Ok. I've had my fill of people today. I've reached my quota.
Idiots of the world, go home: the position has been filled. Thanks for your (dim-witted) interest.
People who deserve to be bitch-slapped with a sack full of doorknobs:
1) Any 7th-grader who can't suck it up and accept the fact that *A* is not a default grade - you have to earn it, and if you don't earn it, you won't be getting it.
Oh, and crying uncontrollably for two hours won't help.
Seriously, these ridiculously stupid rich parents are putting so much pressure on their kids to get into a good high school, a good college, a high-paying job, a big house, big this, expensive that, prestigious other. These kids are 12, and they're about to have a nervous breakdown because they don't have straight As. Life is not about straight As. Nobody normal gets straight As. Straight As will not bring you happiness, eternal salvation, or a nice ass. I would venture a guess that some of these rich kids are just as fucked up (albeit in different ways) as some of the poor kids I've taught. They're freaking miserable.
Thank goodness that I'm the perfect parent, and that my children will be normal, well-adjusted students who just *happen* to get straight As without effort.
2) and 3) My mother- and sister-in-law. God forbid that my daughters and I are ever in such a dysfunctional relationship. I'd have to shoot one or two or all three of us. Man.
My MIL is frustrated with my SIL's grades, attitude, behavior, clothes, habits, boyfriend... you name it, she hates it. And yet, she's pathologically incapable of setting any kind of reasonable boundaries (perfectly within her sphere as the Parent in the situation) and/or sticking to them. Can. Not. Do. It. She has all the gumption of a damp bath mat.
My SIL, on the other hand, is completely convinced that not only is she the only person living in this house, that she is, in fact, the only important person ever to have been born into the world as we know it. She has no awareness of, compassion for, or interest in anyone that is not herself. She sees that she can avoid the rules my MIL sets and does it. My MIL is powerless to stop her, because, Oh, God, what if there's some sort of Conflict? Much better that we all just look the other way and give in to the teenager.
So, I'm in the awkward position of being both a know-it-all, a control freak, and a busybody. It's impossible to ignore, and pretty much impossible to keep my totally unwanted opinions to myself. And of course, all of my thoughts on the situation contain the only viable solutions. It's terrible. I know exactly how to fix the situation (duh! I know all! Omniscient Jane!) but can't tell anyone what to do, and the pressure of having to keep my opinions to myself is about to make my damn head explode. Why can't everyone just see that I have all the answers and bow to my superior intellect and intuition?
I am obviously the only non-idiot left in the tri-state area. I've gone on a search for other intelligent life (Minnesota isn't too far to hitchhike, is it?) and will report back if I can find any. The prognosis is looking pretty grim around here, though.
*Gold star to you if you can complete this song lyric from the Refreshments. It pretty much sums up my day.
**God help me, that wouldn't be the first gold star I've given out today. It's amazing the kind of motivation they can provide. Who knew?