In retrospect I was dressed in not a dissimilar fashion from Reese Witherspoon’s character in Mud (which has a touch of the To Kill A Mockingbird about it).It has just dawned on me, however, that her character is what’s known as “white trash”…..oh dear me. (Photo courtesy of Everest Entertainment)
My first PTA meeting……
This week I experienced my first ever PTA thingymabob at the Back-t- School parent’s orientation meeting.
All kind of nonchalantly I mooched into the main hall at the school to be faced by a room of 400 parents — and there I am in my Daisy Dukes and my (still wet) bikini – I had just come from the pool, of course! – with just a light top thrown over …
“Oh my, oh gosh,” I think as I seem to flip-flop ever so slowly all the way to the end of the room, past all the fully-clothed parents. Yes, all the other children’s parents appear to have put all their clothes on for the PTA meeting. I note there is even a woman in tights. “Why is she wearing tights?” I think to myself as 400 pairs of disapproving eyes follow my barely-covered arse to its seat.
Well, once seated I decided to be a model parent and listen attentively.
I noted the following:
1. I am expected to do things with cookie dough. I don’t know what, and to be frank, the thought of it frightens me slightly.
2. There appears to be an obsession with Ziploc bags. Everyone must have a Ziploc bag in their backpack and anything that comes to school must be in a Ziploc bag, and that Ziploc bag should have your child’s name on it, and probably be in another Ziploc bag to keep it safe. I don’t have any Ziploc bags. They are now, of course, on the shopping list.
3. I am expected to volunteer for things, though I am again unsure what that entails, though given my initial appearance they might well consider me for fundraising car washes in the style of Cameron Diaz’s Bad Teacher … I guess that would make me Bad Parent.
So, naturally, I mentioned my escapade on Facebook: “Yep, typically inappropriately dressed in bikini and Daisy Dukes for the parents’ school orientation meeting.” Which was met with resounding cries (posts) of: “Harper Valley PTA!”
- Side thought – my poor son, I hope he doesn’t get a note …
And here is that very tune for your delectation.
I had no idea there was a movie about it!
Anyway, the PTA can call me if they want me! But, unlike the movie, I shan’t be running for PTA President, just for the record.
American public school system, I’m ready for you … are you ready for me?! 😉
Claire Bolden McGill is a British expat who lived in Maryland for three years and moved back to the UK in August 2015. Claire wrote about her life as a British expat on the East Coast and now works in travel and hospitality PR in the UK. She still finds time to blog about her repatriation and the reverse culture shock that ensued – and she still hasn’t finished that novel, but she’s working on it. You can contact Claire via twitter on @clairebmcgill or via her blog From America to England.