I got a package in the mail from the VFW.  It was a fund raising letter and a “free gift.”  I get lots of fund raising letters.  Pulling on heartstrings used to be the preferred approach to asking for donations.  Guilt has been as effective for charities as fear has been for insurance agents over the years.

I guess the old methods don’t work anymore.  People now expect gifts for donating.  How about a hand-crafted dream catcher or remarkably ugly calendar?  The latest trend seems to be to mix gifts with guilt by sending the gift in advance.  Well, I didn’t want to give, the receiver says, but they sent me this nice pad of paper.  I should send them something in return.

I wasn’t inspired to send money to the VFW, though, when they sent me an unsolicited gift.  I was simply confused.  Take a look:

A flowery bag.  Yep.  Really flowery.  I guess I can use it to get a load of yogurt at the grocery store or bring my bathing suit home from a trip.  It appears to be waterproof.  Something about it made me doubt the envelope said VFW.  It did.

I’m not saying our Veterans of Foreign Wars can’t enjoy flowers or that pretty flowers can’t represent them.  It will just take time for it to seep into my mind.  I have to push out the images of scruffy faces and tin coffee cups, of bombs bursting and flags passing in parades, of cigars in basements of old club houses and beers held high in remembrance of old friends.  Flowers.  Is it just me?