A long long long long time ago, I was a PTA mom. Yes, me. The treasurer in fact. Well first year secretary and then the promotion the following year. Mainly because at my very first meeting I had the balls to raise my hand and ask, "what does that entail". BOOM. I was in. PTA sure is different in El Salvador.
I vaguely recall my son mentioning a meeting for Monday at school. And something about the parents being tested. I blew him off. I had a long weekend of work ahead of me and could not of cared less. This morning as I am rushing him to get dressed for school he mentions it again. "Is there a note? Your teacher knows I have a job right?" Sure enough there was a message that all parents of 3rd graders were to report at 4 P.M. sharp for a meeting about their upcoming communions. This is a pretty big deal I guess so I arranged to go.
First off, we were on time. Even though in El Salvador 4 P.M. means 5 or even 6, but I am a punctual person. As anticipated the meeting began at 4:30. Not bad considering. But we are dangerously close to dinner time. At least in my PTA days the meetings were scheduled after dinner, and snacks were always provided.
As my son had warned I was indeed tested. Tested on my knowledge of the catecism. This is where my "no habla" comes in very handy. All the parents were asked questions and most of us just stared and waited. All we really wanted to know was, when? where? and what time? Not a lesson on how to teach religion to your kids in your everyday life. Quite a few parents showed up late. Like an hour late. These were the ones who had the balls to start sharing their own experiences with religion in their everyday life. Maybe they were just trying to win some brownie points with God and the nun for being so tardy. By then it was 5 P.M. The rest of us had already been there for an hour. You could actually hear the silent voices telling them to shut up and let the nun finish already.
Now we moved on to a discussion about the pre communion party. And shit, it involved food. Well that wakes them all up. Even the second shyest in the room (I was the first and kept my mouth shut) had something to say about what kind of food should be served and who should make it. This was another half hour of my busy life that is lost to nonsense forever. Finally, 10 minutes devoted to the actual specifics for the communion and another 20 spent arguing about what kind of dresses the girls should be allowed to wear. By this point I am starting to twitch. Literally. (oops, not supposed use that word anymore) I felt trapped as my stomach started to rumble. I even got to the point where I turned to the lady next to me and asked her if it was ever going to end. She had a son too. She could not have cared less about the dresses the girls would wear.
Finally the nun is finished. Finally. But wait! What? Now the teacher wants to say a few words. Can you please just send home a note? More talk about food. Or specifically about coffee and chocolate for a celebration of dia de los ninos. (I hear echos of my father saying "every day is kids day") But here there is a specific kids day and there will be a party and will someone please just volunteer to make the damn coffee so I can go home and eat? Raise my hand. I will bring cups. Is that good enough?
Almost 7 by the time we got home. So late that the buses were done running and I had to call his highness and ask him to please take us home. I gather that the princessa was not pleased but fuck it. Juanito is his kid too.
So we have a communion coming up. And kids day. And apparently one more meeting to discuss the party. I am skipping it next time. I already passed the test.
For your listening pleasure since this is now stuck in my head thanks to the first line of my post...