Lola came home the other day bearing an invitation to the SPECIAL! GALLERY-STYLE! ART SHOW! at her school next week.
Gone are the days when your child's art would be Elmer's-glued to a big piece of black construction paper and taped to the walls in the first-grade hall for you to take home later FOR FREE. Gone are the days when they'd lure you to PTA with promises of open house art with butter cookies and fruit punch.
Nowadays, a for-profit company comes in to plan and run the show. They take your kid's masterpiece and put it in a frame you could buy for 4.99 at WalMart, display it on a big foamcore backboard, and charge you 30 BUCKS! for it.
They urge you to "See it. Share it. Celebrate."
And don't they know we celebrate every green cat and purple dog, every birthday poem and certificate of honor--that we are surrounded by our child's genius--on every wall, stuck on the fridge, and piled in the tops of our closets--that we can get it for free and frame it for pennies?!
So now they're going to SELL it to us, and we must buy it or risk crushing our darling's self-esteem?
It's an insidious shakedown.