PTA: WTF

Yesterday at the gym I came upon four women seated neatly in the "lounge" area of the daycare. They looked nice enough. Khaki pants up to their armpits. Mom-dos. Four thousand pounds of crap at their ankles. Typical garden-variety "lounge-mamas."

So, typically I listened in on their conversation-- Slowly unpacking Archer's red blankie from my diaper bag and stowing it away in the cubbie hole. Sloooooowly passing Archer to Harriet, our favorite daycare-lady. Slooooowly making my way to the door so I could eavesdrop properly.

And this is what I heard:

"WELL, That's fine and everything but the PTA at Primrose's school has a PTA of thirty-three and they're all lovely ladies. I've met four of them so far."

"Thirty-three? HA! My son Pinkerton's PTA has forty-four members and it's really so great because some are black and some are white and some are Mexican and its just a really fabulous smorgesbord* of folk!"

"Well I don't see the need for a PTA when your child is in private school and .... pstpstpst-whisperwhisper-pst. "

I didn't catch the rest. Maybe they noticed that it was taking me an insane amount of time to unload a magazine and my IPOD.

So I walked out.

An hour later I came back to find the Mommy-Posse still seated neatly on the couch. And I KID YOU NOT, they were STILL talking about the fucking PTA.

"I think I'll wait until Mozart is a little older before I run for PTA office. I want to REALLY be involved when it counts."

"I ran for PTA Secretary and lost. It was horrible."

"Awwwww."

"Awwwwwww."

"Awwwww."

Maybe I'm just the mother of a toddler and don't get the whole PTA-Parent situation. Maybe I'm being a bitch or a snob or a snarky-snark-snark but these women made me want to vomit into one or more of the Dixie cups on display.

Because ONE HOUR, ladies. ONE HOUR! About the PTA!

And you know what? I bet they're still talking. In the lounge of something else. In lounges around the world with their "my child was student of the month at Get-Over-Yourself Elementary" bumper-stickers.

Other People's Parents, man. Giving parenthood (and the PTA) a bad name. All. Over. Town.

GGC

*one of my top three favorite words. (Others include Doppelganger and Heliotrope.)

26 comments:

Andrea | 7:24 PM

Another blogger (chroniclesofanexhaustedmom.blogspot.com) joined the PTA as treasurer and she's being accused of stealing and other unsavory things with the funds. If anything, she's straightened some things out and cleaned up the books to make stealing the funds harder. But she's so fed up she quit.

Yeah, PTA to me is just code for snobby clique. I had enough of that in grade school, thanks. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure many a PTA do great things for their schools, but the ones I've heard about seem to have a lot of gossipy in-fighters and it sounds like something I would like to steer clear of. But given that Gabe isn't in school just yet, I reserve the right to change my mind at a later date.

P.S. mentioning you in a post I'm writing for tomorrow. FYI.

Anne Glamore | 7:31 PM

You can run the school, or you can do other stuff and hold your complaints unless something really untoward happens. I choose the latter course. It saves a LOT of angst and energy on mountains made of the tiniest molehills.

Anonymous | 9:03 PM

As a mother of a 7th and 5th grader(also a pre-schooler but that doesn't apply yet) I have witnessed many o' PTA clique. My son was invited to a birthday party and the usual thing is to drop the invitees and go. I know the mom so it was okay. When I picked him up I saw that there were other moms who were invited to stay. PTA moms. I got my son and we left, waving and phony smiling but I felt left out. I don't even want to hang out with them but I couldn't understand why they wouldn't want to hang out with ME!! fabulous me! don't they know how witty and amusing I am? I guess they never will.

Those mothers are probably still sitting as well. I think PTA stands for "Plant That Ass" !!(see, witty and amusing.)

~jjlibra

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:16 PM

HAHA! You ARE witty and amusing. And fabulous. Their loss. Your gain. Word.

step momma drama | 9:19 PM

Ok, a preview of things to come... when you take adorable little doll to school for the first day of kindergarten, realize you are one of the ONLY working moms.. who, by the way, has a flexible schedule, but gets paid by someone other than her sugar daddy hubby and has to put the adorable little doll (ALD, we'll call her) in the "after care" until, god forbid THREE in the afternoon. This is to not only work, but allows for a little cushion time, so perhaps you can do some grocery shopping or clean the inch thick dust in the house or maybe make the ALD's bed or something. Well, these very "lounge lizards" exist at the gate of the elementary school, where their little darlings enter at 8 AM and exit three hours later.. and oh, those non working, maybe PTA moms... let's call them "fence felines" are STILL there being "cat"ty and chit chatting. How do we, normal gals, who happen to be moms, relate???

