Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just one more thing

I'm one of those suckers who volunteers for everything. I admit it. If you sound desperate enough, I'll probably raise my hand and pile on another obligation. But there's a limit. Really, there is.

The phone rings. A familiar Boy Scout dad's voice says, "I need you to run our upcoming popcorn fundraiser."

"I'm sorry, I really can't."

The superhuman inside me seems to have worked the duct tape on her mouth loose. She mumbles something the sounds like, "Say yes." I kick the bound superhuman and wave at her to shut up.

"We were really hoping you would."

"I have too many other things going already during that same time."

Superhuman rolls her eyes. I apply new duct tape before she can scream, "I'll do it!".

"Your name was brought up by several people who thought you'd be right for the job."

"I'm sure it was." I take a deep breath. "You have to understand, during that same couple months, I have to purchase materials and create nine hundred christmas craft kits for my daughter's school. I'm also a Girl Scout leader and have meetings and crafts to organize. We have a PTO fundraiser I'm helping with. I have NaNo raffle items to solicit and some to create and write-ins to set up. I have the Young Writer's program to pitch to new schools and organize in the two I already do. I'm running a book drive for the entire county, and I just signed up to be on the funding committee for the school system. Did I mention that I also run a business?"

He doesn't miss a beat. "I might have someone else that can do it, but can you at least help her?"

I give Superhuman one last kick and rip off her shiny red cape. With a quick twist, I put it on. "I'll do what I can, but I'm not promising anything big."

"Thanks. We'd really like you to take this over next year so keep that in mind."

After hanging up the phone, I drag Superhuman out to the back yard, toss her in a hole and bury her. After standing there minute, I pile on a few cinderblocks for good measure.

There, maybe now I'll still find a little time to write.


  1. So true! And what I most hate about that kind of thing is the way people can make you feel so guilty about turning something down. The thing to ask is why didn't all those people who put your name forward volunteer themselves?

    Good for you, Jean! Here's a virtual paving slab to throw on top of Superhuman's hole. Keep her in her place and keep control of your own time.

  2. Good for you Jean! You have to protect your time. No one else will.

  3. I have mine chained to a post in the hayloft. I throw her an apple every few months...but you should see what is hiding in my basement...nasty creature called a ushooda.

  4. Hehe, maybe you ought to learn the art of delegation and turn it back on him! The next time someone calls you up to do something you don't want to do, give them his name and number and say he's 'recommended'. Or just say the dreaded words 'You owe me' and make good on it! Maybe even demand a trade in services...

    But then again, I guess that's why no one would accuse me of playing superhero. ;)

  5. "You owe me." Lovely words, but I think you give them up when you pick up the cape with the red "S" on it. Pretty sure it's in the rules.

  6. I don't have a basement. My ushooda is in the attic. Scary thing, always moaning and wailing.

    Dad in on his way out of the whole volunteering thing after having done it through two sons. I'm sure he's done his time. It's just that I'm also doing mine. We need to conscript some slackers into our superhero midst. ;)


Join the conversation. It gets lonely in here without you.