Ah… back to school. Kids are eager, school shoes aren’t scuffed, and most of the crayons aren’t yet broken (or eaten, let’s be real.) A new school year holds such promise, such potential.
The children aren’t the only ones turning over a new leaf when school starts. This year I also vow to do better. Instead of making excuses and prejudging those PTA moms, I decide to get involved. I march my happy little butt down to that very first PTA meeting, to try and lend a hand and make new mom friends.
I squish my forty-something butt into a chair at an elementary school cafeteria table. The seats are so much smaller than I remember. I listen to school officials and the PTA elite—they’re the ones with the crazy eyes and the clipboards—and I start to hear the Charlie Brown “wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.” I feel myself zoning out.
I try to pay attention. I pretend to take notes, but I start drifting. You know—the kind of drifting that looks like you’re totally paying attention to shit? My mind wanders to random things that only an uncomfortable mom at a PTA meeting would understand:
1. No wine? There should be wine.
2. I bet my husband is feeding the kids cereal for dinner.
3. Speaking of dinner—I. Am. Freaking. Starving. This low-carb diet sucks balls. I wonder how many crushed Goldfish crackers I have in the bottom of my bag? Probably a lot. Do they have less calories if they’re stale and mostly reduced to crumbs?
4. Why is that scary bitch with the clipboard staring at me? I didn’t raise my hand.
5. I could have totally put wine in this travel mug… why didn’t I think of that before I left the house?
6. Where the hell are all the dads? This reeks of unfairness.
7. Did someone mention a Facebook group? Sweet baby Jesus, I don’t need another effing Facebook group!
8. Heeeeyyyy… the vice-principal is eye candy. I’d hit that.
9. Shit, is that a chin hair? The hot vice-principal is staring at my chin hair! Why didn’t I tweeze?
10. These people keep talking about room mothers, head room mothers, and alternate room mothers. It sounds like corporate America up in here! WTF? I didn’t retire to the burbs and take up permanent residence in my yoga pants just to take on a “leadership role” in my kid’s class.
11. Didn’t someone tell me PTA stands for People to Avoid? Too late.
12. Maybe it really stands for Pass the Alcohol… or it would, if I’d have been smart enough to put a little something in this cup.
13. I wish they’d stop talking about “printables” and Pinterest.
14. I wonder if everyone can tell my smile is totally fake. And why is Clipboard Girl still staring at me? I bet it’s my chin hair.
15. Book Fair? WTF, people… have you never heard of Amazon? We buy our books at garage sales, thankyouverymuch.
16. My undies are totally crawling up my butt right now. It feels like a tiny square of sandpaper has taken up residence in my crack. What the hell was I thinking? Granny panties in the multi-pack are where it’s at—why did I pick these lacy britches out of the back of my drawer? Oh, right. Laundry avoidance.
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17. I could be watching Netflix right now.
18. I wonder what school taxes actually pay for. Because I’m pretty sure the 547 tubs of overpriced cookie dough I’m going to guilt my family into buying sell are going to go a long way toward funding the new playground.
19. This might be fun if Tina Fey were here… and if there were salted caramel cupcakes.
20. I actually put on real pants for this?
I’m still not sure if the PTA is for me, but I’m going to give it another chance at next month’s meeting. The repeated use of the “f”-word was a little daunting—yes, I mean “fundraising”—and Clipboard Girl scares the shit out of me, but I think I noticed some cool-looking moms who seemed just as out of place as me. Maybe next time, I’ll sit next to one of them and share the wine I’ll have in that travel cup.
And I’ll make sure to remember to tweeze… because hot vice-principal.