Thursday, November 12, 2009

Duty, and it's burden

The school PTO meeting was last night.  I wanted to go, but I didn't want to go. I want to be an involved parent, etc. But I'm not really an 'involved' person. Ask anyone who's known me for more than 3 days and they'll tell you I am not a joiner. I'm perfectly willing to show up & help out but I'm just not good at large group dynamics. I don't do organizations in general, especially not organizations that expect me to go out and harass annoy badger offer my friends opportunities to buy overpriced lovely gift wrap. I'd rather just give them the money directly. "Here's $50, which is more than I will ever raise. Take it & let's call it done for the season." I can't pretend to be enthusiastic about the gift wrap or any of the other junk in the catalog.  I can't see how anyone is. Yet, there they are, just beaming with joy about a faux metal (ie plastic) plate stand that looks really big in the photograph but is, according to the measurements, not actually large enough to hold a saucer.  I can't sell it. I just can't. I don't care if it's the done thing - you buy junk from me for my kid & I'll buy junk from you for your kid. I don't want to sell junk. I don't want to BUY junk. Here. Take the $10, keep the junk.

but I digress....

I'm not a joiner. I have a really hard time dealing with new people in large groups. OK. I have hard time dealing with new people in groups of 2 or more. I'm shy. Mostly because I am different & I know it. I am a 42 year old pagan, blogging mom who is not from around here. Judging by most other experiences & my former co-workers, I'm fairly confident I will be meeting Baptists in their late 20's who check their email occasionally & have all gone to school together since kindergarten. It’s a closed group. I’m the New Girl and the Weird New Girl at that. I’m no good at putting myself forward & introducing myself to people. It’s grade school all over again. Am I wearing the right thing? Do I look too desperate? too aloof? Is there anyone, anyone at all, that even seems vaguely familiar? Oh god what if there is and I can’t remember their name but they remember mine?

Plus the bonus of adult angst. Why do I care? I’m too old for this angst. I know better. There are others here who feel this way. Just relax, give it a chance. The MOPS thing worked out in the long run. You can do this. Oh god I look too desperate don’t I? I look aloof don’t I? I know her from somewhere, where? PANIC where? Who is she?

Then once you join a group you then have the interpersonal stuff to deal with. I ended up on a ‘side’ of an argument in the kids’ preschool without even being aware there was an argument or a side to be on simply because I only sort of knew one person & sat next to her.

Here’s the thing. I don’t give a rip who runs the bounce house concession at the fun fair or who organized the spring charity drive. I don’t know the backstory to this drama and I refuse to be told it. Tell me when to show up and where to stand and what to bring.

I’m a good soldier in the trenches, don’t drag me into the politics

9 comments:

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I am the SAME way. I am the 42 year oldest mom of the grade and I am not a joiner. Tell me what to do and I'll do it, but don't put me in charge.

Maria Ontiveros said...

So much of what you say resonates with me! I finally found my niche for various fundraisers that make me happy . . . I do the 50/50 raffle at the annual dinner, and I take the photos for the sports teams. It's stuff I like doing and both are (essentially) one women shows.
As for the politics, yeah, I sooo don't have time for it either!
TFP,
Rinda

Carol said...

LOL! I love this and I love you for writing it. I am Jewish, which in my neck of the woods, is about the same as Pagan, so rest assured, you are not the only "weird girl" in the world. We should unite and start our own group. On second though, no groups allowed. We'll just all support each other from afar :-)

Mary B said...

Here Here
I am a 69 year old grandmother of babies and I don't conform why should we. be yourself and we will love you for it.

SciFi Dad said...

I considered joining the PTA or whatever at my daughter's school, but my wife said they would not be too receptive to my "this is just a stepping stone to world domination" platform, so I didn't.

Creative Junkie said...

omg, I'm the same way. I am more than willing to just donate the money but I absolutely refuse to peddle crap every single year.

As for the joining the PTA, I don't mind volunteering for certain things but I am staying as far away from the clique-y political, oh-my-god-did-you-see-what-she-was-wearing whole aspect.

Too Many Hats said...

I can be in charge, but NEVER of a fundraiser - I hate them all. I stay out of the politics, put my head down, and do what needs to be done.

Tammy said...

Politics at work, PTA, anywhere drive me crazy. I'm usually good with people except when it comes to politics. I agree with you that I don't want to know the reason that this person can't sit next to that person. How inmature! Good luck dealing with them and good for you for supporting your child's school even when you have to put up with the crap.

Lizzie said...

You know what? I Like you! I am "different" too. The world needs "different". Anyway, it sounds to me as if you are not so much "different" as "special"! So go on being shy and different, avoid the petty politics and just do what you feel is right for you and your family. Good for you!