Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Volunteer to Shut Up Now

Here's the problem with helping out -- if you do a bad job, they're gonna talk about you. If you do a good job, they're gonna ask you again.

Forgive me if I sound cranky. I am coming to the end of a self-induced month of volunteer overdose. I must have said yes to a few different people in the fog between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What I failed to realize was that three big events were scheduled for the very same week. Yeah. My bad.

Another problem with volunteering is that you can't take it back. At least I'm pretty sure you can't. Will someone please let me know if there is any way to pull off un-volunteering because it's possible it would change my life.

It is not that I don't support those for whom I am volunteering. What's not to love about the Cub Scouts, my home church, and the high school musical? (I am living an episode of "Leave it to Beaver"). It is not that what I agreed to do is that big of a deal. How hard is it to make a few table decorations, coordinate a dozen crock pots, and sell some ads for a small program?

The problem is me. Or rather my mom. Yes, let's blame her. Genetics is the only way I can explain why I felt the need to make centerpieces for the Scouting banquet instead of just buying a few helium balloons and flags. It's not even logical. Every Cub Scout I know would choose balloons and flags over "cute" any day. Lord knows I wasn't trying to impress the parents. The room was full of people far more creative than I. So why in the world did I spend two weeks gathering rocks, printing photos, cutting out boy-shaped cardboard, wrestling with wire and curling ribbon?

I'll tell you why. I was raised by the original Party Planner Extraordinaire. And those genes are just too strong to fight. It's a chronic case of WWMD? each and every time I'm faced with a project. And I can tell you that Mom would squeeze the last drop out of her creative sponge every single time she party planned. There's no half way with the woman.

It was a wonderful way to grow up. Our birthday parties were one-of-a-kind theme bashes with everything handmade from invitations to party clothes to games to favors. There were time capsules, surprise this-is-your-life Sweet 16 parties, costume bashes, treasure hunts, backyard petting zoos... I could go on. And those are just the birthdays. Other holidays got the same treatment. Thanksgiving included pilgrim and American Indian costumes and a cute little poem about the corn. Christmas? Use your imagination. Then double that.

Obviously with this kind of genetic makeup I need to pace myself when volunteering. I just can't seem to help myself. And why am I still subscribing to Martha Stewart Living and Family Fun when they just exacerbate my condition? I even have, I admit it, an idea file.

New plan. Get better at turning down the opportunities to make a difference in my community. Say no to the adorable children! Absolutely not to the sweet little church ladies! Forget it to the overworked teachers! Ugh. Clearly that is not going to happen.

But at least I can keep holding out against Pinterest as long as possible. I'm afraid if I overload my idea file to that extent I will find myself knocking on doors around town and begging to do something else for free.

That is exactly WMWD.


  1. Well, I think your centerpieces Rocked!

  2. Hmm...I've got some parties I need some help with...:)