Panties in Bunches

My mom never had the time or the need to get involved in volunteer activities. She doesn’t know how lucky she was.

Yesterday’s meeting at my house was…interesting. One of Bill’s favorite phrases to describe somebody in a snit is that “he’s got his panties all in a bunch.” Well, I seemed to have a few wedgies here. I’m just thankful that I could sit back and watch. Unfortunately, though, I have to be very careful. This group is related to my husband’s job, and I can’t do anything that would reflect poorly on him. It would seriously affect his job progression.

Perhaps this is good, for it gives me the chance to practice deference. And keeping my mouth shut. And controlling my passions.

I told Bill that he worked at echelon’s so high, that the thin air and reduced oxygen seemed to be affecting everybody’s ability to think. Perhaps that’s just the way it is everywhere. You would think that the higher up in the pecking order you go, the more useful you could be. But it feels like the higher up you go, the more bogged down in legalities and political correctness and diplomacy and other crap you get. I have to remember, though, that a point on the outside of a really big wheel moves only a little bit, but all the points inside that wheel move much more in comparison. Perhaps what we do won’t seem to matter, but perhaps changes are really taking place without seeming to do so.

Today I have another meeting, at my husband’s office. ding ding Round Two.

And then this is the week of meetings for I have another meeting on Friday. The homeschool group here on post needed a Director of Membership, and I volunteered. I don’t know exactly why I did this. Bill was pretty upset about it.

I really don’t like the homeschool group and do very little with them. I was feeling pretty stupid about volunteering to work with a group that I didn’t like. I was worried that I was going to be a big thorn in everybody’s side. They’ve decided that members of the group aren’t involved enough, so they want to assign points for various jobs and make everybody earn a certain amount or else.

Or else…30 lashes with a wet noodle?
Or else…we won’t like you? (Oh, wait, we already don’t like you and that’s why you don’t participate…)
Or else…you can’t be a member of the group? (But since you never participate, will we really notice your absense?)

Anyway, just as I was really thinking that I was foolish to take on this entrenched group that, also, seems to have it’s panties in bunches, and straighten them out, give them an attitude adjustment…just as I was wondering if I could really make a difference, I met Piper on the playground yesterday afternoon.

I actually met Piper about 7 months ago. She followed me to Manassas on the one field trip I took with this homeschool group, but I didn’t interact with her much on the trip and hadn’t seen her since then. She lives in my neighborhood now. Her boys are the same ages as my boys. She homeschools. And guess what?

She can’t stand the homeschool group either.

She had similar complaints about the attitude among the leaders.

“Don’t be late on a field trip – it makes ALL homeschoolers look bad.” I agree that tardiness is annoying, but are non-homeschoolers always on time?

“Don’t bring little children on this field trip if they can’t behave – it makes ALL homeschoolers look bad.” I agree that a tantruming toddler is a bad thing, but how well behaved are they expected to be? And if I’m concerned that a 15 second outburst will exceed the tolerance level of the homeschool gestapo, please excuse me if I decide to not go on field trips, since, you know, I homeschool my kids and don’t put my toddler in day care full time and won’t be able to find a babysitter since the teenage girls in the neighborhood are, you know, in school.

“Absolutely no toddlers or babies may go to the Theatreworks programs – they might make ALL homeschoolers look bad.” Oh, really, and none of the public school kids attending the one hour performance will be out of line, ever? They will all sit quietly and politely the whole time? And none of their moms chaperoning the trip will bring a younger sibling?

Piper also asked me, “Is their ‘friends card’ full or something?” She got the same cold shoulder at meetings that I did. Nobody felt the need to even try to include her in conversation. I thought I just smelled bad.

When I told her that I was to be the Director of Membership, she told me that she had volunteered to do one of the activities that fell under that job. So, I have an ally. Somebody who is crazy enough to volunteer to work with an organization that she loathes in an effort to improve the organization. So, I’m glad I volunteered.


5 thoughts on “Panties in Bunches

  1. someone’s way too worried about appearances. fussing babies/toddlers make homeschoolers look bad??? *EYE ROLL* babies fuss. toddlers fuss. i’m so sick of people that make me feel like a bad mom if T isn’t perfectly behaved out in public, the dirty looks i get if she whines the least little bit. good luck! i admire you for being the change you want to see 🙂

  2. I used to belong to a homeschool group like that, ew, I moved back to my hometown and discovered a Catholic group (about 25 families with over 100 kids!) that was loosely based and super relaxed. Nobody’s “in charge” so it works out well. It’s nice to have friends who don’t hyper-judge every little thing and who look at babies and toddlers as wonderful gifts from God instead of bratty, little reputation-ruiners. (The group I belonged to before was generic “Christian” and I think I was the only Catholic! They were all snobby and had their kids in a million different activities. Sometimes I wondered why they homeschooled at all!)

  3. Yes, the Catholic group I belong to is great. The only reason I know about the behavior of the public school kids at the Theatreworks shows is because THEY didn’t think taking children was an issue. I got my tickets through them and went and had a great time.But the Catholic group doesn’t have a monthly support meeting! The other homeschool group does, but it’s at nap time (what can you do? If they scheduled it during the morning, then it would be a conflict for other people…).I’ll see if my participation will amount to anything. My instincts say: RUN! That would likely save me many headaches.

  4. Hey, why not start your own monthly support meeting with the moms? Maybe at night and invite them all and whomever comes, comes? My group meets about every month or two but I have never attended, I just have playdates with the kiddos and moms sometimes. RUN, run and never turn back! Just kidding, but life’s too short for all that negativity, know what I mean?

  5. The problem is that I live on post and getting on post is difficult and cumbersome if you don’t have a DoD sticker. Most of the Catholic moms I know are not military, and I feel bad hosting them here given the difficulty getting on post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s