When my first born started kindergarten, I had every intention of being a PTA mom. I imagined spending long hours at school, helping out in the classroom, planning various fund raisers and generally being very active in school activities.
But then, my son started school. I got to know the women in the PTA and suddenly, I realized that Parent Teacher Association was just a cover for what PTA really stood for.
Power Trippin’ Assholes.

(If you’re on the PTA at your kids school, please don’t take offense. I’m only talking about the PTA at my son’s school. NOT YOUR PTA.)
Never in my life had I experienced such ugliness in human beings then what I saw in the women on the PTA at my son’s school. They were rude, petty, bossy and man, did they ever love to talk shit about people. It didn’t take long before I realized that the PTA wasn’t the place for me. I decided I’d help out in my son’s classroom and my involvement in school things would end there.
One year, a very good friend of mine decided she was going to try to change the PTA (ha ha ha!) and volunteered to be President. I remember telling her “Look, you know that I love you, but I can’t stand those other women. HOWEVER! Because I love you, I will help you any time you need me. Just be warned– I have NO tolerance for the way the other woman act.”
A few weeks later, she asked me if I would be willing to help her at the book fair.
“Of course!” I told her. “Whatever you need!”
What she needed was for me to volunteer a few hours to help out at the book fair by helping the Kindergarten and first grade students make their book wish lists. Easy, yes?
I got a sitter for Ethan and showed up bright and early on a Monday morning. The first class came in and I walked around helping the little darlings write which books they wanted their parents to buy for them.
While I was helping one of the little girls, we found a book that I LOVED. I called out to my friend “look at this book! How cute is THIS?”
Just then, one of the PTA moms walked in, for the sake of this post, we’ll call her “Fanny.” As in “wears a Fanny Pack.” She was the nastiest one of the group. She looked over at me and I could see that she wasn’t happy. I had no idea why she was mad, but it probably had something to do with my Non PTA ass being there. I ignored her and continued talking to my friend.
“If I had a little girl, I would buy this book for her! It’s just so cute!”
“Ladies!” Fanny said, all Power Trippin’ like. “We’re here to help the kids!”
I looked over at my friend. She had turned white, because she knew that whatever was going to happen next wasn’t going to be good.
“Excuse me?” I snapped back.
She smiled in a manner that made me want to knock her teeth out. “I said we’re here to help the kids.”
“I AM helping the kids.” I said. “I’ve BEEN helping the kids.”
“OH, REEEEAALLY.” She snapped back. “If you’re helping the kids, then explain why you were talking talking to Vicky when I walked in just now?”
I immediately felt a wave of “OH NO SHE DI’UNT” rush over my entire body. Fanny was trying to call me out. In front of five year olds.
I walked over to her, got right in her face (and quite possibly put my finger in her face) and said something like “First of all, do NOT talk to me like I’m a child. Second of all? I am here, volunteering my time. Time that I could spending at home with my toddler, time that I could be doing the 5,000 things that I need to do today, how DARE you walk in here and talk to me like that. I have been here helping the kids all morning. I saw a book that I thought was cute so I said something to my friend about it. I’M AN ADULT, I’M ALLOWED TO DO THAT. YOU’RE NOT MY BOSS AND DON’T EVER TALK TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (And YES, the head, she was a’bobbin.)
I walked over to my friend and said “I’m so sorry about that, but I will not let that women treat me the way she treats the other moms here. I need some fresh air, I’ll be back in a bit.”
I took a walk to calm down. I realize that what she said wasn’t THAT big of a deal, but after a couple of years of listening to this woman boss people around, degrade people and generally just be a complete bitch to everyone, I HAD HAD IT.
When I came back into the room, my friend told me that the woman had started crying. And then? She told my friend that her husband had warned her that one day, someone was going to snap at her and put her in her place, because she was too aggressive (see: bitchy) and that not everyone was going to “bow down” to her.
I went looking for her to apologize, because,well, I could have handled it in a more appropriate manner. When I found her, I told her that I was sorry for the way that I reacted, but that I was really upset that she felt it necessary to scold me. She apologized as well, but I wasn’t convinced she meant it. I didn’t care though, really. As long as she never spoke to me that way again, it was all good.
For weeks after that happened, Fanny was always extremely nice to me. However, the other PTA moms wouldn’t even look at me. I found out later that she had told everyone who would listen that she was “scared of me” because “I yelled at her for no reason.”
Ah, poor Fanny. *eye roll*
I do feel guilty that I let my intolerance for those nasty women keep me from serving on the PTA. It was something that I had always imagined I’d be a part of when my kids were in elementary school. I just couldn’t bring myself to associate with a group of women who treated anyone who wasn’t in their clique so poorly. I did what I could do make a difference in my son’s elementary school, by helping in his class weekly. Ultimately, the one thing that was important to me was that I did my part to make my son’s experience a good one and I don’t think I needed to be on the PTA to do that.
That said, I plan on giving the PTA a second chance when G-Unit goes to Kindergarten. She’ll be at a new school and hopefully, they’ll be a lot less Power Trippin Assholery and a lot more Parent Teacher Associatin’ at this school.
Have you had an experience with PTA that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear it.

