07 March 2008

Maybe We're All Crazy

As a new - and soon to be ex - member of the PTO at Matilda's school, I was never expecting to be dragged into the middle of a drama-in-progress. Since Monday both the President and Vice-President have resigned and are not even going to finish the work they started on two events scheduled for later this month.

The two of them were definitely the most active members of the group and the President was one of those people who just seems to have her finger on the pulse and is always the one people go to for information.

And she liked it that way. The conflict was primarily one of personality differences, but since our March meeting on Monday night there have been a series of nasty emails exchanged between the two women, then forwarded to another member, who forwarded them to me, and one woman even took her rival's emails to the principal.

If that's not immature, I don't know what is. You're mean, I'm telling the principal on you!

The remaining PTO, which is myself, the Secretary, and one other new member have been left to pick up the pieces. It has become clear to us that the President is hoping things will disintegrate in her absence so that we will beg her to return as our fearless leader.

To be fair, she is also dealing with a family crisis at the moment, her husband began Chemotherapy a couple of weeks ago, but since then she has consistently pushed away everyone who was once close to her and refused every offer of help. If her recent bad behavior were isolated, I have no doubt that everyone on the PTO would be willing to let her be a little bitchy given the circumstances, but it's nothing new. The conflict between her and the Vice-President has been growing since last summer.

Partly I understand that she feels like she needs to keep control over some aspect of her life, as another aspect falls apart, but I really don't get the way she handled this latest drama. What is it that makes people so petty, so self-involved that they feel completely justified in complaining about a grown woman to another grown woman in the same way that a child seeks a parent? Or completely abandoning all responsibilities to others who really don't know what's going on?

When we asked for her help she snapped at us that she was "done with that, you're on your own."

Yet even as I am annoyed with her for behaving so irresponsibly, the writer in me is fascinated: who is this woman? Why does she behave this way? I study her. I watch her facial expressions and her body language. I am detached and impartial, she is my subject, my specimen, and for that I adore her.


Ciaran said...

I'm definitely showing this blog entry to both to both the President and the Vice President, AND that woman who sent their mail to you, AND to the Principal.
So there!


nell said...

Now who's the crazy one? Oh wait. I always knew you were crazy. Never mind.

Misty said...

I am so sad for what she is going through, but like you, the writer in me questions. I do this all of the time. With the rude and obviously unhappy woman at the super market yesterday, or the strangely dark woman walking the main street walk every thursday afternoon...

But I am sorry to hear this is such a stressful ordeal...

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Somehow your events sound eerily familiar, only replace your PTO with my old play group.

Perhaps the woman feels spread too thin and snapped? Or under-appreciated for her work?

Perhaps the woman took the stuff to the principal not to tell on the other, but hoping maybe he/she could mediate and salvage the board before it fell apart?

But that's me talking out of my butt because I'm not writer.

Yes, I think we're all crazy. The ones who are smack in the middle of the drama are just as crazy as the ones who are detached. :-P

Jen said...

Thank you for reminding me why I will never belong to any parent/teacher group ever. I think there are women like this in every group in existance. I'm not a writer though so I don't find them interesting. I just find them irritating. You are a far kinder soul than I am.

andi said...

I loved the last paragraph of this. These people always intrigue me. I wonder about their motivations. And then when I'm done wondering, I just want to kick their ass (I don't of course, but god how this crap irritates me).

Cathy said...

I know exactly what you mean.