Thursday, May 7, 2009

THIS flu steals swine flu's lunch money.

I've contracted the latest flu virus called I1O1, characterized by headaches, sleeplessness, increased appetite and word vomit. I1o1, also known as In One, Out One (or in one ear and out the other) afflicts moms who don't listen when people tell them to hide from the PTA.

I've pretty much had a 30 hour week job for the last month and it's been eye-opening.

I forgot I was a total freak. Or that I am when I'm a stress case.

But I live a pretty blissful life and I haven't had to operate under a huge stress load since my parents died two years ago and I got married. Things have been happy and peaceful since then.

Then the PTA screwed it all up.

So I may have mentioned a time or two thousand that I'm in charge of this fundraiser. This is the really boring paragraph explaining what it is. Feel free to skip to the next one. Basically, Family Fun Night is the PTA's biggest fundraiser of the year, which I did NOT know when I agreed to run it. Next Friday, it all goes down. I picked a rock and roll theme and convinced my husband's band to play for the bargain basement price of free pizza and some other favors for my husband that we won't discuss here. (No, Debbie. Not that! I was just talking about doing the dishes for him and stuff. Sheesh). Anyway, they're playing in the school gym which will have tables lining the perimeters full of raffle baskets and silent auction items. Items I have worked about three hours a day getting ALL BY MYSELF since the end of March. I have shoved my baby in a stroller and pounded the pavement for hours each day, talking to total strangers and begging for stuff. I have scored thousands of dollars in merchandise.

But my kid hates his stroller now.

This paragrpah is still all the boring details. You can skim this one, too. So now I'm not only getting donations, I'm going back to pick them up (which is slightly more gratifying) and tracking down decorative stuff to help out the girl who's in charge of all that. And I'm selling tickets every morning and afternoon at school. And coordinating the calss decorations because the woman who is supposed to do it is a TOTAL flake. And I'm totaling the cash and ticket sales every day. And I'm trying to chase down ice chests, empty baskets, and a bunch of other stuff. Oh, and I still have to find people to make bake sell items. Anyway, also that night, we'll have a video game truck with a Guitar Hero tournament, rock and roll crafts, and about ten different carnival games. Guess who set all of that up? Go on, guess. YEAH. You guessed right.

The PTA loves me right now.

It's an unrequited love.

BUT....I've learned a couple of interesting things about me when I'm stressed. I operated for so many years under such extreme stress that I didn't realize I did certain things until those habits left me and then came back.

1. When I'm extremely stressed, I suffer from severe word vomit. At least five total strangers this week have learned about my and my husband's future pregnancy and childbirth plans. I have vomited out long, winding tales of my life. I have vomited thoughts that nobody needed to know I was thinking.

This is not strictly normal for me.

2. I cry easily over things that have nothing to do with the fundraiser and are not a big deal and yet I have shed not ONE tear about the fundraiser when things go wrong. Except for one wildly dramatic moment when I ran upstairs and flung myself across my bed, sobbing because I was so fed up.

3. I am guilty of inappropriate uncontrollable laughter that doesn't stop and occurs at totally inopportune times.

4. Being stressed ramps my energy level up extremely HIGH.

None of these things happen when I'm in a normal, non-stressed groove.

I've also figured out a couple of other things.

1. I'm awesome. I'm an awesome force of nature.

2. If I pray to be patient with my family even when I'm stressed, that prayer is answered.

3. I can sell just about anything.'s not all bad. Every time I'm about to totally lose it, someone with a kind heart unexpectedly steps up with an offer of help, an idea, a small or a word of thanks. It makes it possible for me to pull myself together and soldier on a little longer.

I'll survive. I've got barely more than a week to go. I might even make it through without punching anyone.

No promises on that, though.

P.S. Please don't tell me to delegate. I KNOW that. But even when I delegate, people either get appendicitis or new jobs or divorces and I'm left to do it myself anyway. Enough people are doing their part well enough to keep me from going completely ballistic but the reality is, it's on me, and quite frankly, I refuse to have a crappy event. (Sorry, Nancy.)


Kristina P. said...