77 thoughts on “Fanny

  1. Tracy

    *Raises hand*
    Yep, I had the same experience. It’s funny, because my daughter started out at one school – and I was involved in EVERYTHING – class helping, Parent Consultation Group, PTA, Brownie Troop leader – I did it ALL. Then the year my daughter was in 4th grade, we moved. And O.M.G. The BITCHES (because that is TOTALLY what they were) in the PTA at the new school were ALL about the DRAHMA. Everybody was stabbing everybody else in the back, and gossiping about each other. Oh, and for shits and grins? The DADS that were involved in PTA? Yeah, they were mostly there to pick up chicks. You know, other bored housewives who had nothing better to do than schtup the dads who weren’t gettin’ it at home. I was pretty disgusted by all of them, and just quit participating. I feel bad, because I haven’t been as involved, and I feel like our other kids got jipped, but I just CANNOT deal with those people.

  2. Keli

    Delurking. My only PTA experience was a big fight over my high school graduation. The parents of the most over achieving girl on the planet forced the PTA to hold a special meeting. The parents wanted every award their child had ever won in high school to be read aloud at the graduation ceremony. They started a telephone campaign.
    They didn’t win that fight. It was awesome.

  3. Susan

    Not with PTA (I am a WOHM, and unfortunately – fortunately?! – they hold their meetings during the day so I can’t attend), but I did have a huge run-in with a FANNY of my own a few weeks ago, at a school sponsored family movie night. And I don’t typically *have* run-ins with people, but this lady was a total BITCH who had completely rude, inconsiderate children. I was so proud of myself for letting her have it! I can’t STAND women like that.

  4. constance the eleventy fifth

    I just posted an entry about a horrible PTA bitch. The incident didn’t happen at a PTA event, but was typical of her power trip behavior. I’m sure there are some places with nice PTAs, but this kind of thing seems to happen more often than not.

  5. Dawn

    I’ve never had a run in with the PTA, but I can definately tell you….it isn’t just your school! I think that many of the women involved in the PTA give SAHM’s a bad name.
    When my son first started school I made it a point to take off work to participate and volunteer. That didn’t last long. I do not have time to sit around and listen to women gossip about each other and make molehills into mountains. I absolutely could not believe the ridiculous, petty things they would find to create drama about.
    Of course, unfortunately, the PTA isn’t the only place they show up… I’ve met a few at church, at scrapbook events, anywhere that women gather….it’s like they never left high school.

  6. June Clever

    The PTA at my son’s school call themselves the PIT crew. How unattractive is that? It stands for Parent Involvement Team and they are a bunch of weird, bizarr-o individuals. It’s like they are living vicariously through their children and have to be the BEST! at EVERYTHING!
    Needless to say, I’m anti-PIT crew. I volunteer like crazy on an individual basis for my son’s actual teacher in his class, but I steer clear of the PIT’s.

  7. Donna

    Fanny could have been the woman who was our PTA President for two years. She’s someone who was responsible both for raising funds and creating successful programs — AND driving folks away because she could be so difficult. And she was a marshmallow inside.
    I’m glad you are giving PTA another shot. MOST of the women I met when I volunteered at my daughter’s elementary school were caring, fun, terrific people who are still my friends, even though we are now at another school. The school needs parent volunteers and it’s an organization that really does give its all for kids.
    But unfortunately, there are a few power-crazy bitches in every unit. I’m likening it to the SNL skit about Hillary: at least, “bitches get things done.”

  8. Dawn

    I don’t think you stepped over the line. You stood up for yourself and that is never wrong. Now if you had bitch slapped her then you would have gone to far.

  9. Kris

    You have just described the PTA women on 99.9% of all PTA’s everywhere.
    She got off lucky with you. I would not have apologized for going apeshit on her. She had it coming.

  10. Michelle

    I want to be an involved parent but I’m afraid PTA will just be an older version of the mommy groups I’ve been to. “Junior walked at 4 months and started adding fractions shortly after his first birthday.” I have no patience for it.

  11. Vickie

    HAHAHAHA I couldn’t help but think of that PowerTrippingAsshole on “Everybody Loves Raymond” — PEGGY THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIE NAZI WOMAN… aaaahahahaha I had this visual of this big amazon woman and you gettin’ in her face like Deborah did poking her finger at her while NaziWoman just backed down at her…
    You’re so visual with your stories!!

