It was time. At exactly 6:30 I was in the safe haven of the Target parking lot. It was our pre-determined rendezvous point. I was leaving my car here and Eleanor would be picking me up. I was ready for battle. I had on full makeup – serum, eyeliner, the works and my arms hurt from using a round brush to blow dry my hair. My flab was tucked away under a double layer of Spanx, well really triple layer, if you count the compression properties of Spanx black “Tight End” tights. (Black tights are the only way a true cankle sufferer will expose her deformity,) I wore my “I mean business” outfit, of a Boden black wrap dress, blazer and heels that would put me at a little over 6 feet tall. I needed the height. The PTF board would be on a raised dais and I would be speaking from the floor. I wanted to make sure I could not be easily dismissed. I also carried my black with navy trim Coach Outlet brief case/bag. Full disclosure here, I bought it a couple of years ago because I thought is was a briefcase satchel with lots of nifty compartments. Come to find out it’s a friggin diaper bag! (What a fitting metaphor for my life.) My final touch was an upgrade from a spritz of Gain Febreze to the newly released limited edition Febreze Seaside Spring & Escape. (I had a coupon.) The whole hair, makeup, dress outfit were doing duty. I wanted to convey a “I’ve been at an office being smarter than you” vibe and it was also a disguise. I don’t normally look this way so if I ever run into to anybody that saw me at the meeting they wouldn’t recognize me. I sat in my car checking out my makeup in the rearview mirror when I saw Eleanor pull up. Wow, she looked good! I think this was the first time either of us had seen each other in something besides jeans. I grab my diaper bag/briefcase, take one more glance at myself, hop out of my car and them almost wipe out because I had forgotten I had heels on.
I get in Eleanor’s front seat and ask, “Is everyone in position?”
“Yep, All Business and Moisturize More are already at the school. Cute Blonde is waiting to make an entrance and Orphan Annie is on stand by in the school parking lot.”
We get the school and I go in first. Eleanor follows me in about three minutes later with Orphan Annie not far behind. I didn’t want anybody to know that we’re together. I approach the cafeteria and gasp. Imagine if you will the Kardashians running an elementary school meeting. I’ll give you a second to get that image in your head. Got it? Okay, now I’ll continue. As you enter the cafeteria there is a portable smart board set up with pictures of the PTF board members. These aren’t images of the board volunteering at the school or chaperoning a second grade field trip taken with someone’s I phone. Oh no, think professional grade glamour shots with a wind machine. There are single shots of each board member and group shots. Each one serving up a side of cleavage and some pouty lip action. My favorite was a black and white head shot of Priscilla Davis with bare shoulders, her neck extended, her face kind of arching towards the camera, the “wind” blowing her hair back and her glossy lips slightly parted. In PG 13 terms it looked like she was about to get the backdoor ride of her life. If you know what I mean and I think you do. While this photo collage was unfolding on the Smart Board the top 40 hit, “I’m Sexy and I Know It” was being played. I don’t know if it was coordinated with the Smart Board or if the custodian had a radio on, but parents were entering the cafeteria to the lyrics of, “Girl look at that body, girl look at that body, girl look at that body I work out.”
I’m stopped from entering any further into the cafeteria by the sign in table. Parents are waiting about 10 deep in line to sign in. This is not something I want to do so I pretend I see someone I know and bypass the table. Except an frisky PTF board member whose whole appearance shouts, “I vajazzle!” stops me.
“Excuse me, but all parents must sign in before entering the meeting.”
“Yes, I know. I’ll be right back to sign in, but I must talk to that other mom over there for just a second.”
Vajazzle didn’t seem like she was going to let me pass so I did my version of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” and said, “You have the prettiest skin. I need to talk to you later about what you’re doing. You look amazing.”
That’s all it took to get past Vajazz and get the seat I wanted. The last row by the exit door to the parking lot. I sit down and smile when I see Cute Blonde working the room. She didn’t let me down. She was hot in a denim mini skirt with stretch boots that went over her knee. The best part about the outfit was the top. It was a tight long sleeve scoop neck t-shirt and oh God Bless her, Cute Blonde appeared to be bra less. She didn’t have huge boobs. In fact, she was kind of what I would call a small B cup, but she had young boobs. Extremely pert, naturally sag free, 100% organic breasts that showed no sign of stretch marks, breast-feeding wear and tear or any other of the ravages of time that slowly teach our “twins” to touch our toes. I was impressed and I was pretty sure every women in the room hated her which was just what I wanted. The PTF board couldn’t keep their eyes off of her. They keep on staring and whispering. It totally distracted them from the storm that was brewing.
