A long time ago, before children, suitcases and beagles, there lived a woman whose only care in the world was 'what are we going to do this weekend'? On Thursday and Friday afternoons the phone would run hot with plans being made, the band starts at 9, the nightclub opens at 10, there was always a party to go to.
As she became older, she kidded herself that the events became more sophisticated, wine festivals that were really just an excuse for another drunken bus trip, were her speciality. She'd collect the cash, organise a bite to eat, navigate which wineries had the best entertainment. She'd manage to stay friendly with Bart the Bus Driver, so that he'd come back and do it again next time. She may have had red wine stained teeth and a cigarette butt in her hair while she hugged Bart goodbye, but generally she was pretty good at organising a party.
So impressive were her skills, that at one of her last wine festivals a participant dropped to his knees (we'll never know if it was romanticism or alcoholism) and proposed. Three months later she was married, twelve months later she was pregnant and on the move.
Fast forward five years and the same woman found herself sitting in a kindergarten class on a small plastic chair. "I'm still looking for a class parent" said the teacher to a room full of parents making small talk. Silence. The former party girl was fresh meat, she'd never heard of a 'class parent'. The more experienced parents suddenly had to tie their shoelaces, make a call, have emergency bypass surgery.
Remembering her glory days, the former party girl wondered how hard this could be. "Sure, I'll do it" she said. "There's really not that much involved" the teacher assured her. In hindsight the former party girl feels the teacher may have been on drugs.
Over the coming year the former party girl was to spend numerous trips on a yellow school bus that had a similar suspension of a tractor. Being no stranger to busses, she could see the similarities from her party girl days, it was loud, people were singing and screaming, someone threw up. Who knew the experience was so vastly different when you weren't intoxicated? She made a mental note to send an apology letter to Bart the Bus Driver.
The organization of school field trips started to take a familiar and monotonous tone "I'm looking for three volunteers to go to the Art Gallery"........silence. In the next email, a different approach "If you have found the other class trips haven't interested you, maybe a trip to the Art Gallery might be your thing" again, silence. As with most groups the same two people reluctantly raised their hands after all other options were exhausted. Another vegetable and dip tray, another fruit platter. The former party girl started to display traits of a desperate girlfriend. She rang, she emailed, parents were starting to avoid her.
She knew things were deteriorating when she chased a woman in a BMW down the street, at a fortuitous traffic light she jumped from her car and knocked on the woman's window, out of breath and rather disheveled she pleaded "do you think you could bring juice boxes to the Winter concert?"
Like all good stalkers her desperation turned to anger and irrationality, she dreamed of sending group emails in all caps "BRING YOUR FREAKING $20 BUCKS FOR THE TEACHERS PRESENT TOMORROW AND WHILE I'M HERE, IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO CUT UP A CARROT?"
Her tiara had well and truly slipped, it was time to admit defeat. She would never be the class representative again.
Five years on, after being approached at a very weak moment and possibly being caught up in the sentimentality of her last child entering pre school, she agreed to do it again. She began to once again ask for volunteers and vegetable platters. She decorated class doors, bought 'themed' plates and cups and made desperate runs to the supermarket for donuts that she then had to hide (sugar has somehow become evil, it must only be eaten behind closed doors and we must never tell).
When she found herself pushed up against the school lockers, eye to eye with a highly confrontational mother who was asking her to justify the $33 for two teachers presents, she realized she was back there again.
And so she is now asking.
Can someone please send me a reminder email in five years, to make sure I never do this again?