Dear Mouthy Housewives,
The PTO at my daughter’s (public) elementary school is throwing a big party next month to raise money. It sounds like it’ll be a good time with a band, food, etc., but they’re charging $150 PER TICKET. There are a lot of families who can probably afford this, but not mine. I think $300 is just ridiculous and I know that our PTO already has a surplus of money, so it just seems greedy.
The main problem is that I’m friends with a lot of the parents and teachers and they keep asking me if my husband I are going to the party. I don’t know if I should lie and say we’re out of town that night (and then hide that weekend) or tell the truth and risk embarassment. What do you think?
No Party, Please
Dear No Party Please,
Your question is exactly why I regularly zoom past the pack of women outside Panera Bread and scream: “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU PTO MUTHAF@#%ERS! I’VE TOLD YOU A MILLION TIMES THAT I WILL NOT BE A LOWLY PUPPET IN YOUR EVIL REIGN OF TERROR! YOU DON’T OWN ME! NOBODY OWNS WENDI! NOOOOOO-BOOOODYYY!”
And then I wonder why I get stuck picking up the dirty Band-Aids after Track and Field day.
But it does sound like you have one of the worst kinds of PTOs: the kind that acts like they’re doing things for the kids when they’re really doing things for themselves. Why else would they feel the need to throw a party when they supposedly don’t need the money? If you ask me, it sounds like Miss Ginger Sue Tompkins got a bug in her bonnet and now she wants to throw a big ‘ol bash for all y’all glitzy gals! (Please, someone get me out of Texas. Why am I talkin’ like this, y’all?)
I do agree that $150 is a bit steep for a public school event and I’m sure you’re not the only person who can’t afford it. And if it were me, I would simply say, “We’re not going because it’s not in our budget.” However, I can understand if you’re not comfortable saying that, so maybe you could go with a basic, “I wish we could go, but we have another commitment that night.” That should suffice.
But if it doesn’t and people press you as to what commitment you have that night (which is entirely possible), you have two choices. One: mumble something about work or church or sports. Or two: look them straight in the eye and say “My coven is sacrificing a rabbit that night and I don’t want to miss drinking the blood!”
Actually, the coven party sounds kind of fun. I wonder if that’s in my budget?