Disclaimer: All names, places and identifying events have been changed to protect the not so innocent. Read at your own risk.
A short time ago I met a new parent who was interested in helping out at the school my son attends. My role at the school is to make sure all new parents feel welcome while utilizing them in an area that may be of interest to them, or that is beneficial towards the school. Enter Bethany. Bethany came in strong. Bethany pushed Miley off of that wrecking ball and came in full force.
About a week after meeting Bethany, I was at the school volunteering in a classroom. The all too familiar “ding” notification went off on my phone. A quick glance showed me it was a message from the school office manager. The gist of it was “There is a new parent sitting outside on the bench crying because she wanted to help with Music Day and no one can use her.”
After my initial WTH reaction, I immediately left the classroom to go search for the parent who was outside crying on the bench. I am sprinting down the hall when another staff member sees me. “Hey, Jennifer, do you know there is a parent outside on the bench crying?” Slightly out of breath, I assured this staff member I was on my way to see what was going on.
Sure enough, when I get outside, there is Bethany, sitting on the bench crying. Now long story short, she wanted to help with Music Day. PTA is not involved with Music Day. A company comes in and makes Music Day happen. This company works closely with the office manager, and the office manager then recruits volunteers to help out. Again, not PTA related at all.
Someone on the PTA (and to this day I have no idea who) told Bethany that she could help with Music Day. This is why she was crying because there were plenty of volunteers already signed up for Music Day. It was nothing personal, all the slots were filled. I took Bethany inside, determined to find something for her to do. Being the PTA President is very much like being a retail manager. Ya know how they have to keep the customers happy no matter how crazy the customers are. Same thing as PTA President. Keep the parents happy no matter how crazy they are, but, I am getting ahead of myself. I ended pairing Bethany up with another PTA mom, so she could “shadow” her and I called it a day.
The following five days at school were one in the same.
Bethany ~ I am here, what can I do? It’s either be here or go home and deal with Mark. Mark decided to have sex with his ex, so he is in the dog house and I need to make him pay.
(Dude, I just met you like a week ago. Too much info!)
Me ~ Well, I always like to tell new parents to start with their child’s teacher. Check in with them, see if any copies need to be made, maybe they need some help cleaning their classroom, that sort of thing.
That was good, right?? I was not rude, yet it was not as if I could pull something out of thin air for her to do. Come to find out, the teacher did not have anything for Bethany to do. I am inclined to insert a smart ass comment here. Something along the lines of “BECAUSE THE TEACHER IS SMART. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE TEACHER’S LEAD!” but I will refrain. The truth is, this particular teacher has a full-time volunteer in her room, so there is never much to be done.
Bethany took it upon herself to ask around, see if any other teachers needed help in their classroom. Honestly, this is probably the best way to do it. Helping out in a classroom is not PTA related. Plus, all teachers are different. Some teachers appreciate the help, and some teachers prefer no one in their room. There is no right or wrong.
In no time, Bethany found herself a teacher to be a “room mom” to. Yay!!!!
I remember I called Bethany that night. Just to check in on her, making sure she felt welcomed while seeing if she had any questions. It was a good conversation. There was something different about her. I just assumed it was not being in the school. She was able to relax, and just talk. As soon as we got off the phone I had a new Facebook friend request from Bethany. Of course, I am going to accept it. We just had a pretty cool conversation. What could possibly go wrong?!
Famous last words.
The next day, there was a meeting at the school for all families. Again, not PTA related. Just a brief meeting run by the principal to catch the families up to date on the happenings of the school. Megan, another PTA mom and I were in the PTA room, just talking about food, because that is what we do. As Megan and I were debating which fast food place has the best chicken nuggets, Bethany comes storming into the room (on a wrecking ball) and starts throwing posterboard around. Yeah, not even kidding. Trust when I say, I know I sound like the crazy one here. Megan and I are standing there, with the “deer in headlights” look plastered on our faces. What the hell is happening? Bethany is throwing around the posterboard, muttering “Well I guess I will just fucking do it myself!”
Well crap. Now I have to say something. I was completely content ignoring the bipolar outburst, but once the “F-Bombs” were spoken, I knew I had to jump in. I cannot have any parents use that kind of language in the PTA room. Look, I am not a prude or anything, but the fact is, there are children that have access to the room. If a student happened to come in and hear that, well, it just is not cool.
“Woah, Bethany, what’s happening? Careful, there are students walking the halls.”
Bethany says nothing. She throws one more posterboard, gives Megan and I one more “fuck this.” And leaves.
