Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, August 20, 2004


Yesterday morning, after I hung up the phone with Em's soccer coach, Baroy looked at me, shook his head, wrote something on a Post-It, walked over to my desk, and slapped the Post-It on my forehead. "Study this," he said. "There's going to be a quiz."

I took the Post-It off my forehead. On it were just two letters: N and O.

See, I had just agreed to serve as co-team coordinator for the soccer team. That would be on top of being the Brownie troop treasurer, serving on the PTA executive board, and editing the school newsletter. Oh, and working 32 hours plus per week and getting ready to maybe write another book and shuttling my kids to daycare and various practices and classes as well as actually spending time with said kids, not to mention trying to pursue my various hobbies (gardening, tatting, cooking, running) and get me some therapy. (Hmm. I wonder where that stress-induced anxiety is coming from?)

Baroy just doesn't understand, though. How do you say no to these things, especially knowing that you can do them if necessary?

Maybe it's just me, in whom resides the Jewish Guilt Gene (heretofore known as the JGG). I hear the soccer coach say, "Well, the other mom got nervous when she heard all the things I needed from her, so she said she'd only do it if I could find someone to share the load with her..." and the JGG starts pumping out its guilt-inducing enzymes, and suddenly I hear myself saying, "Sure. Shouldn't be a problem." Because the kids deserve a team coordinator, don't they? And wouldn't it be a shame if it weren't done right?

The JGG is definitely responsible for my Girl Scout position. Treasurer. Hah. I despise doing bookkeeping. I won't even look at our bank statement at home. But the girls needed me. And so I said, "Sure, if that's what you need me to do, I'll do it."

The JGG is also the reason I'm single-handedly putting out a monthly newsletter at the elementary school this year. Because, hell, I do this sort of thing for a living. And if I don't do it, it might not be done 'right.' Besides, I can still hear the PTA president's voice: "There isn't anyone else who wants to take it on, TC. Please?"

I hear other moms say no all the time. Of course, I also know the names of all the parents who don't say no, and I've used them just as I get used. And so, when I hear myself saying, "Sure, I can make a bean salad for the back-to-school teacher's luncheon," I just chalk it up to the JGG, hit the grocery store for supplies, and put it on my calendar. Because it's my job to be the sucker. Someone has to do it.

I have a feeling I'm going to fail Baroy's pop quiz.

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