I Run Alone.
*Today’s post is a continuation of Friday’s PTA post.
I was watching a Discovery Channel special on pack animals the other day. Interesting stuff. Every pack has a leader, known as the “Alpha”, who gets to eat first, make all pack decisions, and who generally dominates the pack. From there, every other member of the pack falls into a hierarchy based on dominance. The only way to become an Alpha is to challenge the leader and win.
Holy crap. The PTA is a wolf pack. They all run together, they eat together, and they tend to snarl at outsiders. They seem to have a uniform, which consists of high-necked shirts that keep “the girls” well hidden. They even wait for their Alpha to eat first. I don’t know her name, but I’ll call her “Heather”. Heather is surprisingly petite for an Alpha, going all of 5’2” and maybe 115 pounds dripping wet. Maybe that’s why I was so quick to be rejected. I’m seen as a challenger. I’m 5’10” (6’2” in heels), with fiery red hair, and an inherited “don’t fuck with me” stare. Oh…and I’m packing some serious artillery up top. Heather don’t want none of this. Lucky for her, I don’t want none of her pack, either.
The only problem is, if you’re not a wolf, you’re a rabbit. I’ve seen the rabbit moms, and I don’t want to be in their gang, either. The rabbits stick together as well, but in groups of 2 to 3. They always look nervous, nibbling on celery as their eyes dart about for signs of danger. They don’t have an Alpha, and they’re always jostling for position. Because the rabbits on the outside of the gang are always the first to get picked off by a premenstrual wolf.
So I guess I’m some sort of hybrid. Too happy to be a wolf, too sassy to be a rabbit. I’m not the only hybrid out there, though. There’s Tennis Mom: a gorgeous, tall drink of water who’s too busy being awesome to bother with the wolves. Then there’s the Greek Goddess: Psychologist, rolls in a sweet SUV, and juggles three kids under the age of 5. Our daughters also happen to be BFF’s. If we decided to join forces, we would totally dominate!
Nothing has really changed in the 2 years that Mini-Me has been at that school. That is, until this November. Thanksgiving came around and the “perfect” mothers turned out to be not so perfect after all. I had beaten them in one thing. The ultimate challenge. Thanksgiving Thunderdome. One mom entered. And, one mom stayed.
This is a Facebook breakdown of the week’s events:
MD: I dropped Mini-Me off at school this morning and was asked by the teacher if I could come to the Thanksgiving lunch they are having next Monday @ 11:00. My job is to bring the paper plates. Considering I completely forgot the parent/teacher conference last Monday, I’m worried those poor kids will be eating out of the palms of their hands.
Jason: I say you show up with the plates dressed in your Papoose outfit and hold class for the crumb snatchers, let them know the truth. There was no big feast. Whitey stole the bird from the Injuns and then bed their women.
MD: That is awesome!!! I’ll give them all the plague and rename their class room STACICA.
Cherokee: Give them guns and alcohol in exchange for their valuables.
Christina: I will remind you about the plates.
Dawn: **Arranging flight to Dallas for Monday**
MD: Dawn, you’re worse than I am. I live in Houston. You’re going to miss the whole thing.
Dawn: **Changing flight plans**
MD: Cool. You can stay at my house. We have to be there at 2:00. We are bringing the Lasagna.
Dawn: Oh…I thought we were bringing the Chicago Style Hawaiian Pizza. No? Ok, Lasagna works for me. Happy Thanksgiving kids!!! Now shut the hell up and let Auntie Dawn and Auntie Stacy tell the real story of Thanksgiving. It all started with a fifth of Jack and some Coca Cola…
Jason: Make sure you feed the beige kids first.
Bryan: Jack and Coke and Pizza? What am I Missing?
Dawn: Just be here at 4:30, Bryan, and I will explain it to you.
So Monday rolls around and I drop off my daughter at school. I run home and take a shower so I can make a good impression. Hell, I’m going to be stuck with the PTA Wolverines, right? I hit the grocery store and grab the plates. Back to the school just in time for the 11:00 a.m. Thanksgiving feast, and what do I find? I think I’ll let the post speak for itself.
MD: FYI. There I was: sitting in a tiny chair with my knees up to my chest and the table hitting my shins. There they were: all 10 of them between the ages of 2-3 years old staring at me as if I was a Unicorn. I would usually say Thanksgiving celebrations at your children’s school would not normally be so uncomfortable. But considering that I WAS THE ONLY PARENT TO SHOW UP, the children were a little curious.
Bryan: Wow, maybe you were the only one invited.
MD: I thought I had made a mistake and asked the teacher if the parents were invited. She told me they were. I was just the only one to show up. The kids just sat there and watched me eat my Mac and Cheese and turkey slices. It was so worth it though. Mini-Me was so proud. “That’s my mommy!” The boy next to me, Cole, ran out of lemonade and threw his glass in my lap while yelling “LEMONADE!” At the same time, Mini-Me is on the other side of me having a kicking fight with another little boy and wiping corn on my pants. After it was all over a very sweet little girl came up to me. She can’t see very well so she has to get really close to you. She asked me where I lived and then asked me if she could come over. Good news. I get a parent/teacher conference make up day next week for my good behavior and am currently working on my parent of the year speech.
And then my friends wrote very nice things about me but I’m sure you already knew that. So I’m good with my Hybrid status. The Wolverines can have their nice clothes and coiffed hair. I’ll keep my workout gear and my morning yoga. I may not join all the clubs and I may not like the Mommy groups but I am always there for my kid. I may not be the “perfect” mom. But, damn. I’m good.