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Rachel Witt

Media Sampler

My parents had gone away on vacation and always, always I had wanted a dog. I was sixteen years old and I was reading the local paper and I saw an ad for a black puppy. So, I called them up, went up there and when my parents came home I said that I had found him in the parking lot. My dad took me to the Humanity Society and after he dropped the dog I told him that they would kill the dog, that nobody would go and take him because I got him through an ad in the newspaper. I guess I was grounded, but when my dad took the dog back, I was horrid, I was terrible. I remember I was supposed to go out to the library and I went and picked up some friends and went to watch a movie, and stayed way too late, well you know, I was totally mad at him for having getting rid of the dog. But then, turn it on that when I came home from school that day, the dog was there, my dad had gone there and got it. I was so grateful to him. It was me just being an spoiled brat! You know. But in a way, I felt powerful that I had done everything on my own like looking in the newspaper, call up, go there and picked the dog.

When Noah, my first son was born, I was absolutely convinced that I had to have cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. That was because of everything I had read in magazines and newspapers about environmental issues that had to do with disposable diapers, you know. It was then when the environment had just started to get big again, when recycling hadn't even yet started in these communities, but you could see the issue in the media, in the papers, in parenting magazines, you know. So, I was convinced I was going to do cloth diapers, in fact, I even was given the cloth diaper service for a shower. I starting using them for maybe, maybe two weeks, and every time Noah went to bed he would make a mess. I did not want to admit to it that I wanted to change because I had shown so much conviction that I would never use disposable diapers, that the environment was important, and in no more than two weeks I was into the disposable diapers. It was such a hassle, they did not work, a lot of work to clean. The environment stopped being an issue because the convenience of disposable diapers over road the issue I had with the environment. I was embarrassed with everybody because I had made such a deal out of everything I had read and I had acted with such conviction. It's experience to me. It does not matter what you read or what you hear, it is until you live it, you don't really know. That's what it means to me.

It just happened this summer. We were out at Noah's track. It was not a place we would normally go to. We were at Hart Park and there was my mom, Siggi (my husband) and the kids and we were watching Noah run. And we noticed that Leah (my youngest kid) was gone. We all started to running up and down the bleachers looking. It was the first time that we didn't just find her, you know. Sometimes you noticed and then you look and there they are. But we were running up and down the bleachers I was underneath the bleachers, Siggi went around the track and then we all came back together again, and nobody had her. After everybody looked and came back and, I am not kidding you, I had tears in my eyes, I was thinking, I was flashing back to every story I have seen and hear about, and thought, what if I never find her? All the stories you have heard, that say, you know, she was there and five minutes later she was gone. When we saw each other and everybody said "no" my heart just dropped and I had every thought that "What if we did not find her?" I wouldn't survive. How often you see stories in the news about missing a child? And then after about ten minutes, Siggi found her sitting under the steps. She had a candy, she wasn't scared, you know. After that, everybody kept an eye on her and either Siggi or I had her held, we physically held her. It happened to Noah and Anna, my other daughter, but never too long like that.

It first came over the internet, in my email, you know, SAM's Club Rebate, because I had been in there and signed up for it. They said they were running things, specifically they are tailoring rebates now to the individuals so, what you normally buy they will now send you specific rebates for those things. But this one was before that. They had been advertising and advertising what they did had on rebates and I was into the store and I got the thing in paper and, how many packages of pop corn there were in that case? Thirty-something. Like thirty-six bags of popcorn that I bought in the summer. And the only reason that I would have bought that much popcorn was because I had gotten the ad for it and because they handed on the flyer in the store. I feel stupid. You buy things because you think is such a good deal and you end up buying things that you don't need and you don't want. It happens all the time. I guess next time I won't be brought in by that kind of advertising. I don't want a case of anything again. Once again, I think is experience. You hear things in the media but until you actually live it that's when you learn. Now I have a case of popcorn that I can't use!

They were Jordache jeans. I want them so bad for Christmas. They were the cool things to have. All the girls well, I thought, all the girls had them, and you think that because you would see them in the advertisements. And I was made fun of because I don't have them. Because, people thought that the Parkers (my family) were the rich family, you know. And I guess they thought that I did not know what was cool because I did not have them. And I guess I did not have them because my dad would never spend that much money in a pair of jeans. He was very careful. Even if he had it, he was not going to spend it there. My friends from school thought, "She has the money, she could afford them, why she does not have them?" At that time, I did not know that, the only thing was that I wanted those jeans. It mattered because everybody was wearing the jeans. I remember I felt low self-stem because when you are a girl, and girls are terrible with each other, you know, that I thought I did not fit in with the people who had them. I probably was in school more reserved because of that. I think I probably would have been more outgoing, more out there if I thought I had everything cool. When you are in school at that age is not who you are but what you wear and how you look. It is pretty sad but it is true and don't think this has changed.

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