Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Naming rights?

The other day at the office, I went to the men's room and, when I glanced down to aim at the urinal, saw that urinal screen.

Look closely: It's made by Strauss Paper. No relation, but still...

Driving past Strauss Auto (also no relation) is one thing. Whizzing on the family name is something else entirely.

Odd bit of fact, courtesy of my father: Levi Strauss was owned by a family named Haas. My grandfather, of course, was named Strauss. My grandmother's maiden name: Haas. We're not related to either one.

Or else I'd have enough money to pay someone to de-ice my freakin' driveway.

Anyway, nothing against Strauss Paper and their fine line of urinal products, but I think I'm going to settle for "squicked out" on the feeling-o-meter.

Speaking of things that leave me squicked out, try this one on for size, courtesy of Time magazine:

Every child is a gift, as the saying goes. But in a case that has stoked outrage on two continents, a Dutch diplomat posted in Hong Kong has been accused of returning his eight-year-old adopted daughter like an unwanted Christmas necktie. The story, which first appeared in the South China Morning Post on Dec. 9, began seven years ago, when Dutch vice consul Raymond Poeteray and his wife, Meta, adopted then-four-months-old Jade in South Korea. The couple, who also have two biological children, brought Jade with them to Indonesia and then to Hong Kong in 2004, although Poeteray never applied for Dutch nationality for the child — a curious oversight, given that he worked in a consulate. Then, last year, the Poeterays put Jade in the care of Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department, saying they could no longer care for her because of the girl's emotional remoteness.

Now, look, I'm not inside these people's house. I couldn't tell you if they're heartbroken and telling the truth about a child they just can't handle, or if they're complete Grade-A shits.

But as an adopted child, this is the sort of thing that makes me feel grateful - from both sides - that my life turned out the way it did.

The other day, someone asked me about being adopted, vis-a-vis the current trend to find birth parents/children given up, and I said what I always say:

Blood isn't everything. I may not know who gave me life, but I know who my real parents are.

Their name is Strauss. (Yes, relation.)