Right before 7 o’clock Orphan Annie walked over and sat beside me. I wanted her next to me. She was our weak link and I needed to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn’t blow it. She was also my ride out of here. I was pleased to see she was sans mustache. Moisturize More was standing by the dais. She looked so good I might have shorten her name to just More. As I was staring at her she tripped and the contents of her purse dumped out of the dais. Cute Blonde went over to help her tidy up. The air got sucked out the room when Cute Blonde bent way over and gave everyone in the first couple rows of seats a look down her shirt. All Business was in the fourth row. She had on a suit and her hair had been given a professional blow out. Eleanor was on an aisle seat seven rows back. The meeting didn’t start until 7:05 because that’s how long it took for the “Pussy Cat Dolls” of Spring Creek Elementary to strut up on the dais. Board president Priscilla Davis grabbed the microphone and did the fling and shake with her hair like she was filming a shampoo commercial. My feeling is when you are legally of age to buy alcohol you need to remove “hair flinging” from your repertoire. She then called the meeting to order.
The first 10 minutes were all about the pledge of allegiance, the parent and teacher welcome, approving the minutes from the last meeting and then, finally, we got to the good stuff – voting on the slate of officers. It was go time.
I stand up, walk into the aisle and raise my hand making it impossible not to notice me, but alas, the board president attempts to do just that. I then use one of two “gifts” the Lord gave me, the ability to amplify my voice without the aid of a microphone. “Pardon me,” I say, “Pardon.” Everyone turns around and looks at me (remember I’m in the back row) thus forcing Priscilla to acknowledge my presence
She growls, “Yes.”
“Hi everyone,” I say, “I’m Sam’s mom”
(Sam being the most common boy’s name at the school and as every women reading this knows once you have a kid any introduction of yourself for the next 18 years will begin with “I’m _____ mom. Also, it’s a safe bet if you’re trying to infiltrate a school that you pretend to be the mother of a boy. The mothers of girls know each other better. I think it’s because the mom/daughter connection fosters more gossip due to an estrogen fueled “need to know” quest. I also find that generally the moms with a higher daughter to son ratio will be the ones that run the school. I’m not saying its’ right. I’m just saying that’s the way it is.)
“And one of my New Year’s resolutions was to become more involved in my son’s school. (There’s a slight chuckle from the audience.) So, here I am! I just want to say that I have a . . .
(The next three words I’m about to say, will, if all goes right, be the beginning of BBG (Bitches Be Gone).
“Point of Order.” I don’t believe we can vote on the slate of officers until the entire membership, that’s all of us here, vote on the changes that were made to the bylaws that allow officers to serve more than two years. So, what I’m thinking is that the new bylaws need to be voted on first and if that passes then we can vote on the proposed slate of officers.”
Priscilla fires back in a bored tone (like how dare the little people annoying me), “But the bylaw changes were already approved in an executive session meeting the board had last month.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I must not have made myself clear, the board can not approve any bylaw changes without a full vote of the membership. That means it’s great that all of you voted it in (as I’m saying this I use a sweeping arm gesture to indicate the board) but it really means nothing until the membership votes.”
All Business stands up and shouts out, “Yes, what’s she saying is 100% correct. We need to vote on the bylaw changes first.”
Then a rogue mom jumps up to speak. I’m thinking she’s the enemy because she’s wearing fur. Who wears a full length fur with jeans to a school meeting? It’s not even cold enough for a fur. (Granted it’s better than horsey pants with a fur, but still it’s a little wrong.) It went from bad to worse when the first words out of her mouth were, “When I was Junior League President.”
Holy mother of God, I now have a Furry former Junior League President to deal with. Crap. Faithful Snarky readers know I was, back in the day, kind of, kicked out the Junior League (See: So, I Was Kicked Out of the Junior League – Is that So Wrong?) so I don’t exactly have the warmest feelings towards the organization. I have to be careful or Furry will hijack the whole meeting. I don’t want to yield any of my power so I stay standing. I give All Business a look and she also doesn’t sit down.
Furry Junior League continues with, “We at the Junior League followed the strictest code of parliamentary procedure in accordance with the Junior League policy on meeting conduct so I must take an exception to Sam’s mom statement that the membership has to vote on the bylaw changes. First, we have to vote on rather to vote on the bylaw changes.”
Great, I’m thinking death by Parliamentary Procedure, and really how many times can one woman work Junior League into a sentence, but at least the Furry J.L. backed me up – kind of. I’m pretty sure she’s wrong about the vote about the vote, but what the hell I need to move this meeting along.
