Well, maybe you can drink some of it. The PTA kool-aid, that is. Tonight, for example, drinking was encouraged. This year's installation dinner had an open bar and a DJ. And a school bus! Tell me that isn't a TV show waiting to happen: 44 PTA moms on a big yellow school bus, round trip from the elementary school's parking lot to dinner.
For the uninitiated, installation dinner means the annual gathering when a PTA's Executive Committee is officially installed, each officer getting a pin along with a flower and ribbon in a designated color (presidents get lavender, the treasurer green, and so on and so on). It is so much like a sorority event that I was having TriDelt flash backs (and the 80s music didn't help matters).
Some were calling it a cult. Maybe it is. Looking up the actual definition of "cult," I see that the third entry is "faddish devotion; also, a group of persons showing such devotion," and I think that applies.
PTA just seems like what you're supposed to do. It fulfills every bad stereotype out there (and I think our school outdid itself this year in nasty politicking), but it feels like a required part of the whole elementary school experience. Sort of like hazing for pledges (in keeping with the whole sorority theme).
I'm taking a break next year, at least from official duties on the board. I'm here for the long haul (my daughter is only going into second grade and our school continues through sixth). The drama reached too ridiculous a level this last election cycle, and a step back felt right. Besides, I'm busy planning my nervous breakdown, so I can't have so many damn meetings on my calendar.
For all its faults, though, the PTA is a family of sorts. In fact, when the DJ played "We Are Family," I had to dance because that is, after all, the sorority anthem. But I realized on that dance floor that this group of women feels like a family, too. It reminded me a bit of how I felt after law school; all of us were bonded forever. I might have hated having classes with you, I might not even have known you, but we all graduated and survived the bar exam, and that linked us in a way that not everyone could understand.
And so it is with PTA. There were women in that room I don't think I've ever seen before, and women I will be happy not to see next year. But we all have a shared experience, a common bond, forged at a critical point in our lives as mothers. So, here's to another year and all it will bring.