  12. amanda

    Not with the PTA, but plenty of experience with assholes lo’ these last three months. The short version… a (now former) boss violated ALL kinds of personal privacy boundaries and shared her findings with others, then began spreading all sorts of lies about her behavior (and mine.) My conclusion: 1) People are CRAZY. All people are crazy. Some of us just know that and deal with it. 2) Assholes feed on negative energy. The more we interact with them, the more energy they get. After we make our first point, its seldom worth it to continue interacting with them.
    Finally, a quote from the novel Gilead:
    People who feel any sort of regret where you are concerned will suppose you are angry. And they will see anger in what you do even if you are just quietly going about a life of your own choosing. They make you doubt yourself, which depending on cases can be a severe distraction and a waste of time.”
    – Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

  13. Chas

    As my kid is not even two, I have not actually had the opportunity to be on the PTA as a parent…but I have been on the PTA as a teacher. I wasn’t terribly was a middle school, and I only signed up b/c the principal guilt tripped us into it. As far as I could tell, the PTA parents (plenty of men were involved) were pretty nice. They raised a lot of money for the school and seemed to help out and organize events pretty well. I imagine you would have fit in just fine there, so maybe your new school will be OK.

  14. Helen

    No, not a single experience with the PTA ( ever thought how much more real it would be if it had that i in it, total PITA?) I just knew I couldn’t be one of those mothers. I have a husband who is on the board of governors and so our kids get to have a parent who is involved and knows all the secrets of school but not a mother who embarrasses them , because I know that I would be constantly showing them up somehow. I bet all those other PTA moms love you a lot, even if they are too scared of Fanny to let it show.

  15. Mary Watkins

    THe PTA at our old school was like that. Their leader was an anorexic stick woman. Her kid was the Spawn of Satan in a $400 sweater (seriously what kindergartener needs a $400 sweater and worries about empty calories in cake????) Anyway. I too couldn’t wait to join but was not needed because I was not thin enough or wealthy enough. The last year we were there I’d lost 50 pounds and they were all over me because I was thin and pretty – I told them I was the same person I was 50 pounds ago – only I felt good enough about myself to turn them now because I didn’t care what my freinds looked like or if they had a car as nice as mine.
    We moved to our current school and I help out when I can and for the most part they are all nice women.

  16. Jen

    This is EXACTLY what the PTA at my son’s school is like. It’s why I also go the help out in the classroom/buy needed supplies route. I swore when I graduated high school that I would be done with mean and nasty cliques forever. Um, not that I was in those cliques in high school, in fact they made my life a living hell. There’s no way I would join the PTA now and put myself back around that same kind of group on purpose.

  17. baseballmom

    It’s really unfortunate that some ptas are like that. Ours is not, and we encourage people to help us out and are nice to everyone. For a few years before this, there was a power trippin chick, who was president and took over everything and wouldn’t let anyone else play, but I just volunteered my time in the classrooms and did my job at school, and waited for her to leave. She’s gone now, and it’s a totally different experience. I guess I have always felt that even though I am a board member, I’m not doing it for the recognition, or for myself, but for my kid. If I can contribute more by volunteering in the classroom, which is really where it’s at, then that’s the important thing. I do like being able to be in the middle of the planning and helping at events, but I don’t like to be recognized or singled out, so I kinda stay on the fringes.

  18. Daisy

    We have the PFC (Parent-Faculty-Committee) and I must raise my hand to say that ours is a very small, focused and genuinely wonderful group of people.
    But it sounds like we are not the norm.
    Bummer for all you ladies out there that have these Fannies in your lives – because being involved in the betterment of the school is what its all about.
    But then again, my kids go to a private, Christian school. So, maybe your school is public? (Just curious?)

  19. Karen E

    Well I’ve never been a part of the PTA so I’ve never had an experience like that. I think I’ve been avoiding it because of situations like that…

  20. Caroline Bingham

    oi, not yet. My oldest starts school in August and that up there? Scares me to death. Cause you can mess with me, that’s fine. But if it involves my kids? Watch out. Mama don’t play nice…..

  21. Ginny

    Well, it’s the PTC at our school (insert your own clever initial designations) and it usually exactly as you’ve described. We get a new president every year and the last one was an unbelievable bitch. Even her fellow bitches couldn’t stand her and they began to quit their positions. She’d send out emails forbidding women to speak about stuff with other people (“Don’t you DARE email so and so or you will have to deal with me!”) The current one is a ticking time bomb–I can’t wait to see what she pulls. I, too hang back and observe, saving all my volunteering for the classroom and the library–the things that really let you interact with the kids. I do have friends who are more involved so I get the scoop. And it is ALWAYS some crazy stuff that no normal person would care about. How hilarious is it that Fanny’s husband warned her that her day would come? Can you imagine life in THAT house? Wow. Good luck with G-Unit’s PTA. Fingers crossed!

  22. Kristie

    Well, fortunately, our PTA is nothing like that, so I’m hopeful yours won’t be anymore, either. I also like working directly in the classrooms so I can spy …. er, I mean …. helpfully watch my children’s peers and decide who I like and who I don’t. 🙂
    But the best part of PTA, if nothing else, is stick it out long enough to find the other women who are just like you, and then you’ve made friends, and you won’t *need* the PTA anymore!