I've come to realize, through the help and counsel of fellow "cool" moms, that we just have to be ourselves.. not worry about the cats who already want to run their children's lives and the ones that want to stir up gossip and stories and well, speak for and choose their "favorite things" for their little whimpy kids... we have to be the new generation of moms.. maybe nerdy-blog-loving-online-crafty-geeky-retail-addicts like me, or whatever! at least we're doing our thing and letting our ALDs and tots witness something true and real... perhaps even good.. instead of a bunch of snotty fence felines and lounge lizards wasting time!

braiding mommy | 5:32 AM

preach it, sister.

Birdsword | 6:35 AM

soooo, maybe they knew you were eavesdropping and changed the subject from orgasms and vibrators to PTA??? Can that be?

Leigh C. | 7:55 AM

At this point, I'm involved in my little guy's school's PTO mainly for the cheap food at the monthly meetings. For further admin, and PTO, hijinks, I humbly refer you to my blog:

www.liprapslament-theline.blogspot.com

The preschool years are just the beginning of the madness. The preschool my son was in when I lived in Queens had a Parents' Association that I always thought had inappropriate initials for a Jewish school. I would see "PA" and instantly think "Palestinian Authority"

Next time you see that PTA klatch, get some James Brown playing accidentally loudly on your IPod.
I suggest the always jumpin' "Get Up Offa That Thing". When the glares and stares come your way, innocently say, "Oops!"

me | 8:01 AM

I love going to PTO meetings, my friend and i sit in the back, gossip, and start arguments between everyone. It is way better than an hour of TV. Besides in our elementary, you have to go to the meetings to go on the field trips, and I LOVE me some field trips.

The moral of the story, everything in life is only as serious as you make it.

Pendullum | 8:08 AM

You know...
Our last Chair of our PTA was hillarious...
He looked like he was from the Band Flock of Seagulls with the hairdo... You know the gel... the up lid... the whole nine yards... Tattooes, and an ear ring.
You know what the Home and School gave him for his year and for thanks... A CHIA PET!!!!
Classic...
I howled...
They thought they were being 'nice' and liberal...
Our PTA is worth the price of admission I tell ya...

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 8:20 AM

Classic.

mothergoosemouse | 8:21 AM

My own mother shunned the PTA, and even when I was only a kid, I understood why.

But I've got just enough piss and vinegar in me that I might join and antagonize the shit out of all the competi-mommies.

Jonathon | 8:48 AM

I'll be laughing when I read your "I Just Joined the PTA" post.

Jo | 8:53 AM

Are you kidding me? A fight between our PTA, the teachers and the principal ended with the principal being moved to another school and people in our neighborhood never speaking to each other again. Made me determined to NEVER get involved with the PTA, ever!

Anonymous | 10:13 AM

Beware the PTA! It is more political and ugly than a Presidential election. So bad in fact, that "normal" mothers don't join because it is a world of hurt. Our school PTA is full of the most control freakish crazy assed bitches in all of mom-dom.

Aline | 10:19 AM

Sadly, I know nothing of the PTA.

I do however, know about words! Check out this neat new site where you can make lists of words: www.wordie.org

And I'm going to go add heliotrope to my list now!

cheers!

Omom | 8:56 PM

Hi GGC,
Just bloghopping (while my kiddies drive their dad crazy) and ran into your site. You are too funny! I am sooo dreading the time when I have to put my kids to school and deal with the politics of PTA. Thanks for the laugh...

omom

Jaelithe | 6:07 AM

A smorgasbord of folks, huh? So, um, was she planning to eat them?

Amy | 10:47 PM

This made me pee:
"my child was student of the month at Get-Over-Yourself Elementary"

Anonymous | 12:59 AM

Well I actually googled "PTA is making me crazy" and you came up. I am a PTA President and I am scared. I did not want a board position but no one would do it. Now I know why. Every good deed hugh... We have been talking about PTA programs and everything else for way longer than I would like. Sadly to plan a year of events for the kids takes a lot of talking. What hurts is the never ending mean comments and weird politics. I thought we were there to schedule assemblies for the kids. Funny I should think that. I sure hope our PTA isn't like you all have said. I don't like a jackass but as a PTA President I have to smile and move on. All I wanted to do was to be a part of my kids E.S. life. It's short- junior high comes quick and all this parent involvement will be over. That is my perspective.