Holy Hell what just happened?!?! Now, what I should have done is reported it to my “bosses.” Not to get Bethany in trouble, just in a “Look, I do not know what’s going on, but this just happened” type of way. However, I did not do that. This was clearly a different person than who I spoke with on the phone last night. I will get to the bottom of it.
I went home that night, jumped on Facebook, with the intent to send her a private message. Something stuck out on my timeline. Bethany was now Facebook friends with a good portion of my friends. People she did not really know, people from the school, she friend requested. My initial thought “Dude, you are trying too hard.” However, once again, I let it go, giving her the benefit of doubt.
You guys already know I did some detective work. Come to find out that Bethany made a Facebook page just for school staff. Her “real” Facebook page was under a different name. Immediately I got the “Single White Female” vibe. (Movie reference, cult classic.)
A few days later, one of the staff members at school had some unfortunate news about their cat. A Go-Fund-Me was created with the hopes to raise enough money to help this little guy out. I, along with countless others, made donations to the Go-Fund-Me. About half an hour after I made my donation, I get a Facebook message from Bethany.
“Hey! I just want to thank you for donating to Mia.” (the cat)
“I just met them at the vet and put two hundred and fifty dollars on my credit card for them.”
Now, of course, raising enough money to help Mia out is all that matters, however, I would be lying if I said I did not think it was weird how she thanked me….and how she met this staff member and her spouse at the vet to put money on her credit card. Remember, she is only two weeks in. She just met these people and she is thanking me. I have known the staff member for years. Also, it kinda seemed like bragging. Again, I will let it go, because this is an innocent animal we are talking about. I am happy to say though that Mia pulled through and she is doing just fine.
There have been countless incidents since. However, there was an icing on the cake. The incident that told me “Watch your back” happened a few weeks ago. We had a school fundraiser. A school-wide event that allowed the community to come in and rent a table, this was a PTA event. Bethany paired up with Katy, another PTA mom. They had their own booth in the cafeteria. I felt confident with these two. I knew Bethany and Katy had things under control no matter my personal issues with Bethany.
Emily, a brand new parent volunteer, decided to work the coffee stand. Emily was amazing. Hard worker, did it all on her own. Everything was going well until the coffee pot blew a fuse. I was over there, working with Emily, trying to see if we could reset the fuse, while also coming up with a plan B. It was at this time, while I am literally working with Emily, Bethany calls out to me.
“Jennifer. We need glue. Can you get us some glue?”
I look around, thinking to myself “We are in a school, how hard is it to find glue?” But I refrained.
Instead what I said was “Yeah, give me just a minute, we have a small emergency over here.”
Emily and I worked together and decided to move the coffee stand out into the hall. It was an easy yet time-consuming fix. As soon as I got Emily settled, I went to Bethany. “Okay, sorry! You needed Glue?”
Bethany looks at me, she gives me the once-over. “Well forget about it now, you took too long. Mark went home and got me some glue.”
I wanted to ask if Mark took the opportunity to bang his ex while he was at home getting glue, but again, I refrained.
“Okay great, good problem-solving!”
That was the last time I saw or spoke to Bethany.
While relaxing on Facebook, it occurred to me that it had been awhile since I saw any of Bethany’s post. Usually, her post consists of “What an amazing school I volunteer at.” Even though she accused the school on Facebook of having a mumps outbreak.
The school never had an outbreak of mumps.
And, she pissed a lot of people off by jumping the gun.
Anyhow, in my findings, I realized that Bethany blocked me on Facebook.
I do not even know what to say to that. I tried with this one. I gave her the benefit of the doubt countless times, all the while knowing she was totally “Single White Femaling” me.
She wants my position. She can have my position…..in June when elections happen. She can take my position, and she can shove it up her ass, along with all the trash talking she does about me, and everyone else. She can take my position because I am moving to another school. If I was staying, she would have a fight on her hands. Lucky for her, I am not.
My point to all of this. You have to keep things separate. Do not accept all friend request. Either ignore them or check out their page just so you can see what kind of crazy you may be dealing with.
Not realizing it, when I accepted Bethany’s friend request, I gave her access to a part of me that only a select few know. I gave her access to pictures of my children, I gave her access to pictures of where I live. I allowed the crazy too close to home. So not worth it.
I am just going to put this out there. If something were to happen to me between now and June, make sure Bethany has an airtight alibi.
Also, I would like Neve Campbell to play me in the Lifetime Movie of the week.