  23. sassy

    As someone that might have told off my goddaughter’s 4th grade teacher for treating me like dog crap while I was chaperoning a field trip, I resemble this post.
    Not proud of it but I got sick of how she was treating me! I wasn’t a “real mom” and she made sure I knew it.
    I have a feeling my head bobbed too.

  24. balconygal

    Oh, can I just say I like to look at this kind of mom at a distance and, squinting through my thumb and forefinger, squish their little head?!!? Oh, doesn’t that feel good?

  25. Christine

    Gosh, I feel pretty lucky. Our PTA parents are pretty down-to-earth and cool. They get a lot done and without any bad attitudes or power trips. Knock on wood! 🙂

  26. schoolofmom

    Yeah, that’s usually the women who have one child, no job, no volunteer work outside the school… I have an acquaintance who spends ALL DAY at her son’s school. All day. Doesn’t leave! My involvement in our PTA begins and ends with paying my dues every year and attending the program for my son’s grade level. Hey, he’s got two younger sisters not in school yet, that’s a free pass from my perspective if not everyone else’s.

  27. supertiff

    as i’ve said before, i don’t have any kids…that said, 1) good for you that you stood up for yourself that day. the rest of those ladies can pretend that you were somehow ‘scary,’ but at the end of the day, you were true to yourself. i know you said that you could have handled it a bit differently…but when i read that i was really proud of you, which leads me to 2) you know, you could always be the PTA in g-units pta. i’m just saying.
    embrace the power!

  28. Andrea

    Whoa….let’s not make generalizations on here: “Yeah, that’s usually the women who have one child, no job, no volunteer work outside the school…”
    I have one son and I volunteer in his school library & classroom on Tuesdays for a few hours each week. I want to make my difference there, instead of attending evening meetings and paying dues. (Maybe it’s just me, but I remember my mom busting her butt on the PTO, donating tons of her time & energy and not having to pay dues to do so!) I have no experience with the school’s PTA, but I appreciate the events that they plan and sponsor. Isn’t it sad that groups of women sometimes revert back to those ugly high school clique days? Insane.

  29. clickmom

    The PTA is filled with real characters around here. I like to help out because I want to be involved so I either volunteer for positions that I can do alone (we have a publicity volunteer that takes photos for the school! right up your alley! and th ekids love the mom with the camera!) or apply as part of a group that I know who I will be working with. Life is too short to spend it with not nice people.

  30. Lurker Girl

    I have made attempts at working with our PTA–but what a stinkin nightmare. We are a very small town–you have the “original” town and then you have the 2 new subdivisions that have created the rest of it. Needless to say, if you are not “a lifer” (kind of like living in New England–born and raised or a “newbie”), you don’t really count to the old timers and your opinions are not necessarily wanted or encouraged. (Hell we even elected a “newbie” for our new Mayor and the old Mayor won’t give him and of the documents he was working on prior to his election loss–things required by law–but it’s been 2 months since the new guy took office and he still doesn’t have the stuff–total pissing match)
    The new folks (ie: me and my friends) have some great new ideas and plans to make our school a fantastic place–but “it;s not the way we have done it before” is the standing motto with the “old timers”. It’s frustrating as hell and I’ve decided it’s a waste of time. I still bake my stuff for the school, cook for the dinners and give donations for the raffles/festivals, but let the old, bitter, tired, worn-out, stuck in their mindset biddies run things like “they always have”. I only have one child and am a WOHM, so my time dealing with them will be limited.

  31. Sarah

    My daughter is only 16-months-old so I have not ventured into this realm of motherhood yet. Moreover, we live in one of the skankiest school districts of all of the Detroit metro, so I can only imagine what it might be like (if a PTA even exists).
    I must say, however, that only 16 months into parenting, and I am so deeply disappointed by the socializing-with-other-moms aspect of this job that I may have already given up trying to make mom-friends.
    I have never, ever had problems making female friends, so I don’t think it’s me…Or at least not entirely me. I lived in the girls’ dorm in college, I still talk to my college roommates every day, my sister and I are best friends…I pictured motherhood to be an extended version of this. Instead, I have yet to experience anything but a bunch of busy-body, highly judgmental, know-it-all, preachy, opposite-of-fun-to-be-around, unhappy women. When the Fanny types start spouting off, I frantically look around the room for women who are rolling their eyes, and thus might be a kindred spirit, but I’ve yet to find one.
    Good for you for standing up for yourself. There is, of course, a much deeper issue here…What’s causing us to turn against each other or turn into monsters (or perceive it like that)? But I can’t even be bothered to think about the answers to those questions, because it’s all I can do to deal with the other questions: “You feed her that?”, “She’s not doing algebra yet?”, “Is it a good idea to let her watch that?”
    Thank God for the internets (which have their own PTAs, but are much easier to ignore).

  32. Sarah

    Oh, and there was a comment made somewhere up above along the lines of “maybe I don’t deal with this because my child goes to a private, Christan school”, to which I say bwahahahaha.

  33. Lori

    You’re a better woman than I am – I never would have apologized to that bitch.
    Hooray for Y!!

