Today #3 came out to have lunch with her mommy. Well, actually she came out to wash her clothes and the fact that it was going to take several hours gave us plenty of time to go eat lunch. Even if she didn’t come out just to see me, I’ll take what I can get. We decided to go to Longhorn’s and when we were walking to our table I noticed the lady at the table behind us was actually the principal at the elementary school the kids went to many many years ago.
I went over to “chat” with her. She asked if #3 was “the baby” and I replied yes and she made a remark about how she couldn’t believe it had been so long since #3 looked like she was in high school now and she was a little bitty thing when we first met. I replied that #3 had been out of school almost two years and she asked about Hubby since he always “took such good care” of all the teachers (he was always bringing them food). She works at the board of education now. I finished our “pleasantries” and sat down to eat with #3.
I later remembered that I actually knew her before I even got pregnant with #3 because I remember at the end of the school year of #2’s Kindergarten year they had a field trip to the zoo that hubby and I helped chaperone and it actually happened to be my due date. All day long she kept asking if I was okay (I think she was afraid I was gonna deliver on the school bus or something but she didn’t have to worry because I didn’t have her until almost two weeks later) which was unusual because she really didn’t like me. I mean she really did not like me. I spent more time in the principal’s office during those few years than I did my whole school career.
Hubby and I volunteered a LOT at that school. We did spaghetti dinners and chuck wagons for the fall festivals and teacher breakfasts. I headed the membership committee for the PTA and helped with the fundraisers and volunteered in classrooms and whatever else they needed. I figured the best way to make sure my kids were alright was to be a constant presence at the school.
This principal was very much a control freak. She considered that school HERS and she did NOT like parents interfering, at ALL. If they hadn’t been so short handed and needed the extra bodies she probably would have banned us (all parents) from the school altogether if she could have gotten away with it. I remember once she jumped all over hubby (and she liked him) because one of the ladies in the office was a tiny little thing. I mean seriously, she was probably at the most 4’10” and maybe 80 lbs soaking wet. Hubby just happened to be dropping the kids off at school and saw this poor tiny little lady struggling to carry a table down the hallway so hubby, being the gentleman that he is, offered to carry it for her. She told him it needed to go to the teacher’s lounge and while he’s walking down the hall carrying the desk the principal stops him and asks him where he thinks he’s going and why he’s in her school and doesn’t have a “visitor’s pass”. I mean, I appreciate her vigilance for the kids, especially if we had been parents she didn’t know but we were there all the time! He told her where and why he was carrying the desk and she still jumped all over him for not having a hall pass. Are you kidding me? He was just trying to help!
The time that sticks most in my mind were waiting in the car rider’s line for the kids and she comes out and asks me to please come in the office for a “meeting”. She has us park the car and both of us to come into the office for the meeting. I couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong and then she starts jumping on me and accusing me of lying about her and she’s telling my husband this like he’s going to “punish me” for misbehaving. Hubby asks her how I had lied about her and she started going on and on about I was spreading lies about her.
Hubby actually got very upset with her and told her that I was one of her biggest supporters and he was not going to allow her to talk about me like that. I asked her how she thought I had lied and she brought up a fundraiser we were doing. Apparently I had given a report at the PTA meeting saying she had approved such and such a fundraiser. She was upset because she said that was lying on her because she had not approved it. I was very confused because we had a meeting in her office with the other fundraising members the day before and she had definitely said we could do the fundraiser and I had witnesses. I brought up the meeting and asked her again did she not say we could do the fundraiser and she said yes.
Now I was even more confused and I said “I thought you just said you were upset because you thought I lied about you? How was that?”
Principal: Because you said I approved the fundraiser and I didn’t and so that was a lie.
Me: Wait…didn’t you just now say that we could do the fundraiser?
Principal: Yes, I did.
Me: OK, so now I’m more confused. Maybe I’m missing something but you just said you said we could do the fund raiser but then you are upset because you said you didn’t say that?
Principal: No, that is NOT what I said. I did say you could do the fundraiser.
Me: Then please tell me what the problem is? All I said was that you approved the fundraiser.
Principal: Exactly. And I didn’t so that is why I’m upset.
Me: I really think I’m missing something here or we’re speaking different languages. You just said that you approved the fundraiser and now you‘re saying you didn’t.
Principal: I never approved the fundraiser.
Me: But you just said we could do it.
Principal: You can, but I didn’t approve it.
Me: You just did. You said we could do it so you approved it!
Principal: But I never said I wanted you to do it so I didn’t approve it.
***light bulb finally goes off in my head***
Me: Oh, okay, I get it. You are upset over my use of the word approve?
Principal: Yes, I did not approve the fundraiser, I just said you could do it.
Me: You do realize that you can use the word approve in more than one way, right? (yeah, that might have pissed her off just a tad) I said you APPROVED the fund raiser. I did NOT say you approved OF the fundraiser. There is a difference. I never lied. I said you approved us doing the fundraiser in the sense that you said it was okay, not in the sense that you wanted us to do that particular fundraiser. I think everyone else there understood what I meant.
At this point she is sitting behind her desk, arms crossed, sort of glaring at me and hubby stands up and says “As far as I’m concerned, this conversation is over. Come on, Peg. We need to get the kids home.”
Yeah, she kept our kids sitting in the hallway by the car rider’s door and us in her office for like 20 minutes because she disapproved of my verbiage. And she was the principal…. Aren’t they supposed to be schooled in stuff like that?
So anyway, the fact that she was so nice to me today kind of took me by surprise. Maybe it was because she knows she doesn’t have to deal with me anymore? Now that’s a novel idea.