13 People You Meet at Every PTA Meeting

by Melanie Hoopes
Originally Published: 
Berkeley Unified School District/flickr

PTA-curious? Here are some of the characters you’ll run into in the auditorium every third Tuesday at 7 p.m. If you’re an active PTA member and you don’t see yourself on the list, we sincerely apologize.

Chief Strategist (President)

Computer nerd and New Balance loyalist. Has the ear of the principal and is often in meetings with her behind closed doors. Knows which teachers are shitty, which ones are golden and which are pregnant or trying. Has developed Teflon shell due to numerous interactions with parents upset over crappy lunches, shoddy recycling practices or length of talent show. Most frustrating quality: Does not gossip.

1. The Workhorse (Vice President)

At every meeting, always at school, never complains. Wears denim shirt and jeans daily but undergoes shocking transformation for the auction into leather dress. Warning: At auction and wine tasting she drinks too much and gets “huggy.”

2. Babs (Secretary)

In full makeup always. Potty mouth. “Does anyone know who made the blondies at Election Day Bake Sale? I would fucking kill for that recipe!” Knows every musical score ever produced. Anyone attempting to talk to her once the meeting starts will be shushed.

3. Pointdexter (Treasurer)

Has drastic side-part pinned back with rusty Goody barrette. Enlists Babs to read Treasurer’s Report due to paralyzing stage fright. Most items on the agenda conclude with the same question (“Can we find any money for that?”) to which she woefully shakes her head. The last person ever to be suspected of embezzling, so will get away with skimming a cool $500. Hobbies: Turtle catch-and-release outings.

4. Eeyore

Asexual. Hates all the new parents. Suggested the replacement of last year’s carnival day with a freezepop and sticker at dismissal. Worst person to co-chair the end of the year celebration committee. Best candidate for What Not To Wear.

5. The Local

Tough-talking, cigarette-smoking mom of four kids (one in college) who likes to remind everyone that she went to this very school 40 years ago. Has organized school pictures and bookfair for the past 22 years. Pros: She gets the school discounts at the butcher and the hardware store and knows a plumber who takes cash.

6. The Virgin

Has been meaning to check out what goes on at these things. Holds phone in one hand, umbrella in other, keeps coat on. Will never be seen again.

7. One-Issue Izzy

Demands action on one specific issue that concerns her one specific child. Because her daughter has had lice four times this year, she wants the school to instate a no-hugging policy. When asked what the penalty should be for kids found hugging she yells: “How dare you! You think it’s so easy!?! You try combing her out night after night after night.” Izzy has to be driven home and tucked tightly in bed. Will resurface at the graduation party handing out combs at the photo booth.

8. Bumbellini

Large balding dad with bad complexion wearing full baggy sweats and Timberlands. Never without a big blue sippy cup filled with something he can’t get enough of. Last week, he voted both no and yes on funding the improvements to the fourth-floor boys bathroom.

9. The Nurturer

Mom with sniffles knitting in the front row. She brought her five kids (two of whom she’s still breastfeeding) who are all running around the building somewhere. Speaks with a slight British accent. Pet project: Teacher Appreciation Breakfast.

10. The Casual Bombdropper

Close-cropped prematurely grey-haired mom with eye-magnifying glasses who waits until end of meeting to drop an immediate-action-called-for shnizzledinger. Example: “I’m not sure if this is relevant but my daughter said the janitor told her he could get her ‘go-go’ powder for $20. That’s weird, right?”

11. The Hot Shot

Ray Ban-wearing dad who makes snarky comments at meetings and events. Never follows up on anything he’s asked to do, ever. Pro: Might know where to score some “go-go” powder.

12. The High-Minded Narcissist Bully

Lots and lots and lots of unmanageable frizzy hair. Spent senior year of college in Africa. Calls every proposal racist or classist and is forever reminding attendees how fortunate the school is to be able to afford white boards and tablets “when some children don’t even get the chance to go to school!” Informal groups have gathered to discuss how to get rid of HMNB. Hint: There’s no way in hell she’ll leave the PTA while still breathing. Head of Diversity Committee and MLK Breakfast Committee.

13. The Elite Specialist

Working mom with high tight ponytail and leather briefcase has no time for this. Appalled at how meetings are run, she refuses to attend them unless she has to give a report. Chair of Winetasting Committee. She has to make sure that doesn’t get fucked up.

(P.S. We’ve heard there’s been an influx of men into these organizations. That hasn’t been our experience, so you’ll find a disproportionate number of females herein.)

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