  34. Rosie

    I don’t DO PTA because then my volunteer time becomes THEIR volunteer time. They start expecting things and I start resenting and that’s good for no one. Plus, I try very hard not to take on other people’s drama. Gots enough of my own ;).
    What I’ve found that gets you in good with the teachers and requires minimal effort? Each month I prepare the Scholastic order forms to send home with the kids. I can do it from home, it only takes an hour but it frees up an hour for the teachers and they really appreciate it. I separate the pages and staple the cover letter to it. When I want to get fancy I even write in the due date. Then I send it in with my kid and forget about it until the next month.

  35. Vertyeux

    Fanny! Hee! *tries to contain herself* sorry about that, but ever since I found out that “fanny” is the british term for “c*nt” I get an extra little chuckle whenever I see the term. Also, judging from the rest of the story, you couldn’t have chosen a more perfect pseudonym for her! I’m so glad you put her in her place.

  36. Amber

    OMG I totally relate to the post earlier about being the “Newbie” town. Well Im not such the newbie town but the newbie in the town. Im the youngest mom in the school (NOT LYING HERE). Im 24, I have a son that will turn 9 the day after I turn 25, I have a 6 yr old and a 3 1/2 yr old. SO YES do the math i was 16 the day before I had my son. Well anyway my sons go to school where you aren’t an original you are frowned apon. Well then I get the dirty looks for being a teen momma, and then they all see that i have “lots” of kids and think Im some type of slut. WHICH IM NOT, been with the same man for 10 years and married for 8 years June 30th. So anyways long story short, Im not in our PTA/PTO because of ignorant women and men in that matter who pass judgement on me, when in all reality IM a pretty cool chick with a great family who could be a great addition to the PTA/PTO if was given the chance but Im not going to sit in a room with a bunch of snotty bitches who think they are better then me because they think because I’m new in the town I carry some disease LOL Luckily I don’t have to explain this to people because I guess I sound a lil’ rude, and LUCKILY the hubby’s job contract with this facility is up in Nov, he can sign again BUT I will agree only if we move closer to his work and away from the snobby bitches in this town. SORRY had to get this all out. Thanks for listening! LOL

  37. Leticia

    I know exactly what you mean. I have 3 kids…a 16 year old, a 3 1/2 year old (born 8/4/04 :o) ), and a 10 month old. I feel so bad for my oldest son because I feel like he gets the shaft so often. I had him really young, so during his elementary years I was fresh out of college and on my first job. I couldn’t really volunteer.
    Now that he’s older, its hard for me to volunteer with the two little ones. I decided I was going to volunteer in one of the band committees at his school. Those band ladies are RUDE. They’ve already got their own cliques going on and they really don’t want anyone new in there. But what kills me is that at all the parent meetings, they always ask for volunteers. I want to say, “well quit being assholes to the volunteers you DO get!!!!”

  38. Jeanette

    I was never on the PTA but I did volunteer as a room mother for both of my kids at one time or another. It’s amazing how bitchy some of these woman can be and how much they think of themselves because they are active and involved in the school. I loved helping the kids and the teacher, and hated when I had to deal with other mothers! I must say, though. You are a better person than me because there is no way on God’s green earth that I would have apologized to that bitch. No way!

  39. Magnolia

    God I had hoped that was a stereotype. I wanted to be on my son’s PTA when he gets into I’m a little freaking worried.

  40. Laura

    I don’t know what it is about PTA. You don’t even need the “this is about my PTA not yours” disclaimer, because they’re all like that! That’s been my experience, anyway.
    I was roped into being the VP of the PTA when my daughter was in 2nd grade. What a stinkin’ nightmare that was. First of all, like you said – everyone let the tiny bit of “power” they had go right to their heads. Like these women (and one dude) had nothing else important in their lives, so they had to OBSESS about PTA and act like total control freaks.
    Besides the typical “Power Tripping Assholes” business, our PTA was just insane. We had one guy, he was the president, and he hated the school’s principal. He got all these bitter teachers to band together against the principal and try to oust her from the school, even going so far as to use the fundraiser money from all that stupid gift wrap and popcorn to retain A FUCKING LAWYER to try to get rid of the principal. That was when I resigned, but not before laying into all of the teachers about whining to A VOLUNTEER instead of going to the school board, their teacher’s union, etc.
    My daughter ended up going to a new school because we moved. Last I heard, the PTA was being investigated and eventually was broken up altogether. There’s no longer a PTA at all at that elementary school. And that SUCKS, because it could be such a great thing, if people would just get their heads out of their asses and think about helping the kids. Ugh!

  41. Lisa Milton

    Oh foolish me – I saw an opening for VP last year, when my best friend took our former Fanny’s spot and we thought: WE CAN CHANGE IT. It will be fun and we’ll advocate for the kiddies and we’ll be friendly and kind.
    New PTA. Huzzah.
    It hasn’t been a great year. The fannies, they keep coming. They can’t stop themselves and the office yaps at us, random parents yap at us.
    I won’t be doing it again, just helping out from time to time. And when the former Fanny takes over again, well, I guess being nice just didn’t pay off for me.
    (I still think helping in the classroom is the most rewarding part.)

