Yesterday, we had a meeting of the Poop Camp committee. That’s really not its name. It’s supposed to be the Boot Camp committee, for a program we’re using to expose the junior class to helpful techniques in taking the ACT. But The Pony insists I called it Poop Camp. Same difference.
So…the meeting was after school. I was well aware of it. We got an email. I even asked at lunch if I was supposed to bring anything. No. We were getting into the scheduling process. As soon as the final bell rang, I grabbed a folder with some blank paper, and a printout of the PowerPoint we’re using for the science part, courtesy of Arch Nemesis, who couldn’t make the meeting. I stopped by the faculty women’s restroom. Saw Italian Chandelier rummaging through the mailboxes, said I was making a pit stop before the meeting, and proceeded to the throne. It was quick. I was off to the library sooner than I am to the regular faculty meetings. When I’m usually the first to arrive.
Well. The whole committee was already present. Sitting at one table. The man in charge and Tomato Squirter on one side, Sweet Alabama Beige and Ms Cardiac on the other side, Ms Poor on one end, and Italian Chandelier on the other end. They barely acknowledged my entrance.
“Oh. Since there’s no place for me, I guess I don’t have to be here!”
Nobody said BOO. Nobody shifted over. Nobody said, “Here, you can fit in by me.” Nope. They looked at me like I had two heads. I went to the next table. Where I sat alone. Virtually ignored until they needed to know my schedule to see whose room we should use. At my own table. Like Rhoda’s date at Mary’s Veal Prince Orloff dinner. Like Jerry and Elaine just before the unfortunate “pony” remark.
Perhaps Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is too thin-skinned. But this hurt her feelings. Does she not save seats for Sweet Alabama Beige and Ms Cardiac at other meetings? Does she not pat the table end and say, “Come on over here with us” when people come late to the faculty meeting? Yes. She does. Even though she doesn’t really want people to cram in and sit with her. She DOES. So they don’t feel excluded. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been at Newmentia for 18 years. And has never felt included.
Mabel was right. Nobody will ever say, “Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was always here. She left with 96 sick days. She was a credit to her profession.” Nope.
They’ll say, “Who was Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?”