So I think that I may have mentioned in passing that I have the dubious honor of being a PTA chair this year. I think that usually, women with a lot of time on their hands and/or who really are concerned about the welfare of their children volunteer for these sorts of things. I don’t have much time and I’m guessing that if I REALLY cared about the welfare of my children, I probably wouldn’t be sending them to public school. Also, I’m quite clear that I never actually volunteered for anything.
Yet here I am. Hi, I’m in charge the monthly newsletter. Please send your fascinating PTA news items to me.
This is, apparently, what happens when you’re a writer and friends with the PTA president. More accurately, this is what happens:
Her: Do you want to be co-president with me next year?
Me: Are you on crack? No.
Her: Oh, come on. It’ll be fun. We’ll do it together. Please?
Me: LALALALA I CAN’T HEEEEAR YOU!
[one month later]
Her: So, come on, don’t you want to be co-pres of the PTA with me?
Me: Let me think. Hmmm. NO.
Her: Oh come ON.
Me: Bite me.
Her: Geez. You don’t have to get hostile.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Bite me, MRS. PRESIDENT.
[two months later]
Her: I still need a co-president for the PTA.
Me: I need a million dollars. We learn to adapt.
Her: You would have fun. We would have fun, together.
Me: You know I love you, right? But I don’t have time. And I don’t have the people skills. And I DON’T WANT TO.
[three months later]
Her: You know, the PTA—
Me: NO. NO NO NO NO NO!!
Her: You don’t even know what I was going to say.
Me: I DO NOT WANT TO BE CO-PRESIDENT WITH YOU.
Her: See? I wasn’t going to ask you that.
Her: Really. I have a co-president now.
Me: Oh! That’s great!
Her: Yeah, it’s gonna be great.
Her: Yeah. So don’t get all hostile.
Me: I am not hostile. Except when you ask me the same question OVER AND OVER. Also when it comes to the PTA.
Her: Wasn’t part of working at home so that you could also be involved at school? Hmmmmm?
Me: Yeah, yeah.
Her:I was thinking maybe I could get you to just do a VERY SMALL JOB for us. A little something you’d have time for. That you’d LIKE, even.
Me: Yeah? What’s that?
Her: We need someone to work on the newsletter.
Me: Oh. Well. I could probably help with that. What do you need? An article each month?
Her: Not even that! We just need someone to do editing and layout. It’ll be easy. I bet it won’t take more than an hour each month.
Me: Ummmmm okay, sure, I can do that I guess.
Her: Great! Thank you!
Her: Hey, you made it! Everyone, this is Mir. She’s chairing the newsletter committee.
Me: I’m WHAT, now??
Her: Here’s your folder!
Me: I hate you.
Her: No you don’t. You love me.
Me: Bite me.
And so I became a committee chair, and everyone should be VERY AFRAID for our youth.
Anyway, I tried to keep an open mind. Layout and editing. Simple! Easy! No time at all!
First I had to get the actual template files and logos from the people who handled this stuff last year. That only took about a dozen phone calls and emails and several years off of my life. I still don’t have the main logo, but really, how important could THAT be?
Next I received a batch of “articles” from the woman who is responsible for collecting everything for me. I have no complaints with her; so far, she’s the only person who actually did what she said she was gong to do, when she said she was going to do it. Her job is… actually, I don’t know what her job is. She gives me stuff and then I give stuff back to her and she sends it where it needs to go. But she’s not the committee chair, I am. Huh. Remind me to make her some cookies.
Okay, so tonight I sat down to crank out the newsletter. Because it was only going to take me an hour. HAHAHAHA.
Aside from the obvious—which is that how many articles can you write for a single issue, exactly, about how exciting the PTA is and how we need more volunteers (answer: at least three, it seems!)—I’m convinced that some of these pieces were written by people who are blind and were therefore unable to reread their words before submitting them. I swear to you that I received something like the following. I have changed the event name/details, to protect the repetitive:
We need a chairperson for the Juggling Day event. Juggling Day happens every year and is about Juggling. The Juggling Day Chair helps organize the juggling. As Juggling Day draws closer, the chair will organize all associated juggling activities. Juggling Day cannot happen if we are unable to appoint a chair. Juggling Day is always a popular event and we want it to continue. If you think you could be our Juggling Day Chair for the Juggling Day event, please contact Soandso at 123-4567.
My eyeballs began to bleed around the fourth “Juggling Day.”
I had also been encouraged to “jazz things up” when doing layout. Okay. My idea of jazzing up these articles was to correct the spelling errors and maybe use some cutting-edge syntax (woo!), but fine. I will add graphics. Because that little picture of a pile of school supplies is going to make all the difference in our circulation and readership.
What’s that? This goes home with all of the kids no matter what? Sure, NOW you tell me. After I spent an hour looking for the perfect cartoon of a piece of pizza. Sheesh.