  42. elise

    Hee, I could have written this post, if only we substituted “PTA” for “members association” and “got in her face and yelled and maybe shook my finger in her face as I yelled” with “wrote a letter explaining exactly why I won’t participate, calling the Bitchiest One out in name, and sent it to the president of the association. who then passed it out to the members”.
    Yikes. I am right in the middle of it right now, only I’m not sure my end result will be the other people being nice (even if it’s because they’re “scared”). I hope it is!

  43. Nothing But Bonfires

    I just LOVE that you called her Fanny. To fully understand the awesomeness of this, you need to Google what the word means to us British folk. Then you will know. And you will laugh.

  44. laura

    dude. my school is full of those parent trippin’ assholes. and? they dress like polly-freaking-ann. did you know seasonal vests are still being made? as well as scrunchies?

  45. Jennifer

    Holy shit. I’m scared to death of the PTA for fear of beyotches like that. Thank you, thank you, thank you for telling her sassy ass off.
    Stay tuned in 3 years when I start having eerily similar stories to post.

  46. Pinky

    My son started Kindergarten this year and I was all enthused about joining the PTA just like you were. The very first meeting the VP’s staged a coup and overthrew the President. It was crazy, people yelling at each other and then while one of the vp’s was talking on the mike the president yanked the cord out of the speaker! To top it all off, the President was deaf and his interpretor got fed up with the craziness and walked out, not to mention the fact that where I live here in Queens, NY 75% of the parents speak no english so there were about 5 different translations being shouted out at the same time. the whole thing was so crazy that i never went back.

  47. Carrie

    That, my dear, was lovely, and good for you for giving it another change. The Mothers at my daughter’s preschool scare me so much that I can’t even imagine braving the PTA. They scolded me because I didn’t send Valentine bags. Did you know you were suposed to send Valentine bags? I didn’t. I sent ugly Shrek cards with little lollipops stuck thru them, but apparently that is not good enough. There must be huge BAGS of candy. For 3 year olds. They scare me. And I’m quite bitchy mysefl!

  48. Gruppie Girl

    Back when I was a teacher the PTO ladies were crazy! They would spend their meetings arguing and yelling. Until one day, during an especially heated argument, a bolt of lightning came through the window and struck the floor next to the one doing the yelling. All was quiet after that.
    Because of my past PTO experince I was leary to join my daughter’s PTO. You know what? I love it. All of the moms are really genuine. I have gotten to know the principal well. it can be a lot of fun.
    Best of luck with your second go around with the PTO. Hopefully the “mean girls” will have left by then.

  49. Stacy

    Good for you for putting that woman in her place – she really had no right to speak to you like that and you had every right to call her out on it!
    Our PTA sent out a survey last year and published the results in their newsletter. One of the questions was: “If you are not a member of the PTA, why not?” The overwhelming response from parents was that the PTA is a huge, catty clique and people did not want to be involved for that reason. The PTA issued an open letter of apology for being a huge, catty clique. It was king of strange and funny at the same time.
    I have no idea if they have changed since then – I stay away and just volunteer as a room helper.

  50. Brittany

    Aw yes the PTA….see I am your friend, the one who decided to become PTA President to change it, ha! I have three months and nine days left of my “reign”, not soon enough if you ask me. I have been yelled at, ridiculed, cursed at, gossiped about and people have just been downright mean, these are the people on my board. So much for that change, now they wonder why no one wants to be President next year! I know it’s all for the children, but most days I don’t think the children enter most of these ladies minds. So beware my friend, thread lightly as you re-enter the PTA world, not much will change, anywhere, anytime!

  51. Tracey

    My old school was the same way. Here in the sticks, cornfields, and farmers, all is good. We only have about 8 people show up at meetings and two of those are the principal and the teacher-in-charge. However, I still show up, say my part, and leave. It’s a job, not a social function.

  52. The Over-Thinker

    As both of my parents are public school teachers, I have heard my fair share of certain parents are assholes stories…man. They would dread PTA nights…both at their schools and at mine. So many times, nothing ever gets accomplished.
    And you gave much such a laugh—Power Trippin’ Assholes….nail, meet head.

  53. Beth

    I gotta say, the PTA at my son’s school is a bunch of awesome women. I’ve helped out from time to time, but they really do *so much* and have a great attitude on top of it. I think it just varies from school to school, and I would give it another chance in the new school if I were you. You could meet some wonderful people. 🙂

  54. TxSkatemom

    the “room moms” in my son’s school were pissed at me for bringing a big tin of popcorn to my son’s Christmas party one year. “Oh, we have already planned out the food…” Whatever. They wouldn’t even give me a cup to scoop the popcorn out onto the kid’s plates because it clashed with their menu or whatever. “Oh, sorry… we have just enough cups for the kids’ drinks.” So I walked around and just poured the popcorn into the centers of their tables onto paper towels and the kids LOVED it. They kept calling me back to refill their tables. Hideous, those women are, especially to those of us with jobs outside the house. Ick.