I say, “So we need a motion from the floor to vote on rather to vote on the new bylaws.
All Business makes the motion, Moisturize more seconds it and it sounded like everyone said, “Aye” meaning it was time to move on to the actual vote on the bylaw changes.
Priscilla, clearly aggravated as signaled by her repeated lip gloss applications, keeps trying to push everyone to vote on the bylaw changes. She says, “Enough of this let’s vote on the bylaws.”
I hop up again, “Sorry, to be such a pain, but I believe before we vote you need to entertain any discussion from the floor about the bylaw changes.”
Priscilla sighs, kind of stamps her foot while picking at a cuticle and very quickly says, “Alright, is there any discussion from the floor. I’m thinking no, so let’s go to the vote.”
Eleanor springs out of her seat and yells, “I’d like to discuss it.”
I shout, “Me too, because I’m thinking you ladies are saints to want to be PTF board members AGAIN. Give yourself a much-needed break and let someone else do the heavy lifting.”
This gets the crowd talking. Priscilla, looks just the slightest bit panicked and I see her glancing at her other board members.
She then almost eats her microphone and says, “It’s not a problem. We all love volunteering. We’re all about the kids.”
Orphan Annie jumps up and goes 100% off script and yells, “Yeah, it’s all about your own kids not yours!”
Which was all Cute Blonde needed to hear. She says, “Hey, Priscilla how many times has your daughter gotten Student of the Month? Three times? Is that how you’re all about the kids?”
The crowd is now getting into it. Awesomeville! Priscilla is banging her gavel which she or someone has glued crystals to so it looks like something a judge would use if they were holding court in a strip club.
I then go to part 2 of the plan. Part 1 was to stir the pot and get things to a boil. Part 2 was to give the principal a little ass whooping. I signal to Moisture More and by holding up the peace sign. She moves out into the aisle and says, “Let’s all speak one at a time so everyone can be heard.”
This does the trick and as the crowd gets semi-quiet. I say, “I’m new to this whole volunteering thing, but and I guess this question goes to the principal how do moms get to pick things like student of month and decide what child gets an award. Isn’t that your job and the teachers? Why would you abdicate that responsibility to parents. I mean, talk about a conflict of interest. You can’t expect a mom to not think her kid is award-winning.” (With that I get my second chuckle of the meeting.)
The principal stands up and walks towards the front of the cafeteria. I know this type of principal very well. He’s about 20 months shy of retirement, will do just about anything not to rock the boat and that includes letting (let’s use the political correct term for these moms) “strong willed” parents run roughshod over him as long as they don’t go bugging anybody at the district level. He looks right at me and says, “Now who are you?”
I say with a great, big, proud mommy smile, “Sam’s mom!” So, why are you letting the PTF board do this. It’s a clear violation of FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
(Pausing a minute here to give a shout out to some alert Snarky Facebook friends who several months ago told me about FERPA. Little did I know then that I could use this knowledge to give a lackluster principal a spanking. That said, I don’t think FERPA really applied to this situation, but what the hell, it got the job done.)
He hems and haws a little bit and says, “Well, seeing that the PTF pays for the awards I didn’t see a problem when they approached me about taking over the award process completely.”
“That sir,” I say, “Sucks!”
For a nano second total silence and then, lead by my team, the crowd breaks out in applause.
Not waiting for the applause to die down, I add, “I will be going to the district with this, like, tomorrow. I’m very disappointed in your leadership skills” and then for the first time in 10 minutes I sit down.
All Business stand up and says, “I think based on what we’ve heard from other parents that I’m going to make a motion that we do not approve the new by laws.”
Furry JL pops up and says, “I second it, but I think the board should get a chance to speak.”
One dad, says very sarcastically, “Haven’t they’ve done enough?”
All Business takes back control and says, “Let’s vote first.”
The Ays had it. The new bylaws went in the toilet.
Priscilla gets her feet, leers at all of us and croaks out, “Well, without the new bylaw changes approved you don’t have a slate of PTF officers. Have you thought of that?”
Eleanor says, ‘Yes, we have.” She reaches down into her Whole Foods tote bag and pulls out a bunch of papers and says,”I’d like to hand out this proposed slate of officers for everyone to look at and approve for the January 2012 – January 2013 school year.”
