Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Tea For Twenty Two

I went to a coffee morning today, after school drop off. It was in a spectacular house – straight out of the pages of ‘Homes and Gardens’. I have recently decided to stop regaling H about the neo-palaces that some of the people around here inhabit, as I don’t want him to think I am indirectly criticising his role as provider. It has also taken me some time to realise that not everyone lives in a house like this – just the people who host the coffee mornings. They are probably forced into it by the class rep, and must spend the whole time feeling like they are under scrutiny about everything from their choice of scatter cushions, to whether or not they’ve bought the right bread maker.

The hostess had provided a range of beautiful pastries, and someone had brought along home-made brownies. Of course, no-one actually ate anything. Instead there were several requests for bizarre tea concoctions (‘Got any nettle and echinacea?’) and at least three people had brought their own soya milk. Not because they are allergic to cows milk, you understand, but because it gave them something to talk about.

The gathering ended with the usual awkward requests from the class rep, asking us all to donate time/money/raffle prizes for a Summer Fair. This is so we can further line the coffers of a school that we already pay handsomely for our children to attend. I suppose I could have just taken a stand and said no, but I like the class rep, and wouldn’t wish her thankless job on my worst enemy. When I looked at the list of suggested raffle prizes I nearly fell over. If I was in a position to buy tickets to a major sporting event, or an iPod nano, or Nintendo Wii, then I certainly wouldn’t be donating them to a raffle. I scanned the list, thinking there might be something I could donate from the Drunk Mummy wine vaults (actually, it’s a cupboard under the stairs). No luck. Just a request for ‘cases of champagne’ – note the plural there. I guess a bottle of Blue Nun really isn’t going to cut the mustard then.

I certainly won’t be donating any of this delicious pink (despite the name) White Grenache from Ernest and Julio Gallo (Tesco £5.18) as recommended by Mutterings and Meanderings – I shall keep its fresh berry flavours for myself and H, to while away these warm summer evenings.


dulwichmum said...

Ha, ha, ha!

Why do they do this?

Last year my childrens school had their annual ball, and one lovely set of parents actually donated tickets to join a major international female pop star and her famous husband on a yacht at film festival for a drinks party. The tickets went for 10K!

I wouldn't have donated them, I would go myself. Wouldn't you? It is all done to intimidate, and don't you forget it sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Did many people have food allergies - I find that gluten intolerance tends to crop up really very regularly - hence no noshing on the brownies?

All the best
3kidsnojob/Omega Mum

beta mum said...

London, eh?
Here in downtown Devon we on the PTA are pleased if people donate the odd unwanted Christmas present - hopefully unopened.

Mind you we do have allergies, oh yes, there's a teacher at my children's school who's so allergic to so many things that we're not allowed to take a whole list of things onto school premises.
Including -

unpeeled Kiwi fruit
unpeeled avocado
rubber bands

and lots of other things I now can't remember.

The Secretary said...

We actively discourage this kind of thing at our dare anyone have fun outside the staff room!!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Glad you're enjoying the white grenache - but Tesco is ripping you off. It's £3.99 a bottle in the Co-op here!

debio said...

My daughter's school unashamedly bumped up the fees if they were needy; at the lunches and coffee mornings I attended there was a glass in the middle of the table for donations to the hostess' charity du jour...can't decide which I would prefer.

Lucy Diamond said...

Go on, I dare you to put in a bottle of Blue Nun. Just to see their faces...

Stay at home dad said...

That sort of thing annoys me too. I don't understand the logic of the cases of wine. Surely if a few people gave one or two bottles of wine each then they could make up mixed cases themselves?

Anonymous said...

Hello drunkmummy

I work for a living. Sometimes I get so busy and harassed that I wonder why I am doing this to myself and my family. Dimly, I remember something about not being able to afford the school fees otherwise, and some question about what I would do with myself if I didn't.

Then when I read your blog, I realised why I am doing this to myself and my family.

I am doing it to avoid coffee mornings in unfeasibly large houses.

There's a moral in there somewhere.

EmmaK said...

ha ha, hilarious blog. Yes, I can relate to all these frustrated pretentious mothers who don't actually have an allergy, but drink soya milk anyway just to be a nuisance when they come round to your house and want you to ask, "Do you have a dairy allergy?" "No, but sometimes I think I might have because back in 1998 I did have a cup of tea that gave me the runs ....drone ....drone."

I have linked you!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I have an allergy to people who claim to have an allergy! A work colleague claimed to be allergic to peanuts - one whiff, she said and she blew up like a balloon. I caught her eating a peanut butter cookie one day (there were no other biscuits left and she clearly fancied one). She never mentioned it again! fancy that!

Drunk Mummy said...

Dulwich Mum - you've given me a cunning idea! I could offer a prize of a chance to join me, H and the kids in a tent in the Lake District in October. Worth 10K easily (more if they aren't required to do the cooking).

Omega Mum and beta mum - these adult allergies do seem to be cropping up everywhere. You only have to read Pig In the Kitchen to see how serious real allergies can be - especially for kids. It does annoy me when you see adults using allergies as the smokescreen for their latest fad diet.

Secretary - you are so right, although I would query your definition of fun!

M&M - oh! that's taken the shine off it a bit! Never mind, since I have had kids, I am convinced that there is a tattoo on my forehead reading "I have kids. Please rip me off."

Debio - I thought it couldn't get any worse, but you have proven me wrong.

Lucy - I think I might - if they turn the Blue Nun down I could offer a bottle of White Tower.

SAHD - splendid idea! Or they could just stop being so greedy.

Anonymous - you are absolutely right, and I am relieved to have ticked off my annual coffee morning appearance. Thanks for the moral.

Hello Emmak!
Yes, these fake adult allergies are really irritating, and extremely dull (as are the people who profess to have them).

Nunhead Mum of One - I think you have proven my point about the dieting smokescreen!
Thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

DrunkMummy what a fantastic post! And so are all the comments - it is great to see that everyone else meets the type of nutty mums (and dads?) that I do! Maybe we should form a support group!

Being a class rep is fairly thankless, isn't it?! The stories i could tell!! Luckily, the other reps at 'my' school are really nice.