Look, first of all, I realize you do all kinds of amazing things for the school that benefit the kids, and you do it on behalf of mothers like me, who would rather spend the rest of their lives naked in an arctic cave listening to Nickelback than do what you do.
I hate meetings. The only thing more horrifying to me than a meeting is the idea of a meeting involving parents trying to accomplish things for 50 billion children.
I think it’s actually my idea of hell. There’s always that Super Serious mom who does not think you’re funny and I always think I’m funny, so, anyway. Also ill-timed F-bombs. Plus it’s boring.
Meeting participation is not, shall we say, my forte. I’m better at standing back and whining about what other people do in meetings. It’s a talent I’ve developed over years of self-important apathy and needing to work to help support my family.
But seriously though, I have one request: Can you please stop making shit up at random and expecting all of us to participate?
This morning I’m sitting at work, minding my own business, procrastinating my writing, when I happen upon a thread in the first-grade classroom list-serve involving words like “twin day” and “positive shirt” and “size medium” and “Target is out.” Since I have no fucking clue what’s happening, I brilliantly surmise that I missed some sort of back story.
By now my heart is pounding because I’m sure my 6-year-old is standing at that very moment in a classroom full of “twins,” realizing she is a singleton, or, in other words, the loser with no friends.
SHE HAS NO TWIN BECAUSE HER MOTHER SUCKS.
Anyway, I scroll through a thread the length of Donald Trump’s list of lies only to find nothing. No date. No identifying information. Everybody’s in on “twin day” except me. I’m lost as usual. There’s no doubt in my mind there was an a handout I missed – or one of the 1900 emails I receive from my kids’ schools, 1885 of which aren’t important – but I’m stuck again with that old feeling of “How does everybody know this shit and will I ever improve?”
I check my email. Nothing. And then I literally Google: “What is twin day” in case it’s some sort of national holiday nobody cares about like “national sibling day.” I see a post somewhere saying it’s a “spirit week” thing put on by the PTA, which immediately clears shit up, because the PTA hates us.
Why do you hate us?
You don’t hate us. I know that. You love us. But you must sort of hate us. Because this isn’t right, man. It isn’t.
Finally I learn it’s on February 3rd, which is two days from now, so, PRAISE JESUS! I find the original thread on the classroom website, and figure out the shirt my kid is supposed to wear to match the teacher (because matching another kid is outta the fuckin question), and I order one from Target in a neighboring town because this town is sold out because the PTA hates us.
Here’s the thing: I have four kids spread across the age spectrum from 15 to 2. AND THEY ALL NEED THINGS. My husband works two hours away. I am a writer with a major fucking deadline in like five minutes, and, quite frankly, of all the interest I hold in my body, about 2% is directed to spirited school events.
This is not because I’m a monster. I mean, I may be a monster, but mostly I am simply not living a life that lends itself to sustained and directed attention to shit like “whacky hair day.” Alright. Whacky hair day is kinda fun.
BUT TWIN DAY? THAT INVOLVES A FRIEND CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE A “TWIN” AND PLANNING OF AN OUTFIT AND COORDINATION WITH OTHER PARENTS I MEAN MY GOD HAVE YE NO SOUL?
It’s fine. I’m okay. I took a breath.
And I’m lucky to have flexible self-employment. I have also worked full-time while going to graduate school with 3 kids. Deep and heartfelt apologies, but in that condition, I have a really hard time tracking every goddamn spirit day invention y’all concocted when nobody’s looking.
I know. I know. If I don’t like it, I should join the PTA and change it.
But really, is that how this works? No. Because I’m the asshole here and we both know it.
The underlying message is that inherent in motherhood is an interest and devotion to random shit people make up to “help make school more fun.”
Meanwhile, I’m over here like “You want to make school more fun? Why don’t you let them play outside more, burn the worksheets, and stop forcing them to line up by number twelve times a day like factory workers whose souls disintegrated years ago?”
You see? This is why I don’t go to meetings. My nihilism shines forth and frightens people.
Anyway I gotta go. I have to buy a fucking “twin shirt.”
Oh well, at least I didn’t blow it this time.
Maybe I’m improving. Oh come on.
*Note: PTA please do not go I LOVE YOU THANK YOU I MEAN IT DO NOT STOP EVER.