>> Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Last year, towards the end of the school year, I was called into the Principal's office of my daughters' school.
I'll never forget it......it was a warm, sunny, spring day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and as I dropped off my girls and signed in at the front desk for my morning of volunteering, the Principal came out of her office, saw me, and immediately said, "Just the person I was looking for! Can you come into my office for a minute?"
That warm, sunny, spring day turned into a cloudy overcast day right there on the spot. I haven't been called into the Principal's office in years. The last time was when I was 16 and was finally caught skipping PE classes for almost a semester in favor of sitting in the typing room reading my Judy Blume books. I hated PE (back then it was still called "gym class"). I hated being the target of Dodgeball attacks by the fembot athletes in my class. And I hated the locker room more. I was 16.....you figure out the rest. If you even mention Dodgeball around me, I immediately start rocking and quivering and saying "Not the face.....please not the face....."
(And yes, I'm dating myself even more by saying I went to school way back when they still taught typing and shorthand. And.....brace yourselves......we even had a Home Economics class where I learned how to make a basic biscuit and sew a pillow out of scratchy felt and fiberglass filling).
Anyway......enough of my high school PTSD flashbacks.
The Principal calls me into the office and offers me a chair.....using that soothing voice that animal control uses when they try to coax a rabid racoon out from under the house.
"I'm so glad you could come and talk to me. Here......have a seat in this recently reupholstered chair filled with unicorn fur..... Would you like a cup of coffee? I know you love coffee. It's brewed from special coffee beans grown deep in the forests of La-La Land, watered by the tears of angels and handpicked by vestal virgins who have never had the taste of coffee pass their caffeine-virgin lips".
Uh oh......I sense a disturbance in the force......
She's going to ask......I know she's going to ask.......
It's coming........brace yourself........
She eases herself onto her throne......I mean into her wingback rolling desk chair.....takes a deep breath and says.....
"We think you'd be a perfect fit for our new PTCO board".
Aaaannnndddddd there it is........
Before I could open my mouth to decline...let alone protest.....she slides a colored piece of paper across the desk. It's a list of available PTCO positions.....printed on the Goldenrod paper that it seems all schools seem to have to stock. That color is a staple for all school copy rooms and you know you're in the big leagues or are about to be tapped for a very important mission when you get the Goldenrod sheet of paper.
Resist the Goldenrod, I tell myself.....you're stronger than this.
I avoid eye contact with Madame Principal....and momentarily entranced by the blinding glare of the Goldenrod....I warily take a peek. Any moment now, I expect the animal control catch pole to wrap around my neck while the office staff dance around with glee......"We've got her! We've got her!"
It seems that practically every position on the Board is open.
I'm not President material. I'm not a leader. I'm a planner. I'm a doer. I'm the creative background person who always has papercuts, hot glue gun burns, and a perpetual paint stain on my driveway.
I don't want to be Secretary and take minutes at the meetings. I can't remember what I heard five minutes ago, let alone keep track of who said what during a meeting. And let's face it.....my shorthand skills weren't all that stellar....they were more like doodles than anything else.
But then there it was........the heavens opened up and an angelic glow came down upon the Goldenrod and shined down upon my calling.
Box Top Coordinator......
I looked up as Madame Principal leaned anxiously across her desk.
I didn't think. I didn't even need time to ponder. I accepted right there on the spot. It was a position that would still allow me to give back to the school without having all the responsibility of being in charge of the PTCO.
I can still be in the background, use my creativity without using shorthand or do any public speaking.
"I'll do Box Tops", I told Madame Principal.
"Excellent", she replied and clasped her hands...and I swear she morphed into Mr. Burns for a moment. She stood up, reached across the desk and grabbed the coffee cup with the angel-tear watered coffee and escorted me out of her office.
As I stepped outside of her office, I blinked rapidly at the sunlight streaming through the windows....pulling me back to reality.
Wait....what just happened..... I vaguely remember something about soft chairs and soothing voices and then something about PTCO Board Positions.
Son of a......... I was duped by the Goldenrod.
And as I walked out.....ready to face my new fate.....I heard over my shoulder the soothing voice once again......
"Oh.....Mrs. Fresh Meat! Just the person I was looking for! Can you come into my office for a minute?"