I just went to my first PTO meeting at the kids' new school.
I was dreading it in a major way. And I was right to because I felt like the fat kid in gym class, standing awkwardly off to the side while teams are eagerly formed, trying to stand up a little straighter and smile a bit brighter when anyone accidentally made eye contact.
And it was no one's fault. I was looking my best and feeling determined to be outgoing and helpful. But they all already knew each other and clumped up in groups of 2 and 3 to chat, in a way that made it impossible to just casually join in. I was one of "them" at the last school and I know they weren't excluding me as much as not noticing me.
So, I awkwardly checked my phone and ate as many of their pastries as I could. I tried to seek out other socially awkward penguins but there weren't many and the others did a good job seeming too busy to approach. I signed up for the stupid crap I will later complain about "having" to do, with the hope that one day I'll no longer be the new kid (and to help the kids or whatever, blahblahblah).
And if I was PTO president (and I will NEVER be PTO president--if all of the PTO presidents went extinct tomorrow, there would be no more PTO), I would hold PTO meetings at happy hour in bars. And everyone (including working parents--what is up with 9am weekday meetings??) would come. And they would talk. And they would be happy. And shit may or may not get done but we would have a better time doing it.
And no one would dread PTO meetings anymore!
My alternate idea is saying "fuck the PTO" and doing more paddleboarding and yoga and beach going and whatnot. Which is far more likely than revolutionizing or infiltrating that group.