17 years ago when my oldest started kindergarten, I couldn't wait to jump in and get involved. I was eager to meet real people that didn't cry, hit or throw tantrums. Unfortunately my first interaction with the school, included all of those things but it was from full grown women.
Being both nervous and excited I walked into the room and I swear everyone stopped and stared. The first woman asked what I was doing there. I asked if it was the PTO meeting and she said it was, but she wanted to know what I chaired. What?
She said the only people that show up at those meetings chair a committee. Well, I didn't chair anything, but asked if I could sit in one. She didn't answer but did go over to the head table, whispered to two women and out of nowhere a gavel came pounding down on the oversized desk.
The meeting about nothing started and it didn't take long for a group of three women to argue with one of the head honcho's at the table. The issues? The tables weren't clean enough for the kids to eat lunch on, and apparently one woman's child's class received 5 minutes less recess time. Then another battle broke out about whether we should provide lunches to children whose families couldn't afford them.
Within 10 minutes, two of the ladies were face to face screaming with fingers waving. When one smacked the other one's finger out of the way the gatekeeper I met at the beginning of the evening ran out of the room screaming, "I'M CALLING SECURITY!"
What? We have security? We're in a school that only housed kindergarten through second grade.
We moved a couple years after that and again I thought I'd try the PTO. While I did meet a few complete gems that I'm still very close to, the majority are bat-shit crazy. I chaired the yearbook committee with a woman that put HER OWN picture in the KID'S yearbook playing an air guitar. I asked her to take it out, but I was overruled. Yet another chair put her own kid on almost every page that wasn't dedicated to clubs or classes. I've found the yearbook people to be the most crazed because they want to ensure their kid is as front and center as possible.
I've done the class parties every year, and it's the overzealous moms that make everything a huge production when all the kids really want is to laugh and play games.
At the last party planning meeting, they announced that we could only bring things from the safe snack list. A group of women were relentless: "Can we bring strawberries?" NO "What if I bring them in their own basket?" NO "Can we order pizza?" NO "Well, they're going trick or treating after the party and I'm worried about them not having nutritious food." "Then can we at least frost Oreo's?"
I swear to you those questions came right after one another from the same woman.
Why do these ladies worry about such frivolous things? We have the list - now make it work. I kid you not we spent 20 minutes talking about what we should bring for snacks for kids attending a 40 minute school party. We had a list RIGHT IN FRONT OF US OF WHAT WE COULD BRING. Give me a freakin' break.
There are some amazingly selfless women involved in the PTO and I am positive that my children wouldn't have had the incredible school experience they had without them. However there is a much larger group that I'd like to give one enormous bit of advice:
You have WAY too much time on your hands and you really need to go get a job.
I hope I didn't offend anyone by this - I usually censor myself a bit more! I'd love to have join me on Facebook at Cheaper Than Therapy or subscribe by e-mail: