Parades are NOT Sporting Events
I love a good parade... until I actually go to one and remember what jerks people can be.
I took my three kiddos to our first parade in our new town. I was pretty nervous about herding everyone by myself at an event that could be chaotic and noisy. Things went pretty smoothly at first. We drove around until we found the crowds lining the street. A parking spot was quickly secured and in no time we found the perfect spot to set up out chairs in a shady spot between two groups of moms with kids. A few minutes later the parade was making its way by. Perfect!
Then the candy started flying. Then the rotten older and bigger kids on both sides of us started bowling over my kids to get every little last piece they could. At first, I thought "Oh, their moms will see this and take care of it" and yep, their moms did see it. In fact they watched as their children dived, dodged, and grabbed over, around, and under my kids for the next hour...and did NOTHING.
I was almost shaking with fury. It's not as if I think my kids need the extra calories and dental decay. It's the principal of the thing. Isn't there an unspoken set of rules for parade viewing??? I could have sworn there was at least some moral code about being neighborly and doing unto others as you would have done unto you.
Maybe no one's said it out loud. Maybe someone needs to. Okay! I'll volunteer!
The Ten Commandments of Parade Patronship:
1. Thou shalt not set up thy chairs or blankets in front of parade die-hards (definition: people who saved their spot for hours ahead of time). If they were that dedicated enough to come early and wait, they have earned their territorial claim to that chunk of sidewalk. Go find your own space.
2. Thou shalt respect other parade patrons' bubbles. Please keep your chairs, children, cigarette smoke, and cussing to yourself.
3. Thou shalt get thy fat booty out of thy chair and place thy hand over thy heart when the flag goes by. Others died for that flag to be flying past you. The least you can do is show it a little respect.
4. Thou shalt claim candy from thy own chunk of parade territory. No trespassing on others territories. If you’re that desperate for candy, hit the store after the parade.
5. Thou shalt remember that a parade is a community event, not a sporting event. Be neighborly and community-like. If you feel the need to compete and "win" so badly, enter your children into a competitive sport, like hockey.
6. Thou shalt get slightly emotional at the sight of a marching band.
7. Thou shalt teach thy children to respect others and to not take advantage of someone who is weaker, slower, or smaller.
8. Thou shalt "work" for thy candy by waving generously at the parade participants. You reward their float efforts with waving recognition and they reward you with a sugary shower. Make sure to show your gratitude for the floats and the free candy.
9. Thou shalt leave your parade territory cleaner than how you found it. Pick up your own trash especially, but feel free to teach your child a lesson about being a good citizen by picking up other garbage you see too.
10. Thou shalt not be a jerk when driving away from parade. Go slowly, cautiously, and politely.
Any others you would add???