Last night I attended my second-ever P.T.A. meeting. I missed the first scheduled meeting due to my inability to follow a calendar (I showed up a day late and an hour early. It was amazingly embarrassing having a random adult respond to my query of where to meet with, Last night or next month. I'm not really sure what you're asking).
At the second scheduled meeting (to which I was 10 minutes late. I think they already want me to be president next year. I'll think about it) my sister and I managed sneak in the back, step on a few toes and trip over a couple of purse straps (and nearly dragging a chair with me) before accidentally stealing the chairs that belonged to the two ladies presenting a topic (something about tardiness starts with the parents? I couldn't really be sure because my phone was going off and I was desperately trying to shut it down).
We finally found two seats and settled ourselves in. Everyone was looking at us, but I'm pretty sure it was because they were super excited to have two brand -new members of the P.T.A. There were an awful lot of parents in that room, but that's cool because it shows that our kids have a lot of support! There was the usual stuff about budgeting, voting on stuff I knew nothing about (aye!) and planning upcoming events like the holiday party and rummage sale. Somehow, I volunteered for both. I'm telling you, presidential material.
Last night, not only was I on time on the right day for the meeting, I was alone.
Without my sister.
Before you get all weird on me, know that am a serious Social Introvert. People scare the crap out of me. Yes, I once managed a restaurant where our primary customer base was human. It was probably the best thing for me because up until then, I'd spent all my life painfully shy and dealing with the public pretty much forced me to confront my fear of speaking and making eye-contact (and this is where we save that information for another blog post). My sister is the same way. We tend to approach unknown situations together and in fear. Her kids? Not even in school for another year. Yet, I forced her to join the P.T.A. (I kind of just wrote her name on the envelope, paid the dues and told her about it later. It's totally legal).
She had to work last night and I decided that as part of this whole branching out thing I would attend the meeting alone. I would do it without sweating and without stepping on a toddler. I would live to write about it. Or at least, long enough to make it through the entire meeting wherefore I could burst through the exit doors and vomit into the bushes by the kindergarten play area.
I went in.
I noticed stacks of papers at the first table, grabbed a few and took the nearest seat at an empty table.
I jumped about a foot. I looked up and noticed a random lady greeting another random lady. Whew. That was close. She wasn't even talking to me.
Oops. To my left (or pretty much in front of me) was a woman holding a raffle ticket. She left it with me, wished me luck (why do I need luck? Is something going to happen to me? Where is my itinerary? WHY DO I NEED LUCK?!) and moved on to greet other parents.
I glanced over the minutes from the previous meeting, half expecting a notation about the two late-comers and could everyone please remember to be on time and to place their purses under their chairs.
Remember to sign in!
Crap. I'd have to get up and walk to the table. I prayed for a clear path and managed to crest that hill without incident. I'm sure that popping that lady in the side with my elbow when I shoved my chair back didn't count.
Back at my seat, I turned off my phone, grabbed some gum in case someone decided I looked chatty and surveyed the room.
Then I felt my face growing warmer. Usually, this happens when I sense someone staring at me. Not a soul was looking at me, so naturally I was having an allergic reaction.
Just before leaving for the meeting, I'd re-applied my make-up and used powder on my nose and cheekbones. My last minute decision to steal my sister's blush and dab some on my cheeks was pretty dumb, considering my fair skin always has pink tint to it (freaking Scandinavian heritage!), so I had wiped it off.
Sitting in the meeting, my cheeks grew warmer and warmer. I casually fanned my face with my hand. I removed my coat. I picked up the pages of minutes and started fanning my face furiously. Another parent looked up from her table and gave me a curious smile. I grinned back and continued to fan my face.
Me: Geez, it must be like 98 degrees in here. All these bodies... (a quick survey corrected my initial count: 16 parents spread over 11 tables)
Her: I'm not warm.
Me: [strained smile] Must just be me!
Her friend: I'm not warm, either. [blink]
Frigging great. They think I'm on drugs. They'll vote me as PTA president for sure now!
Eventually, I calmed down and was able to focus on the start of the meeting. It was the usual stuff: recaps, budget proposals, and volunteering. For more stuff. Between Facebook, trolling the web for useless information and taking care of massive amounts of children, I have like, no time. I signed up for three different events.
And I signed my sister up for them as well.
I managed to avoid any further incidents involving epi-pens, puking and tripping.
The meeting ended and I was the first one out.
I did not vomit into the bushes.
I went home and tacked a note to my sister's door.