  55. occational poster

    My kid’s school has a PTO, because we’re SO SPECIAL! We have to have our own SEPERATE meetings. God forbid we mingle with the other elementary schools in our area. My girlfriend and I talk about this QUITE OFTEN!!! Oh yes, I too wanted to be involved and now 5 years later and my third now in kindergarten, I realize there is no changin’ anything at our SPECIAL SCHOOL. The a-holes….. i mean the Moms at our school remind me of the not-so-popular girls in high school. And now they are moms with an agenda!! They’re the ‘in’ girls now and they aren’t lettin’ anyone do anything to change that. Even if it is at their kids Elem. School. How sad some people are…. when exactly do some people get over themselves? A friend at our middle school was just telling us that it is even talked about at their school, How embarrassing for our school! I don’t even want to admit it’s where we are comming from. I wish I could have been more aggressive when I started with my first, maybe it would have worked out better, but I tend to back off when intimidated. Good luck!

  56. Stefanie

    I haven’t been in the PTA and plan to avoid it like the plague. Didn’t you ever hear the song “Harper Valley PTA”? If not, go listen to it right now!
    P.S. that was a very funny post (yes, the head, it was a bobbin’)

  57. Cindy

    Oh Y, I hope you do give the new PTA another chance. I joined the PTA (became president even) with a vision to chant the mantra “we’re inclusive, not exclusive” I made the executive officers wear regular clothes (read jeans and sweats) and quit dressing up to go to a meeting — hello, we’re mothers on the move. I moved the tables in the library to form a huge circle (no table cliques, thank you very much) and treated all committee chairs to drinks at the local pub for the end of the year celebration. Honestly, some of those moms (my oldest daughter is in college now) are my people. We have “pub club” monthly (ahem, is there a recurring theme here?)
    Please, give it another try. There are lots of people just like you out there. Sometimes it takes a leader to find them. And by the way? The inclusive theme really works. I’m on the school board now — got noticed by the superintendent right away. The Fanny moms of the world? Give their kids an extra squeeze and overlook their indiscretions. But do keep calling Fanny out, she needs to quit with the belittling.
    And while I have your attention — you are gorgeous. You are courageous and gorgeous. Keep shining!

  58. JaniceNW

    Seeing as my boys are sorta grown up at 17 and 19(ha!) I’ve done the PTA thang. I’ve been book fair chair for 7 book fairs, 3 at the junior high. I’ve written the monthly newsletter. I’ve been vice president of activities. I refused to fund raise. I’ve run into all kinds. I used to refer to several as back biting bitches and wonder when junior high would end for these women. I also made some good friends. I volunteered one half day per boy per week all throughout elementary, maybe I thought I had to justify staying at home, maybe I’m a controlling mom who needed to know every detail of my kids’ lives? I don’t regret any of it. In the middle school/junior high era I’d sign up and no one ever called. I was apparently of the wrong religious affiliation to help. I made friends with the administration and chaperoned dances(a blog post unto itself), I aided teachers in their classes and one time, lectured ninth grade world history classes in the first ever written Law, The Code of Hammerabi. High school, they only want you if you’re going to fund raise. No way Jose. I also started school 3 years ago so my time was much more limited.
    I refused to be pushed out of my kids’ school lives from k-8th grade.

  59. G-Mom

    Holy-Moly are there enough PTA stories! Been there done that as a President too. I had a dream…Frankly, back in the day I was your twin when it came to “taking so much and can take no more”. Had a mom much like yours that was very upset I “got to be” Pres. (she had been treas. & thought it was automatic) like it was some gazillion $ lottery. While giving an update on activities at a parent meeting I announced who the new Treas. was and unlike in the year past all books would be open for parents review and there would be no more improprities of the $ spent.
    That was very, very ugly but I felt like everyone would form their own opinion. LOL
    Reason 101 while they built me a slide straight down.

  60. heartfull

    Well, our PTO is awesome. The board, of which I’m a member this year, bends over backwards to be inclusive, laid back and fun. I have never heard a scrap of gossipy type stuff at the meetings.
    We don’t pay dues. I can’t even imagine charging people! That is just plain weird.
    We sit in a circle. It never occurred to me that that promotes inclusiveness, but I can see how it would per Cindy’s comment above.
    The presidents gives out little gifts to show their appreciation to committee members who went the extra mile.
    Meetings are in the evening so everyone can attend. we work really hard to keep them at an hour, though they can go longer if there is a lot of stuff.
    Sometimes there is a little drama. But jeez, that happens anywhere you have a group of people. I work with a bunch of men, and we have drama – I think we women need to give ourselves a break in that area. People have different interests, different values, different goals – conflict is inevitable. But that is why you have rules and procedures and a voting system.
    Yeah, there are people I don’t particularly like or who are pushy. But whatever. I just avoid them. I can’t imagine someone who was generally disliked would get onto the board at our PTO.
    And yet, I have heard some people express sentiments like those above. They attended a meeting, or tried to get involved and were put off my something/someone. Was it a former member a long time ago that I don’t know? I have no idea…

