When my first born started kindergarten, I had every intention of being a PTA mom. I imagined spending long hours at school, helping out in the classroom, planning various fund raisers and generally being very active in school activities.
But then, my son started school. I got to know the women in the PTA and suddenly, I realized that Parent Teacher Association was just a cover for what PTA really stood for.
Power Trippin’ Assholes.
(If you’re on the PTA at your kids school, please don’t take offense. I’m only talking about the PTA at my son’s school. NOT YOUR PTA.)
Never in my life had I experienced such ugliness in human beings then what I saw in the women on the PTA at my son’s school. They were rude, petty, bossy and man, did they ever love to talk shit about people. It didn’t take long before I realized that the PTA wasn’t the place for me. I decided I’d help out in my son’s classroom and my involvement in school things would end there.
One year, a very good friend of mine decided she was going to try to change the PTA (ha ha ha!) and volunteered to be President. I remember telling her “Look, you know that I love you, but I can’t stand those other women. HOWEVER! Because I love you, I will help you any time you need me. Just be warned– I have NO tolerance for the way the other woman act.”
A few weeks later, she asked me if I would be willing to help her at the book fair.
“Of course!” I told her. “Whatever you need!”
What she needed was for me to volunteer a few hours to help out at the book fair by helping the Kindergarten and first grade students make their book wish lists. Easy, yes?
I got a sitter for Ethan and showed up bright and early on a Monday morning. The first class came in and I walked around helping the little darlings write which books they wanted their parents to buy for them.
While I was helping one of the little girls, we found a book that I LOVED. I called out to my friend “look at this book! How cute is THIS?”
Just then, one of the PTA moms walked in, for the sake of this post, we’ll call her “Fanny.” As in “wears a Fanny Pack.” She was the nastiest one of the group. She looked over at me and I could see that she wasn’t happy. I had no idea why she was mad, but it probably had something to do with my Non PTA ass being there. I ignored her and continued talking to my friend.
“If I had a little girl, I would buy this book for her! It’s just so cute!”
“Ladies!” Fanny said, all Power Trippin’ like. “We’re here to help the kids!”
I looked over at my friend. She had turned white, because she knew that whatever was going to happen next wasn’t going to be good.
“Excuse me?” I snapped back.
She smiled in a manner that made me want to knock her teeth out. “I said we’re here to help the kids.”
“I AM helping the kids.” I said. “I’ve BEEN helping the kids.”
“OH, REEEEAALLY.” She snapped back. “If you’re helping the kids, then explain why you were talking talking to Vicky when I walked in just now?”
I immediately felt a wave of “OH NO SHE DI’UNT” rush over my entire body. Fanny was trying to call me out. In front of five year olds.
I walked over to her, got right in her face (and quite possibly put my finger in her face) and said something like “First of all, do NOT talk to me like I’m a child. Second of all? I am here, volunteering my time. Time that I could spending at home with my toddler, time that I could be doing the 5,000 things that I need to do today, how DARE you walk in here and talk to me like that. I have been here helping the kids all morning. I saw a book that I thought was cute so I said something to my friend about it. I’M AN ADULT, I’M ALLOWED TO DO THAT. YOU’RE NOT MY BOSS AND DON’T EVER TALK TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (And YES, the head, she was a’bobbin.)
I walked over to my friend and said “I’m so sorry about that, but I will not let that women treat me the way she treats the other moms here. I need some fresh air, I’ll be back in a bit.”
I took a walk to calm down. I realize that what she said wasn’t THAT big of a deal, but after a couple of years of listening to this woman boss people around, degrade people and generally just be a complete bitch to everyone, I HAD HAD IT.
When I came back into the room, my friend told me that the woman had started crying. And then? She told my friend that her husband had warned her that one day, someone was going to snap at her and put her in her place, because she was too aggressive (see: bitchy) and that not everyone was going to “bow down” to her.
I went looking for her to apologize, because,well, I could have handled it in a more appropriate manner. When I found her, I told her that I was sorry for the way that I reacted, but that I was really upset that she felt it necessary to scold me. She apologized as well, but I wasn’t convinced she meant it. I didn’t care though, really. As long as she never spoke to me that way again, it was all good.
For weeks after that happened, Fanny was always extremely nice to me. However, the other PTA moms wouldn’t even look at me. I found out later that she had told everyone who would listen that she was “scared of me” because “I yelled at her for no reason.”
Ah, poor Fanny. *eye roll*
I do feel guilty that I let my intolerance for those nasty women keep me from serving on the PTA. It was something that I had always imagined I’d be a part of when my kids were in elementary school. I just couldn’t bring myself to associate with a group of women who treated anyone who wasn’t in their clique so poorly. I did what I could do make a difference in my son’s elementary school, by helping in his class weekly. Ultimately, the one thing that was important to me was that I did my part to make my son’s experience a good one and I don’t think I needed to be on the PTA to do that.
That said, I plan on giving the PTA a second chance when G-Unit goes to Kindergarten. She’ll be at a new school and hopefully, they’ll be a lot less Power Trippin Assholery and a lot more Parent Teacher Associatin’ at this school.
Have you had an experience with PTA that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear it.