You are AWESOME. Oh, and I think you should delegate.

Debbie said...

I am your east coast twin. And like you, I have tried to delegate only to have my person quit, via email, two weeks before the event. I feel your pain.

CaJoh said...

I love how you give us permission to skim…

Looks like you can identify those things that happen to you when under duress— good for you.

Not to sound quote-ish but: "This too will pass", "You'll be fine", "Just breathe".

Jami said...

I am so impressed. Post pictures.

I need to write the school PTA thank you notes. Their lives must be hellish, what with the never-ending fundraisers and events and all that. Lucky for me they meet on Wednesday nights and it is impossible for me to join them or I'd be suffering from I1O1 too.

Don't forget to drink plenty of fluids and try to get some rest.

Stephanie and Co. said...

That word vomit could be the best stress quality you have, or at least the most entertaining.
Good luck with your event!

Lara said...

Delegation never works. I've tried. It's like they say, "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

Good luck...this too shall pass.

Becky said...

You really oughta delegate.

Okay, no, cuz that never works. Although if I lived near you AND I had a kid in school AND you were willing to be my pal, I wouldn't flake out on you. Because I've already had appendicitis.

Emily said...

You should probably quit your PTA job. :)

Eowyn said...

You are awesome and I'm so glad those prayers are answered.

And it will be over tomorrow night!

DeNae said...

Oh, Luke, you flirted with the dark side and now your hand has been chopped off and you kissed your sister and everything. What part of "evil empire" failed to register, hmm?

No more PTA gigs. I mean it.

(If you need some anti-motivation, find a web site that tells you what the NATIONAL PTA does with its portion of your dues. My favorite was sponsoring performances in our middle school in Seattle by the Gay and Lesbian awareness group "Act Up". That was the last year I joined the PTA.)

Annette Lyon said...

When it's all over, you need to have a day at the spa.

earlfam said...

In the middle of my referendum petition drive I gave everyone a deadline. I told them over and over again that I needed all petitions in by a certain date so we could count and know exactly where we were. I sent out notices and emails and made phone calls. When the day came (incidentally the night of the PTO carnival where I was only in charge of the raffle) not one person had turned in their petitions. I remember standing in my backyard on the phone with my husband (who was living 200 miles away until the children and I could join him) bawling and saying "I can't do this myself and NO ONE IS HELPING ME!!!!!!!! A few hours later I realized I had put the wrong month on every single notice I sent out. I felt very stupid and very relieved.

And DeNae is right about PTA you need to succeed and become a PTO.

Kimberly said...

On behalf of all my fellow flaky women around the world - I must humbly apologize.

You really do rock, you know.

Linda said...

Stress is not all bad because it makes up really enjoy the times we have with out it!
Love you and I am so proud of you for the hard work you are doing!

Linda said...

Stress is not all bad because it makes up really enjoy the times we have with out it!
Love you and I am so proud of you for the hard work you are doing!

LisAway said...

Wow! Look at all the useful information you've gathered about yourself! :)

I have to say that you really do seem the perfect person for this job. It sounds like it's going to be fantastic. I'm so glad for you that it's almost over, and I hope you have not more disappointments left, and as little stress as possible!

nano*ink said...

that's nothing - It's the word vomiting that is getting to me.
Good luck with the fundraiser. They will want you to do it again next year! Happy Mother's Day. Don't think about it all spoiled.

Mina said...

I was the PTA poster girl for 7 years. Then we moved. And no one here knows I can't say "no." I'm so proud of myself for not telling them. I help the teachers as much as I can, but I can't go back to the PTA craziness. Maybe that's horrible of me. But I don't feel bad.

Baak Talk said...

I feel your pain, although I was smart enough not to take on the BIGGEST fundraiser, YIKES! FFR you always find a CO-CHAIR for that. I can't believe you're doing it yourself!!

It really is a part-time to full time job. I got to take a break this year!

Good luck on the event!!

Melinda said...

I like you. I'm so that way, I want it to be awesome, but it's in MY head and no one else can do it how I see it!! Good luck, I hope its awesome and then you can stop word vomiting, ewww sounds gross! haha