this sour-arsed woman is helping care for your children

Last night I missed something I’d been wanting to see: my daughter diving off the diving board and into the deep end of the pool. My husband and parents were at her swim lesson (I’d requested that Ralph film the swim class, the first one I’ve missed I believe, but he wasn’t feeling up to it) but I was at a board meeting in my new position as secretary for my children’s preschool.

There seem to be two camps of thought on this thing: those who can in no way picture why you’d want to be on a volunteer board for a preschool, and those who’ve done it so at least they get the purpose and necessity, and may in fact enjoy it as well. I was one of the former, now one of the latter (not so sure about the “enjoyment” part yet…). There are so many elements I dislike about participating in groups like this but the more I woman up and do it the more I either resign myself or discover the necessity of these idiosyncrasies – I’m not sure which, yet. Small example; I sit there wondering why we can’t nix the small talk and get to the meeting and get it over with. I know I am not the only person there that would rather be home – I mean, other women there are surely antsy and only marginally enjoying the socializing. Yet we sit and talk and b.s. and I’m thinking, “I don’t want to b.s. here. I want to be watching my daughter’s swim lessons and with family or friends.”

For a good five minutes I wondered why I couldn’t just take out my iPod and watch something while I waited for the fucking meeting to start. If I was in a group of strangers I could do it. If I was a man I could do it. I did it, for a few minutes. As it turned out, I didn’t have anything I wanted to watch. Note to self: load iPod with something good, maybe Blue Velvet or American Psycho; fervently hope Ricky Gervais will start doing a video podcast.

Anyway, as I sat there realizing the food was just arriving and the ladies would be starting to eat rather than meet I was in a minor agony; not having anything to contribute to discussions about how much husbands can’t do certain chores or whatever or c-section dates. A woman next to me gets her dinner, a salad with lots of French dressing and a sandwich. A big sandwich. It had some kind of meat, and ham, and a fried egg. The woman eating it was pregnant although I did not notice at first; it turned out about a third of the Board were (there are no men on the Board). I really liked that woman and was impressed with her sandwich. She is continuing on in the board and I’m glad.

Once the president called the group to order things moved forward quickly; even though the meeting was started late it ended at 7:30; far less than an hour. This group breezed through issues in ways my previous co-op had not (my former group also took closer to a painstaking hour and a half and was not allowed to drink alcohol throughout; these ladies were sucking down Mudslides and I saw a Long Island Iced Tea). I also learned the president and vice president will continue their tenure on the board; this coupled with great leadership from the children’s teacher(s) will likely (and I say this crossing my fingers) ensure a well-run board that’s fun to be a part of. I left first, after saying goodbyes, and feeling enthused about participating.

Then I got home to find out Sophie had jumped off the diving board, and I’d missed it. Oh well. Being home with the kids full time, I suppose I haven’t missed much (except a life of my own, har har) so that’s OK.

Good job, my wee little girl.

Last night I also finished the book I was reading, Our Town by Cynthia Carr. It was a good book; I suppose now I will stop having dreams about the Klan. They weren’t scary or violent dreams at all; I suppose you’d have to read her book to understand the sadness and loneliness of the dreams I had.

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