I have to say, the stakes are somewhat small. The PTA of our fantastic and lovely elementary school raises $150,000 to $170,000 a year, to support the teachers and kids. Fantastic for our community, and nothing to sneeze at. But hardly Forbes Magazine territory. Someone who managed to steal it all could have a very nice couple years in France, but wouldn’t be able to buy an island in the Caribbean, or retire for life.
So why do I feel so different now that I’m … PTA President for next year?
Ooh, did you feel the little thrill that went up my spine when I typed that? PTA. President!
I became president because I was on the nominating committee, and everyone else said no. Every single person. Some of them said “oh hell no.” And actually “became” is presumptuous. I will become president if I’m elected. I’m the only one running, there’s just one candidate per office, and it’s unlikely any of us won’t win. Who would want this job? So probably, it’s me.
I love to be involved, yet I think of myself as a doer, not a leader. I enjoy a party more if I have a task. Collect the money? Help with the food? Create the signup list? I’m on it. Now that it’s my daughter’s sixth year at the school, I’ve been on many committees, attended and helped with many events. I know where some of the skeletons are buried.
So is it just a matter of attrition? Last person standing? I am not being humble when I say that I did everything I could think of to wriggle out of this job. Everything except for saying absolutely, positively no.
Maybe that means I really wanted this. Maybe this was my plan all along, to take over the place.
Now that I’ve all but won, I must admit I feel different. There’s a Tracy Flick “Election” thing going on. (Look it up, you annoying babies who weren’t old enough to see that movie in the 90s… You missed a lot of good stuff!) People are telling me they’re glad I’m going to lead the organization, which is kind. Perhaps they’re being polite, but the more I hear it, the more some part of me feels like they’re right and I should be the boss. Don’t you think it was inevitable? Suddenly the power-hungry, desperate junior high schooler in me has the reigns. Maybe I’m the cool dude I always dreamed of being!
Am I more entertaining at parties? Is my opinion important to people? I don’t think any actual facts on the ground have changed, but something in my ego center feels like my opinion is … worth hearing! Valuable! Important!
From one point of view, I’m completely delusional. I’m the same schlub I’ve always been. This role, not even mine until the vote, has me feeling entitled. Proud. Ready to brag! Someone better stop this monster.
But on the other hand, why wouldn’t I be entitled to an option, as a dad and a human being? Why haven’t I always felt like I should have a say? I think that sense of un-entitlement is really the story, to the extent that there’s much of a story. Why wouldn’t what I think about the school be as important as what anyone else thinks?
Ugh, how much time do you have?
I think it’s safe to say that we all ought to feel worthy of ideas, and leadership, and belonging to the world. We should all have a say. From that standpoint it’s pathetic I need a presidency to feel like somebody worthy of it. Yet, it’s kind of exciting to experience that feeling. I’m going to be president! And I am going to totally rock it.