Bad Idea #754: Alcohol at PTA meetings.
|April 3, 2011||Filled under Miscellaneous Prose, Motherhood|
As some of you may or may not know, my child goes to a hippie kindergarten in the middle of the woods. I’ll explain for those of you less-enlightened or more-civilized folks. Firstly, we live in Germany so “kindergarten” is something you do from the ages of three to six. By “middle of the woods” I mean: There is no classroom. I take my kid to the designated trail head, there’s a rusty old trailer that clearly hosted gypsies and fortune-tellers in a previous life, and she spends the day meandering around the forest in an apparent competition to see a) which kid can get more muddy and b) who can carry the largest pile of essential and important sticks home to offer as a prize to parents.
Obviously only Greenpeace lifetime members, beatniks, those-who-don’t-know-better, or musicians would send their kids to such a “school.” As I don’t play an instrument, know Timothy Leary, or hose down whalers, we can see which optimistic category I fit into. The, uh, “great” thing about this Kindergarten is that it is owned and operated by the parents, who have a board, a sort of non-profit organization, and a lot of unrealistic ideas. When I signed B up for the group, I was told it wasn’t a “normal” school (no shit – I saw a kid walk out and pee on a tree, then wash his hands on his grimy knees before reaching for lunch). I would be obliged to accept some sort of “duty” within the group if I wanted my kid to get a placement there.
This should have smelled of communism from the get-go, but I’m more than a little politically naive.
So recently the parent work group (people disappointed that this was the best excuse they had to make their spouse babysit) came over to my home for a meeting. Ever the striving excellent hostess, I made cupcakes. There are a few things I can make really fucking well – cupcakes are one of them, pesto is the other. But sitting around a table with a bunch of garlicky, Birkenstock-wearing PhDs just seemed too intense and I didn’t have any weed on hand to accessorize with. So I opted for flipflops, cupcakes, and red wine.
It had been a particularly long day (I made A LOT of cupcakes) and I corked the wine before… well… sundown. I wouldn’t say “prematurely” because wine can never be premature. Only drunk can be premature. Sophisticated women know the balance. I am not sophisticated.
Having grown up in the back woods (the fact that B actually has a “potty area” at her school is a step up from the plumbing of my childhood), I missed out on a few of those subtle social behaviorisms that might make the difference between me and, say, normal people. Like the fact that it probably looks bad if half the bottle of vino is gone when the first guests arrive. I thought people might judge me, and considered finishing that bottle off and just opening a new one when they came, but I wasn’t sure I’d make it to open the front door anymore.
The best part about having a bunch of virtual strangers over to my house is that I have a life-size naked picture of me hanging in the stairwell. I think it’s a real ice breaker. Lots of conversations start with things like “So what kind of hair removal do you use?” and “You make narcissism look normal” and “Was that taken before B was born?”
By the way, here are the answers to all those and more:
– I use a razor because Nair and waxing were used by German doctors in the second world war.
– I’m a middle child. You ain’t seen the likes of attention-desperate I can bring on.
– No. It was NOT taken before B was born. I ran approximately a billion million trillion miles to get that goddamn body AFTER she was born. Oh yeah, and the photographer is really good with Photoshop.
I thought the meeting was going really well. Everyone was high on sugar because I use frosting like it’d solve global warming and is state funded, and I’d had only… batter, frosting, and red wine all day. The crayons were out and we were all having meaningful discussions about the purpose of our enlightened, forested preschool, not to mention the meaning of life. But I should have known that what appeared to be a bunch of utopian community hippies was in fact…
… a band of manipulative communists.
Now I cannot prove anything, but I’m pretty sure that every time I turned my head (to draw another box in my nifty organizational chart, which looked like God’s Word to this bunch of hooligans, no doubt), someone put more wine in my glass. In hindsight, it all makes more sense. Would the USSR have ever been such a conglomerate of space-exploring idiots if it were not but for the influence of vodka? Even Gorbachev has his own vodka brand. Communism only works if you get enough people drunk to follow along with the sober leaders. This, of course, I didn’t realize until the next day.
Because even a drunk MBA looks a helluva lot more organized than a bunch of tree-huggin’, sociology-degree-holding parents.
Somehow between glass of wine number one and glass of wine number… we’ll be vague here… somethingorother, I apparently was nominated as president of the board.
And as I’m a blatant narcissist, I probably willingly accepted this significant role with a measure of matriarchal grace a la “Let me show you the way, my children.”
So as it stands, I’m likely going to be the president of the tree-fairy kindergarten in the forest. My first order of business is to hire another gypsy for the circus cart. If we pay her enough, maybe she’ll tell the children there’s hope for them beyond Waldorf.