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Can I Volunteer To Not Volunteer?

There are not that many things that make me feel old. The fact that I smoked my first cigarette 23 years ago, used the dewy decimal system to research papers in college, and still think Casio watches are cool… none of that makes me feel decrepit. Yet having a child who is in school, where I have to be a parent and do parent-like things for that school – that makes me feel old as fuck.

The Munch goes to a Waldorf school where there is a lot of expected parent participation. This gives me so much angst for a variety of reasons. For one, I am selfish with my time. For two, I get social anxiety around groups of people. For three I am selfish with my time.

It is not that I don’t think it is important. I want to be part of the community of my child’s school. Friends have such a huge impact on socialization and personal growth – knowing the parents your kid interacts with is meaningful. Besides, I want to support the teachers that are now a part of raising my child. I just don’t want to do anything or have anything expected of me.

The Munch’s school, Cobb Meadow, was planning a fundraiser at a local venue where they host a “make your own pizza” night. People bring their toppings, and the bakery provides the dough, sauce, and cheese. The deal is that Cobb Meadow helps with all the set up and clean up, and then the school got to keep the profits. Great idea! Love it. The parents were supposed to help for this event and there was a sign up sheet for different responsibilities.

My friend Sierra, who I LOVE, signed up for ice cream duty. Okay cool! I will do that with her. Then there was an email that came out from the Super Mom who organizes all parent participation activities, which stated they needed a clean up crew. Sierra signed up for that as well, and since I do everything Sierra does, so did I.

I figured if I did two things, it would make up for my lame participation record of the past. I also assumed “cleaning up” meant I would cruise around at the end of the night and maybe pick up trash for 20 minutes. Fine. I can do that!

The pizza night was a great success and Sierra and I started the clean up process. At first, it all seemed reasonable. Throwing away plates here, picking up cans there, rinsing off a cup here. All good. I brought a bin of pizza stones into the kitchen and assumed my duties were done. It was then that I realized that not only were we expected to wash the stones, but also all the bins, all the trays, and EVERY SINGLE DISH THAT WAS INVOVLED FOR THE KITCHEN TO MAKE THESE GOD FOR SAKEN PIZZAS AND SERVE THEM TO 150 PEOPLE!!!!

Now, it is not like I couldn’t wash dishes for 2 hours… I just wasn’t mentally prepared for it. If I had known, at least I would have been ready for it. But then again, if I had known, I NEVER WOULD HAVE SIGNED UP TO HELP BECAUSE I AM SELFISH!

We got started doing the dishes, and immediately the heat in the kitchen was oppressive. The only relief was when the backwash from dirty dishes would spray flour-coated water on you. This was where my complaining began.

Toni: What the dick! It is as hot as Satan’s scrotum up in here.

At first it was just Sierra and I in the kitchen, but 40 minutes go by, and hardly a dent was made. We needed reinforcements if we were going to finish by dawn. Munch’s teacher came to help, as well as the Super Mom who organized everything. Now let me be honest. I wanted to impress Munch’s teacher and Super Mom with my work ethic because I feel slightly inadequate about my track record. BUT… I could not stop freaking the fuck out either because the piles of dishes were ETERNAL.

Sierra wasn’t bothered, because she decided it was a Zen practice. Super Mom is SUPER FUCKING MOM, so she too was totally chill. Munch’s teacher is a FUCKING WALDORF TEACHER who sings through chores and has the cheery disposition of a FUCKING WALDORF PRE SCHOOL TEACHER. Then there was me. WHO WAS LOSING MY FUCKING MIND!

Despite the fact that I WANTED to come off like a normal person who goes with the flow, is helpful, and pleasant to be around – I physically could not contain myself from bitching every 6 seconds about what was happening. While everyone else was calmly washing dishes and humming I was grumbling “Holy fucking mother of Christ there is more! Son of a cunt! Fucking shit cock!”

Yeah… so pretty sure I didn’t exactly improve my reputation.
pizza-night-blog-(i)