I have, once again, been sucked into the black hole of volunteerism. When my daughter entered high school, I promised myself that I would avoid getting overly involved in anything again — because for the nine years she spent in elementary school, I did everything. And by “did”, I mean that I “ran” or was “in charge” of everything in one capacity or another. I decided that I had put in my time. Without one shred of guilt, I began to direct my energies elsewhere — mostly into areas that would benefit me. (Working, writing, and sleeping, for example.)
For the most part, outside of selling a few apparel items for the field hockey team, I have managed to keep that promise — along with big, giant hunks of my time and my energy. Don’t get me wrong, I support the fundraising efforts of The Booster Club, The Theater Club, The Go-Green Club, and all the rest of the organizations that my kid or her friends get themselves tangled up in — and I have the checkbook entries to prove it.
Let’s just say that there is no shortage of cookie dough in my house. During the warmer months our car gets washed weekly, though not thoroughly, by a bunch of enthusiastic teenagers. I could probably wear a fresh logo emblazoned t-shirt touting a different sport every day for a month without having to do a dark wash. While I have spent my money on these things and killed a few hours at a couple of fashions shows, I have, for the most part, navigated the minefield that is volunteerism to my advantage over the last three years.
And then, the other night, things went horribly wrong. I made the mistake of attending a meeting — one meeting, that’s all it was. I went to this nice lady’s house and sat around a table eating hummus and mini-cupcakes. I should have known. Snacks are the enemy. When they ply you with salt and sugar they want something from you. It’s Volunteerism 101 and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to using this tactic myself from time to time while at the helm of various organizations. You wouldn’t believe what grown women will agree to do over a box of Thin Mints — taking 150 little girls camping for a weekend springs to mind.
The presence of booze takes things to a whole different level. That sangria might look innocent enough — sitting there in its nice glass dispenser — but trust me, it’s not. If it’s being served, it’s not because someone decided that it would be the perfect way to rid themselves of the extra peaches and that big bottle of Chardonnay that were clogging up the fridge. No one made it because they were dying to try out that new recipe they saw on The Rachael Ray Show. They want something.
Somehow, even though I did not partake in the drinking of what was a beautifully staged sangria, I did wind up agreeing to chair the committee that is responsible for next year’s Project Graduation. I’ll just have to blame the red velvet cupcake or the deliciously tangy, yet sweet, salsa verde and the fresh blue tortilla chips for the altered mental state that led me to agree to do such a crazy thing.
Oh, well, who knows? Maybe I’ll make a few new friends. In the meantime, if anyone wants to buy a raffle ticket, just give me a holler. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the date of our first car wash.
photo credit: raffle tickets