Yesterday, I had to go to LaGrange to pick Jack up from band camp. After enduring the usual 45 minute thank-you love fest--chaperones and volunteers introducing and gushing their appreciation for one another while the rest of us do-nothings sweated in thousand-degree heat, we got to watch our students perform what they'd learned of their half-time show. That part was great.
It's not that I have anything against giving credit when it's due, but Cheese and Rice, we get these introductions at the mandatory meetings, where they all line up in their yellow spirit wear and go through the whole rigmarole. It was NOON! And even those hard workers being celebrated looked none-too-well for their week of 6 a.m. to midnight days, powdered eggs, and Kool-Aid. You could see their blood pressure pulsing in their swollen, sweaty faces. Someone should have sent a thank-you newsletter.
Anyway, after the performance, parents were instructed to drive back over to the dorms and wait for our kids, who were being bussed back. I got to the dorm and sat outside on a little picnic table where another mom had already sat down. Here's the conversation that ensued:
Nuther Mom: My son's a tuba; they always have to help load the equipment on the truck, so he'll be one of the last ones back.
TR: Mine's on the drumline. Same thing. I wonder why it's always the tubas and drummers?
Nuther Mom: He's always complaining that it's not fair. He says people don't do what they're supposed to, so he ends up having to pack for everyone else. I tell him life's not fair--that there are those who DO and those who DON'T DO.
TR: Yeah, I was one of the DO's when I was a kid. The sad thing is, the DON'T DO'S are usually the best schmoozers, and the schmoozers always manage to succeed. I look back on the slackers I was friends with in high school. They're making three times more money than I am... Jack's actually a pretty good schmoozer.
Nuther Mom: Really?
TR: I think so. (My cell phone rings. It's Jack telling me they've got to "load the damned truck," so it's probably going to be at least "FIVE HOURS" before he's finished.)
TR: That was my son. It's going to be another half hour at least.
(Conversation continues and includes the following topics: ADD, OCD, air conditioning, the HOPE scholarship, and potato salad. About ten minutes, and Jack shows up, looking flushed and in a hurry.)
Jack: Did you put my stuff in the car yet?
TR: No, I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take it--if you'd passed your inspection.
Jack (Looking around): C'mon! Let's get it and take it to the car. Hurry!
TR: Why are you back already?
Jack: Me and Dennis jumped in BT's parents' car and got away. His parents love us.
TR: So you didn't finish helping load?
Jack: No, that's going to take all day.
TR (to Nuther Mom) This is Jack.
Nuther Mom: I see.
TR: It was really great talking to you. We've got to go now.
Nuther Mom: Bye.
Note: It's time for the flutes and trumpets to have a turn loading the truck.