trouble at all (other than the fact that we have had to teach her lots of basics like how to vacuum and sweep and have now found we need to talk to her about why you don’t just walk around asking random people who they are planning to vote for and then loudly arguing why they shouldn’t vote for HRC, even if that’s not who they said. LOL). She’s a poor student out of laziness, but is pretty smart. We’ve put a big emphasis on school, and she’s doing well so far.
Okay, I don’t really know how much of that is relevant, but here is my problem right now, and I’d love to know if those of you that have experience with this think it’s normal. At the end of last year, she joined the dance team (also called flag corps and color guard) with the band. The practiced like crazy all summer – including 4 weeks of 8-5 band camp in 95-105 degree weather. They won most of their competitions last year and plan to do this again. They have band the last period of the day, and spend it on the field, staying after school until after 5 o’clock every single day. It seems excessive to me, but whatever, I guess they are winning their competitions.
The big problem is the expense. Band Camp and Costume Fees (not sure what this includes). Then there is her actual costume, which was over $500 (although this may have included some of the other stuff like her “Dance Team” windbreaker). It didn’t come with the bodysuit and tights we ordered separately. Then there are the hair pieces and T-shirts (see they all wear the same T-shirt to practice on the same day, so they must have enough different ones!). There are the boots and shoes (I was surprised this was only $75-ish). Oh, and don’t forget the garment and duffle bags, in the school colors, embroidered with her name and graduation date. Those two together cost around $70. Heaven forbid she just buy a red one from Walmart.
All that together has cost us right at a thousand dollars. I have no idea if this was laid out to parents when she joined, as she didn’t move in with us until the last of June. Speaking to some of the band parents, I found out that they do not pay anywhere close to that amount!
Today she comes home with a note telling her that which lipstick and eyeshadow she needs to by (complete with brand name and color number). It also says that everything else was ordered from Avon and we will get the totals later!!! I can’t see straight I’m so mad right now.
On top of that, they are taking a cruise during spring break that will be about $1200. Tiffany brings home no info about the fundraisers, and when I ask her she says she doesn’t know. I do go to band booster meetings, but if the kids aren’t being told about them, does that mean that they are expecting the parents to do it all? I figure they would have to, since the kids don’t get home from band practice until 6 pm and still have homework, with games and competitions on the weekends.
Is this normal? I’ve never had a high schooler before, even though I’ve taught in several. What about poor families? I mean, my husband and I aren’t poor, but we aren’t rich either, and it’s a real sacrifice for us. Her mom is Poor poor. This deployment to Iraq (she’s National Guard) is actually a blessing, as she is supposed to be using it to save up some extra money, but so far we have spent about 3x what she has been sending us. If she hadn’t been deployed, would some kind soul step in somewhere, or would Tiffany have to drop out? I can guarantee that my sister-in-law wouldn’t be sending checks to school right and left. She doesn’t pay bills, you see. :rolleyes:
I think this is good for Tiffany, as she has never had anything positive in her life. She got into Journalism last year, so she’s also on the newspaper staff. It’s so awesome to see her all excited about stuff, and involved, and starting to have goals for what she wants to do. But does it really have to cost that much money? And does it really matter if she wears Avon blush?
I am also wondering what she’ll be doing for that class period after football and marching season is over. But that’s another question.