  61. Leslie

    When my now college age daughter was in elementary school, we had the PTC. (Parent Teacher Club) Would you believe that the same bitch who was in charge then is STILL there, running things? I’m convinced she birthed her three kids strategically, so as to maximize their passage through this school. She’s still got the job because after nearly TEN YEARS of her controlling and micromanging ways, no one else wants it. She’s driven away anyone who could do some good for the school and the kids, and surrounded herself with lackeys who do her bidding. Like the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys.
    She will forever be known as “The mean Sees candy lady”, because the annual Sees candy fundraiser was her baby. She once asked me to help sort candy orders, then assigned one of her friends to double check my orders, to make sure I hadn’t stolen anything. I picked up my coat and purse and walked out. After that, I was Room Mom and only helped out in my child’s classroom. The hell with the PTC.

  62. Jan

    That is really too bad. The PTA at my school is WONDERFUl although I am sure there is gossiping and back-biting because what group of women is complete without that? I would NEVER say something to the wonderful parents who help at my Book Fairs and are talking to each other about books. Isn’t that what the Book Fair is ABOUT??

  63. Erica

    I laughed my ass off at that one. I was a teacher, then had children and had the same ideas, then experienced first hand and every time I have to attend something at school it makes me break out in a sweat. I am still a member and will donate food and things like that, but I refuse to be on any committee’s or volunteer for any of the projects. I tell my kids teachers that if there is anyting I can do to help just let me know. Sometimes I will cut things out at home or donate supplies. I feel good and my kids know I am helping out.

  64. Jackie

    Hi Y,
    You’re hilarious. And I’m truly scared that I’ll have these lovely ladies to deal with when my kids hit the elementary age. I just wanted to say hi!

  65. Jennifer

    yup, between the Home and School Association and the Girl Scouts, I really am not needed. The mommy mafia takes over everything, way too involved. You would think that a troop lead by two women who were not girl scouts and use it as an excuse to expand their gossip time, would love a lifetime girl scout to volunteer and get the responsibility of learning about scouting off their plate. They prefer to screw it up on their own. Its been a fun year, can’t wait for the next 8.

  66. Sasha

    I think you did the right thing. I appreciated the time my mom spent helping out, but I really didn’t need to to receive the rundown from her about which of my classmates’ moms were assholes and why – your kids got the benefit of your participation without all the asshole pta drama 🙂

  67. justmylife

    Don’t count on it being different, it is the same at my kids school. I am glad you stuck up for yourself. And I don’t think you should have apoligized. She needed to know that she wasn’t the queen bee and now she knows. And I am sure it made you feel better that you didn’t put up with the crap.

  68. Mishel

    I don’t have a story for you but that’s mainly b/c my son is only 14 months old BUT I did want to say that your story is hilarious and I hope you don’t have to deal w/any more Fanny’s.

  69. Redneck Mommy

    Aw, the PTA beyotches.
    I had a smack down with them after my son died. THEY who never met my sweet little Bug tried to plan the school funeral for my son insisting it fell under their mandate, instead of letting Bug’s aide and a few classroom volunteers who actually worked with my son and myself.
    Let’s just say I chewed them a new asshole and they still cower when they see me.
    And I didn’t apologize. Nor will I.
    Glad you stood up for yourself.
    And honey, I’ve got man voice too. It’s not sexy. I’m thinking of you…

  70. holly

    Wow, you sure told her! I can’t tell you how often I’ve wanted to do something like that. I’m the sort who always looks at my feet and doesn’t say anything. Until later in my empty house when I rant and rave like a maniac. I wish I could be as brave as you!
    As for your next post (the comments-closed one), I’m so so sorry life sucks so much right now. Thyroid medication should make a huge difference once they get the type and dosage figured out. You’ll be yourself once more! I hope you get to see the endocrinologist soon! (maybe call your doctor’s office since emails aren’t working?)

  71. baseballmom

    Y-I know the comments are closed on the post about your thyroid, but seriously, get thee to an endocrinologist, or SOMEONE who can help you. My husband sees one for diabetes, and his dr. didn’t have to refer him, he was able to get in after he told them the situation (the dr. didn’t know enough about diabetes, was just a GP). Call around, and tell them how you’re feeling, and maybe you can get one to help–that’s what they’re there for! Good luck.

  72. Stacey

    OMG, I just found your blog and have read all of March in sequence until this post. I think I love you! I can’t even express to you how much I LOVED your “take-down.”
    I’m not even a mom, but when I was a nanny I used to call those “ladies” the “entitled-ballet-slipper-park-in-the-handicapped-spot-just-for-a-minute-bitches.” (yes, that did drive my friends crazy. HA!)

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