Orphan Annie, More, Cute Blonde and Eleanor all get up to help pass out the papers. Priscilla is back sitting down on the dais and she’s whisper bitching up a storm with her officers. As the last of the papers are being passed out she stands up, grabs the microphone and says, “I make a motion that we wait one month until the next PTF meeting to vote on this proposed slate of officers.”
I stand up and say, “No one, I mean not a soul, second this. The last thing you need to do is give these women 30 days (I’m now making jabbing gestures into the air with my fingers) to come up with another way to screw you over and by that I mean screw your kids over.”
God, this was FUN!!! And then I see Horsey Pants stand up and she smiles at me. “Oh crap,”I’m thinking,“Here comes that screw over.”
Horsey says, “I make a motion that we vote on the proposed slate of officers right now. A whole out with the old (she says that while staring at Priscilla) and in with the new kind of thing.”
Cute Blonde quickly seconds.
All Business says, “All in favor?”
You hear a rather loud cry of “Ayes!”
The PTF board on the dais looks ready to cry and then Furry J.L. stands up and says, “I think this was done incorrectly. The motions from the floor could be invalidated because some of the officers that were on the slate made the motions indicating a conflict of interest.”
Which was true. All Business was slated and just voted in as the President, Eleanor is the new treasurer. Cute Blonde is Fundraising, Moisturize More is Teacher Liaison and Orphan Annie is recording secretary.
Before Furry J.L. could get ruin all our hard work with her “True Life Adventures of a Junior League President” I initiate the chaos contingency plan to end the meeting fast. We got what we wanted and now everyone needed to vacate the premises – pronto.
I went to the idea I had when I first saw Pricilla’s Goldilock’s tresses at Starbucks – Head Lice.
I stand up again, put on my reading glasses and walk towards the dais, bend down, jump back and yell, “Oh my God, there’s head-lice all over this floor under this table.
Moisturize More runs up and says, “Priscilla you have nits on you right now! Lice love chemically processed hair!”
Priscilla screams bloody murder, the rest of the 6 Kardashian board member jump out of their chairs, scream and because it’s human nature when something is “allegedly” on you – shake their hair.
I yell,”For God’s Sakes stop shaking your infested manes. All of you are lice bombs. Everyone clear out!”
In actuality, I had taken tiny white sesame seeds purchased from an Oriental Market and given them to Moisturize More. When her purse “accidently” dumped out on the dais before the meeting she and Cute Blonde sprinkled the seeds underneath the table. The seeds looked enough like lice, if someone called attention to them, to cause a freak out, which was all I needed.
Horsey Pants, giddy ups and follows my clear out command with, “God Priscilla isn’t this like the third time you’ve had head lice?”
“Well played,”Horsey Pants, “Well played.”
As people rush to distance themselves from Team Head Lice I get Orphan Annie and we walk towards the lone back door in the cafeteria and exit. The cold breeze feels good and I start looking for a BMW sports car. All I see is the damn conversion van. I look at Orphan Annie and say, “The Van?! I thought we were getting your husband’s car?”
“Oh,” she says, “He wouldn’t let me use it.”
“Wouldn’t let you?” I’m thinking I need to release myself from my vow of never offering marital advice sooner than later.
“Whatever,” I say, “Let’s get out of here.”
We both climb into the beast, it takes two tries to get the engine to turn over and after about 3 minutes were off school property and headed to the Target parking lot.
I look over at her, smile and go, “Say it.”
“Say what?” she asks.
“You know what I’m talking about. Just say it. You can do it. It will feel good and I won’t tell a soul.”
She looks at me, laughs and goes, “I can’t. I really can’t.”
“Come on. You can do it. Just blurt it out.”
Okay, that was Ffffffff’ing Awesome!!”
I laugh and say, “Yeah, it sure was.”
Epilogue: A New Officers Board Meeting Training is set for this Friday. To date the previous, ousted board members have yet to turn in their notebooks to the women taking over their positions which is probably just as well, what with the “lice”, and all. Also, the day after the board meeting the children at Spring Creek Elementary had to eat lunch in their classroom because the janitorial staff, following District procedure, had to give the cafeteria a “deep clean
Snarky Note: This recounting of events, in no way, represents all Parent Teacher Organizations. I have made some on my very best friends while serving on Parent boards. For those of you itching to get over to the comment section and call me a hater that should try volunteering at my kid’s school instead of writing a lame blog please take a deep breath and keep reading. I have served on 4 Elementary School Parent boards, chaired fundraisers, ran the book fair twice, written the newsletters and been room mom more times than I have fingers to count on. I have, though, never done any of those things while wearing horsey pants or sporting hair extensions.
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