This post has not one thing to do with cigarettes; It just seems fitting.
Cartoon by Natalie Dee.
A long time ago, I was co-president of a PTA. I was vice president, too. I was elected to be THE president, but I moved to another country just to dodge that bullet. In my 4 years on the PTA, I've sat on every committee at least once. I've worked every fundraiser, at least once. I've presented at every open house, I've attended every meeting, I've whored myself out to the neighboring businesses, I've helped hire teachers, I've twisted and turned the school's budget with the principal and a few other numbers-savvy mothers, I've flyered every door in our school's catchment...you name it, I've done it.
My PTA's budget was never less than $45K. By K, yes, I mean thousand. The last budget I worked on was $56K, and that didn't include the PTA stuff. That was just the check we had to hand over to the school. We never came in under budget, and ours was considered a low income school, with very low attendance.
I am a godsend in the world of PTA's. I show up at your meeting, you get on your knees and that sweet little pink baby Jesus for gracing you with his divine intervention. I was trained by the best. I kick PTA ass.
The PTA here doesn't get that. Sure, maybe I laughed heartily and out loud at the very first meeting I ever attended when they freaked the fuck out over an $11K budget. Yes, maybe I shouldn't have snorted my coffee through my nose after 10 minutes of listening to them bitch about why the school district wouldn't cough up the other $5,000 they needed to buy brand new, state of the art computers for the lab. Maybe I shouldn't have said through my chuckles that I raised as much as their entire year's budget in one fundraiser alone the year before, and that fundraiser had a Grammy nominated recording artist perform at it and made the local newspapers for its sheer coolness factor.
Maybe I shouldn't have then tried again and accidentally flashed the married, to a girl and to God, president. Maybe I should have said, "No thanks!" instead of, "Oh hell no" when the ladies of the PTA finally invited me to a get-together, because it was a sex toy get together and A) they all wear Pooh Bear sweatshirts and B) they all really love Celine Dion and C) none of them still have all their teeth*. *help...me* Maybe I shouldn't have whimpered in the corner after the treasurer totally pulled her shirt up over her head and shoved her boobs in my face over coffee at her house one day because, though she didn't bother to tell me, she'd just had a reduction and was quite proud of her new funbags. I didn't even know her name at the time.
Maybe I shouldn't have been visibly pissed when I was the only person out of 10 who showed up last year for the late-night, day before the big fundraiser of the year cram prep session with three starving kids in tow, only to be told the next day what an amazing job What's Her Fuck did getting everything ready at the last minute, and with almost no help at all, bless her poor over-worked heart.
Whatever it is that has gone wrong with me and this PTA just has. They just are not my group of people. I have tried. I just don't click there, and that is okay with me. Not everyone clicks everywhere, you know? I had a hell of a lot more time and energy to devote to really melding with my old PTA, and I got lucky to find some very like-minded people in that bunch, people I will remain close friends with for the rest of my days. That doesn't happen just anywhere; I know and respect this fact.
So, why I keep quitting and unquitting this fucking organization, I will never fully understand.
Some will recall that a few weeks ago, I agreed to help police the drop-off/pick-up area at the school. It was either that or bring a 2X4 and a sawed-off shotgun to pick up my kids every day. Seriously, no parking means NOT EVEN YOU, ASSHOLE. I've been wearing a really super sexy orange reflective vest every Monday and Friday, morning and afternoon, directing traffic at school. I've done this while my 3 year old has run in and out of traffic, while my boys have shoved each other into the creek, through a huge snow storm, on a sheet of ice 3 inches deep, all by myself. It's sucked, but I said I'd do it, so I did it. Until Friday, that is.
Friday I was directing traffic and 3of3 ran to the school to get her brother (his classroom door is the first outside the school, she was safe.) Except she didn't go get her brother. She vanished. I didn't think too much of it; there are enough people in that school who know who she is and where I was that I knew she'd resurface. Except she didn't resurface. Once I realized that her brothers didn't know where she was and I couldn't see her anywhere, I started running around the building looking for her. I freaked right the fuck out. We have bears and cougars and shit around here, you know? NOT COOL. I ran up towards the front doors and the PTA president hollered over to me, "Hey! Your kid is running around the school screaming for you." Like she was annoyed or something. So, yeah, you know where she is? "Um, YES, she's by the library and she's crying. *huff*"
She. Huffed. At Me.
I went tearing into the school and found my daughter, my THREE YEAR OLD daughter, bawling her little eyes out in the hallway and the only people trying to help her were my 4 year old neighbor kid and a woman with no arms. Not kidding. To their credit, the 4 year old was trying really hard to calm my kid down and the armless woman was genuinely concerned and almost frantic.
So, the good news is that since the PTA president who totally knows me, knows my kid, and knew exactly where the fuck I was chose to leave my tiny little girl alone and screaming in the school and then had the gaul to HUFF at me about her being lost, I get to quit parking lot duty!
The bad news is that I didn't have the chance to take a picture of myself in that dead sexy reflective orange vest. Which sucks for you. However, based on my track record, I should be rocking that vest again in no less than 6 months.
*Disclaimer: I have nothing at all against people who wear Pooh Bear sweaters, listen to Celine Dion or are missing teeth. The combination thereof, with these women, well, you'd just have to meet them.