Friday, August 24, 2007

The next Jane Goodall

Am I callous? According to a recent rash of comments, quite possibly. But if you're my friend, chances are that's why you love me so. I would not be me if it weren't for my dry sense of humor and quick wit. My tongue can be sharp sometimes, as well...however I call it as I see it.

Remember Mommy Group 101? If not, let's review.

Now then...It has been brought to my attention that this person I was speaking of previously really is trying to take over things. There was a brief moment in time when I thought -- oh gee, maybe I'm wrong -- but now it's been made blatant that I was not. Maybe it's my astounding clairvoyant abilities, or maybe it's just my pessimistic attitude seeking out the worst in people. Either way, I was correct in my presumption that this person would want to be center of all things play-group oriented.

Quick to offer help in any situation, this specific person is starting to drive the organizer and me a bit batty. Her help is now starting to come off as a passive-aggressive path to power in our play group. She constantly compares the organizer and me to her previous play group in San Diego. She is constantly suggesting things that might make our job a little easier.

The straw that breaks the camel's back -- or so I hear -- was the pot luck play date today. I did not attend, however I do hear that she made quite the spectacle of herself by ensuring everyone knew she was the first there (to help the hostess set up, of course) and that she was the one helping to pick up. That was just the straw that broke the camel's back...but then there's the icing on the cake. The perpetual icing is a tiny event that may not stand out in anyone else's mind -- but it is etched into my temporal lobe permanently. We have children's birthdays posted on our group's calendar. The other day was a child's birthday -- a child that (to my recollection) I have never met. That means that the birthday was posted a while back, but the mother has since become inactive in the group...we just never erased the birthday from the message board. In any case, the power hungry mommy I'm blogging about posted a "Happy Birthday E----!" with a little Pooh E-Card. I mean, great gesture...but really (in mommy group speak) this is saying to everyone that the organizers are not thoughtful enough to do it, so she is doing it.

Do you see where this is going?

Mommy groups have a language of their own. If one mom suggests an idea to the organizer, what they're really saying is , "It's cute that you're trying, but this is the correct way." It's like a warning to us that they do not approve of (nor appreciate) the job we're doing. Now when a mommy starts to spam the organizers via email with "ideas", that's when (as an organizer) you have to start to worry. Whereas one suggestion may be a friendly warning, multiple suggestions may be a passive aggressive attempt to set up a play-group overthrow. What you may have brewing is a coup d'etat.

Just like the last Russian Czars and Czarinas, you do not want to find yourself being taken out to a field, executed, and buried by your Mommy group members. Not to mention all the care the Bolsheviks did to get rid of the bodies via acid and bone grinding. NO! As an organizer you do not want this to happen.

So what does an organizer of a volatile mommy group do in this situation? Do you just ignore the pathetic attempts of someone with too much time to pass? Do you ignore it? Do you confront the situation head on? Well, the last person who tried to dethrone our mighty play group figure-head was booted out so quickly she didn't know what hit her -- literally. She still doesn't understand why she was kicked out. Sad, really. And in the end, it's all working itself out. She wanted power -- she got; she started her own play group. Now she can have all the power she wants.

So what's the point of this melodramatic post? To show the intricacies of the relationship between Mother and Mother; Organizer and Mommy group member. Really -- It's got to be the worst thing since women first started to meet in social circles. Mommy groups are a perfect microcosm for political modeling. It goes in tides, and just as it is said that all great things must come to an end, I wonder what the eventual end of our group will be? Will it be like the fall of Rome? Or will it be more like Russia and the last Czars and Czarinas? Will it be more of a gradual disintegration or violent take over?

Who knows -- who cares?

If nothing else, being a part of this group has definitely given me a chance to do some real study in human behavior. I feel like Jane Goodall at times -- watching the chimps and how they act. Becoming a fixture in their world in order to study behavior; only to be accused of becoming too emotionally attached later.

Maybe I will be the one who cares after all.


Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said...

This is just not fair that I do not get to witness this first hand! :( Well anyone who knows this lovely woman knows she is more on the dominant side! I say ignore for now and maybe she will get the idea you all need no help or let her start her own super group. Like I told you, you can not make everyone happy! Also to kelly.....I miss reading your blog since u have closed it to the public! :(

Kelly said...

Wow, that is just downright funny. I totally agree with the other comment..I want to be there and see this in action. I haven't had any drama with the mommygroups lately. I have learned my lesson. Maybe I can live vicariously through you and go to Mommy groups. (Did I spell that right?, Damn, no spellcheck in the comment box). So what is her posistion in the group currently anyway? Or is she just a busybody getting into everything and taking over?