Ally | 7:50 PM

I also got to you googling PTA. I am involved in the pta because the things they organize are FUN for the kids... the kids LIKE the activities. Also the PTA holds fundraisers so that the schools can take field trips!

ok, so I am pedalling, but I have been googling pta because I have seen a lot of "pta is cliqu-y" stuff and I want to make sure that parents know that a group of friends doesn't necessarily mean "clique". I mean, how weird would it be if you ate a meal with the same people every two weeks, ran into them about every day, organized "stuff" with them and then DIDN'T BECOME FRIENDLY?

So then, I fell, other parents SEE this friendship that starts to happen between, say 2-5 core members, and assume "clique". Whats the diff between a clique and a friendship?

Is it exlusion? I'm don't think so because most PTAs I know are BEGGING for more help....

Anonymous | 1:50 PM

I helped a few days ago at a Teacher Lunch and I made some food which I had to get up at 6:30am to do,and showed up set up the tables and food and cleaned all the bowls and spoons etc put everything in the trash didnt even get a THANK YOU!!I tried talking to them they didnt even look at me they , it was pretty nasty, but I dont let things fly I have a mouth on me dont wanna have use but I will ..

Anonymous | 2:16 PM

Comment about "no cliqu-y stuff just friendly"bunch of bull if they were just friendly then they wouldnt be a**holes to the other moms who try to help and just get ignored or treated like a disease !!!

Anonymous | 6:53 AM

I know this blog is old but I had to comment. My daughter just started Kindergarten. I paid & signed up from day 1 to be a part of the PTA, even signed my husband up to help bring in more funds. I get a call a few days later that they need help at the back to school dance. I volunteer and the woman on the phone is so happy becasue she could not get any other volunteers. So the day before the dance I go to the school to decorate, me and my husband. When we get there, there are about 4 PTA members. I could tell from the way they were looking at me they were not very happy I was there but I jumped right in and started decorating, since they called ME! My husband hung streamers that looked so nice they still have them up 4 weeks later, and the principal said no one has ever done them like that...good job! We felt really good about it so we volunteered to help at the actual dance. We get there and I set up the juice bar and end up working that area all night. About an hour into the dance they run out of cups. I volunteer to go get them being told that I would be reimbursed. At the end of the night I get a big fake thank you, and the treasurer lady who always gives me dirty looks, takes my reciept for the cups and walks away. It has been 4 weeks, no reimbursement. I gave it directly to the lady who cuts the checks. Ok no big deal I will wait but why the dirty looks everday? I was the only one who helped you and this is my first time doing anything like this. I should feel good about it but I dont. They dont talk to me and they have not called me to help with the book fair I volunteered for. What the hell is going on with them? I saw them talking to a neighbor of mine who I dont get along with. Maybe she convinced them that they should leave me alone. But the funny thing is, this woman has a daughter in 3rd grade, stays home all day but has never volunteered for anything. If they would rather listen to someone who doesnt help them and treat the ones who will like crap, then they are the ones making it harder for themselves, especially when they claim they NEED volunteers. Also, the leadership sucks! They not only ran out of cups but also juice. They started serving the kids yellow water out of an old cooler until me and my husband stopped serving it! Maybe they should have skipped the $300 DJ, bought a radio and fresh water for the kids. How disgraceful! I am going to volunteer directly in my daughters classroom through her teacher....this is not PTA involved. I think any mother can volunteer to help the teacher if they decide not to get involved with the PTA cult.

Anonymous | 6:11 PM

Well I got here googling "PTA bitches". I'm Treasurer of my PTA and am sorrier everyday I said I would do it (no one else wanted the job). Thanks for giving me a laugh and reminding me that although I may be among them, I am not of them.

Anonymous | 6:35 AM

I am trying to quit the PTA, when I signed on to be Treasure I didn't have a job and had time. I got a job by chance and it's the only company I have applied to in two years, so this job is imporant to me. I have told the president that I need to quit and have not gotten a response. I have been called into the principals office for a meeting OMG!!! whats up with these people??? All I want to do is quit, I will help find a replacement and train them so no one is left hanging. I offered this and still the gossip has started I think Im going to pack up all the stuff and drop it off at the presidents door for her to deal with. I have one hour till my meeting with the principal I will keep you posted