I recently went along to my daughter's schools P & F Meeting. That’s Parents and Friends for those of us who remember it as P & C. I was quite surprised to find a grand total of five parents there (excluding committee). Seriously, how hard is it to drag your sorry arse out one night a term to check out what’s going on in your school. Yes, I know everyone’s busy with work and children and eating Pizza Hut in front of the telly so you don’t miss Masterchef, but seriously, is it really that hard? 4 times a year!
Anyway, I go to this meeting and find it’s really cool because they have wine and food. I like these Parents and Friends. Of course I now realize why they have wine and food. They’re making sure you’re nice and relaxed when they hit you with the “Oh we’re still looking for a <insert name of position here>, would you be interested? In my case it was for a position entitled Fete Convener. I didn’t even know how to spell the word convener until then so I clearly had no idea what this position would involve. I had a vision of standing behind a trestle table selling sausages at Bunnings and figured that could be fun. Obviously being the Convenor I would probably need to organise the trestle table.
So I organise to have a coffee with the Outgoing Fete Convener (OFC). We arrange to meet at Gloria Jeans. At least in a public place someone will notice me trying to escape. I know I’m in trouble when not only does the outgoing Fete Convener turn up, but so does the P & F President. They’ve sent in the big guns. I’m feeling very outnumbered and now wish I hadn’t ordered decaf. I need to be much more alert. So we have a nice chat while trying to be dainty eating our toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches. I wonder why we insist on putting tomato on sandwiches. It either squishes up into a horrible red mess or it simply falls off the sandwich. I think Gloria Jeans have the right idea by squashing it so horribly in the toasting machine that everything just glues together. Much easier.
Anyway we have a chat and I discover that the Fete they are talking about is the one I went to last year when Emily was in Prep. Now as far as I’m concerned this is not a Fete. A fete is trestle tables with stuff on them. Little homemade cakes, brownies, jams, little crap things that no one wants anymore that they redesign and call paperweights. The “fete” they are talking about is not a real fete. There ARE trestle tables which are used on all of the 30 or so stalls. There’s also rides. Lots of them. There’s a stage where there is entertainment. There’s raffles and cent auctions. There’s an art exhibition. No, this is not a Fete, it’s the friggin Ekka!
So our little chat goes quite well. OFC assures me as long as I’m organized it’s a pretty straight forward job. She’s very organized, she says, and has everything I could possibly want in two folders which she’ll apparently only show me once I commit to the position. I figure how hard can it be? And I know I need to do something with my life as it’s been nearly a year since I sold my business. How long a break does one actually need? So I say yes, and then wonder why I have developed a headache when I’m only drinking decaf. I felt excited, euphoric almost that I now have a title. Fete Convener. My life now has purpose.
In the weeks that have passed since then I've found myself thinking a lot more about my future plans and unfortunately I've realised that my life purpose is not actually to run the school Fete. That's a bummer. Would have been handy to have known that a bit sooner. Oh well, no turning back now. Come visit me there in 6 months. I'll be the one holding up the bar making rude gestures with the German sausages.