Gossip without Guilt
0 comment Wednesday, August 27, 2014 |
Some bloggers have a steady source of material. For instance, there's a guy who blogs daily about whatever Oprah episode was on that day. His blog is called "A Guy's Guide to Oprah." (No, sorry, still don't know how to post a link, would if I could). For me, my son's Friday folder from school is proving to be fertile ground.
Tucked into this last Friday's folder was a cheerful yellow flyer announcing a new PTA committee called "Joys and Concerns." What the hell is this? I wondered, and read on. The committee wants us to email them our good and bad news. "We hope you will share news regarding both joys (new baby, an award of some sort, community recognition, engagement, etc.) and concerns (an illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, troubling times, etc.)"
But hold on a minute. Read the fine print carefully. They don't necessarily want your news. They want you to report other people's news, too. "We want to support our [school] Family in every way possible and this is one way to show we care . . . Please share news with us regarding our community so that we can reach out!" Then, at the bottom of the flyer, we are assured, "Each joy and concern will be addressed by the committee and kept private." (emphasis added)
Okay. I'm not really understanding this, not quite sure how it works. I'm supposed to email this PTA committee when something good or bad happens so they can "address" it while they "keep it private"? How do they address divorce? Send someone over with a casserole and a lawyer? If your kid is acting up in school, they support you by doing what? Praying, privately, amongst themselves? What if you think you're drinking too much? Does the entire committee show up at your house en masse under cover of darkness to do an intervention?
What about "joys"? Getting a big job promotion, finding a fabulous new purse on sale, winning a trip to Europe. Maybe even inheriting a pile of money. Since your joy is kept confidential, I'm wondering . . . what exactly . . . is the point of sharing it with a PTA committee. Your good news is addressed . . . how? And who are these people who want to "reach out" to me, anyway? The flyer is silent regarding the mothers who serve on this concerned committee.
Sorry, but this all sounds like a weird scene to me. Sort of like that prayer circle my mom was in, back in her God-squad days. These women would all call each other every day at the crack of dawn to tell each other the confidential "concerns" of other people. When I was a kid choking down oatmeal at breakfast, my mom's head was bent down in prayer. Of course, back then these concerns were called "prayer requests."
"Lord, be with Betty this week, as she learns her husband has been cheating on her with the nanny. And dear God, support Fred, who is about to be down-sized from his company. He doesn't know this yet, but my husband is his boss and the axe is falling. And Suzannah, yes Lord, we pray for her, too, as she undergoes surgery tomorrow for a breast augmentation and a tummy tuck."
Everyone wanted to be in this elite prayer circle, believe you me. It was like a Christian sorority; there was even a waiting list of eager prayerful women ready join, ready to pray. So I must say I'm less than excited about emailing my trials and tribulations to a nameless faceless committee of PTA moms at my kid's school.
Though there was my little accident last week. I guess I could email them about that. It happened as I dropped my son off at school, when I was wearing my ancient, never-updated glasses instead of my contacts. So having no depth perception whatsoever, I grazed the side of a parked white Range Rover as I drove past it to pull over to the right. You could say I side-swiped the damn thing, if you wanted to be melodramatic. But really it was just a little graze.
Of course, some perfect-body blonde moms were jogging by at the precise moment of impact. They turned to stare, tsking, tsking me, heads bobbing. Hello to you, too, I cheerfully waved back. Don't worry -- I'm leaving a note right now, see? (as I held up my pen). Move along. Because I was still in my pajamas -- and not the ones that might ostensibly pass for just weird-as-all-get-out clothes. So after scribbling down my name, number and apologies, I did the carpool walk of shame. I was forced to to climb out of my car, walk to the Range Rover, and shove my note under the windshield wipers, all while wearing my Day-Glo pink tie-dyed pajamas.
Yes, this was all quite concerning, not the least of which was the damage to the Range Rover, which I quickly inspected before leaping back into my car. But the fact both cars were white was a good thing. I just scraped my car's white paint on another white car, so maybe the damage will be fairly nominal. It could have been green or blue or black . . .
When the father-owner of the Range Rover promptly called me, he was very nice. But I could tell he was one concerned guy; he hadn't even looked at his car to see where I'd hit him before picking up the phone. But once he realized I had some scoop -- on the teacher his kid drew this year for kindergarten -- and that I was willing to tell all, he was a new man, a joyous man.
He said when he'd asked other parents about his kid's teacher they'd all put on poker faces and said enigmatic things like, "well, you know, every kid is different. And every teacher has her own style." But not me. I was the straight-talk teacher express. "Thank you so much for telling me all of this," he said, audibly relieved. So grateful he was for this information, in fact, that he offered to get an estimate from a local body-shop if the Range Rover dealer comes back with some exorbitant bid. No problem, guy. I just hit your car. It's the least I can do.
Maybe I should email Joys and Concerns with my Range Rover concern. Certainly can't hurt. Maybe they can come up with a group solution for this little mess of mine. They could reach out by ponying up and bringing a bag of money by the house, to cover concerned-Dad's car damage. That would make me feel extremely supported. And then I wouldn't have to report it to my insurance company or, better yet, my husband. Hell, I might even join their PTA.