Two items in this morning's Toronto Star had my eyes rolling, if not my blood boiling.
First, coverage of the federal government's budget yesterday. There were profiles of various "ordinary Canadians" & how the budget would affect them, & charts showing different family scenarios & incomes and how the budget would affect each. There were single people, one & two-income families with children, single mothers with children, retired couples…
Not one mention anywhere of how two-income couples without children -- like dh & me -- would be affected. (There rarely is.) I didn't see anything in The Globe & Mail or the National Post, either. Never mind that we are a large & fast-growing segment of the population. Or that before any couple has kids, they are a couple first.
Of course, we rarely get any breaks. Why should we? Two incomes, no kids -- we must be rolling in money, right?? We don't need any help. Right?
Then I was reading Rosie DiManno's column. Rosie seems to delight in being provocative, & her writing style often drives me batty (especially when she tries to write about my favourite sport, figure skating -- her disdain for the sport is soooo evident in every word…) -- but today's column hit the spot, & I've boldfaced the part that raised my childless hackles. (It should probably be noted that Rosie is childfree herself... and also that I have absolutely no sympathy for drunk drivers, let alone repeat offenders.) She was observing people in a courtroom:
Into this scene of banal, almost languid foulness enters a woman jarringly at odds with her environment. Long blond hair professionally streaked – Forest Hill hair, as a class-conscious observer thinks of it – with a tight-fitted white jacket that looks suede, and designer jeans. Even fresh from lock-up she's retained an aura of posh and privilege, a lady who lunches, bizarrely exotic in these surroundings.
The Crown rattles off her charges, which include drunk driving and resisting arrest. The JP asks if she has a lawyer. Of course she has a lawyer, though unable to reach him yet. She gives his name – one of the most prominent and expensive and never-lost-a-case defence attorneys in Toronto. Clearly, she can afford him.
The young prosecutor points out that the woman is already on bail pending trial on another drunk driving charge.
The Crown will seek to have her bail revoked next day.
"You can't!" the woman interjects. "I have kids!"
As if this makes her special, different. As if all of her is special, different.
The JP inquires: Where are they now? Where were they overnight?
"With their father."
JP: "Do you understand that the Crown wants to keep you in jail until your trial on all these charges?"
The accused, indignant: "You're going to get me into a custody battle!"
An observer thinks: Maybe you don't deserve custody, lady. Maybe you're a lying, negligent, selfish bitch, the most unsavoury of all defendants who came through bail court today.
But with a Yorkville hairdresser and a Bay Street lawyer.
*** *** ***
And finally, the kicker: doing the crossword puzzle on the train home tonight.
What's a six-letter word that means "parents and children"?
F-A-M-I-L-Y, of course. :(