Saturday, May 5, 2007

live from seatac, it's saturday night!

[Applause] [Cue flattering lighting]

Thanks, ladies & gentlemen, and welcome! I'm here at the state PTA convention having quite a grand time despite the fact that 1) I am frequently provoked into hooting about my excitement to be here, and 2) some nasty (and likely highly contagious - forgive me, fellow conventioneers) flu-like disease has infiltrated my body. I feel like I've been repeatedly body slammed by large, ruthless individuals, and my throat is swollen and raw. But I'm really having fun! I've got a good excuse not to hoot now, anyway.

Now, lest you've heard stories of last year's "Moms Gone Wild" convention trip (so totally untrue...I'm pretty sure...Nobody has video, right?), this is not a result of multiple martinis and late night dancing. Instead, it's a result of multiple martinis and late night chatting with a strange guy we met in the bar. He wasn't really a STRANGE GUY as in 'look for him on the evening news', just a lonely dude who asked to join us at our table because he could hear our entire conversation anyway. Although we were talking about childbirth, so maybe he really was a strange guy. Nah, he was a pleasant, hopeful fellow Coug with a sports barbershop in Wenatchee (if you find yourself needing a haircut in central Washington, stop by Holben's!). So, we all stayed up talking until my voice pretty much cut out - the hotel lounge version of a dropped call. After miming good evening/morning to him, we headed back to our room - the farthest one possible from the lobby (they must know I never exercise); I was asleep at 2:20 and leaped out of bed at 7:20 when breakfast was delivered. However, the eggs, bacon, and potatoes I had ordered the night before didn't seem quite as appetizing anymore. I called next door to my trusty Legislative Chair, proud member of the Clean Plate Club, and settled myself into a nice cup of tea and some orange juice. And a handful of stress tablets.

I like to think I was looking simply tired, maybe a little demure in my slow walking and lack of head movements, but I'm pretty sure I resembled a well-dressed zombie most of the day. By the time I got through my last class at 3:15, my head was throbbing. I handed off my voting credential to our Treasurer and shuffled back to the room, in Outer Mongolia, for a three-hour nap. When my fellow board members returned, neither of them bothered to let me know mascara was smeared across my temple. That, along with the growing heat rash from sleeping under a down comforter fully clothed combined to make me look positively plague-ridden. But I am our PTA President-elect, and as God is my witness this is not going to lick me! I gamely rose to iron my sweater, shave my legs, and clean that mascara off my face so we could attend the banquet.

Although I have learned much valuable information that will help me wisely lead my people, the most thrilling part of the weekend has been running into readers of my blog. I have to give a virtual shout-out to my biggest fan-who's-not-obligated-by-blood-or-friendship-to-love-me, Karolyn Crabtree. She's the state PTA Finance Officer and instructor who was positively gleeful as she greeted me and said, "I'm so glad you're here! I LOVE reading your blog! It's like having a celebrity in my class!" (I'll try to send you some chocolate, Karolyn, after I'm decontaminated). She totally rocks. And so does her adorable son. He was quite gracious when I said, after asking what grade he was in, "You're taller than most of the 8th grade students I have!" What kind of comment is that? I might as well have pinched his cheeks and squealed about how big he was getting. But to his immense credit, he did not roll his eyes - at least not in front of me, and that's pretty remarkable for a teenager.

Alright, it's approaching 11pm and although I really want to stay out a bit longer since I went to the trouble of ironing this damn sweater, I should get in bed. I have a Parliamentary Procedure class bright & early; I know you're jealous, don't try to hide it. But really I am excited about it (not enough to hoot, however; that hurts my head) because the instructor is Rollie Cox, the state PTA's official Parliamentarian (seriously!) and he is a true delight. His manner is sophisticated yet droll, a cross between Basil Rathbone and John Cleese.

Thanks for reading tonight. Hope you've enjoyed this brief glimpse into the often glamorous, sometimes sordid world of PTA conventions. Tune in next time for tales of betrayal and drunken smackdowns between warring local units. You think I'm joking...

[Applause] [Fade out]