Tempest. Teapot. But I live in this teapot…

Drat. I’d written a whole post about the MMRRPPH and the MHRRPH MRHHRPH, and I just can’t do it. This town is too small, and people too gossipy–but can I just ask the peanut gallery this:

Let us say that you are one of a group of parents whose children are all involved in the same, um, thingy. With an adult in charge of the Thingy. Let us call said adult the Head Hullabaloo, because I do not want you to be able to tell f the adult is male or female. And let us further say that some of the parents think the HH is the cat’s meow, because the HH is really tough on the kids and gets them to do their best, whereas others believe HH should have to sit in the uncooperative chair, because HH is really tough on the kids and makes them cry.

Let us further suppose that HH is a friend, and that HH’s method of being tough is one that also furthers a principle behind which I stand firmly, so you can see which parental camp I am in–but that doesn’t matter, except to say that both as a matter of principal and one of loyalty, I’m with HH.

Now let us say that the  Grand Poohbahs in charge of Thingy, charged with the difficult task of dealing with both sets of parents, have called all of said parents into a meeting, and let us say that for the other parents, it is a matter both of principle (that would be a different principle than mine, let us call it principle 2) and of, yanno, bears defending their cubs. You can see, can you not, that this is going to get very, very, very ugly? That there is almost certain to be name-calling and yelling?

Now, here is the question. Remember: loyalty and principle. Do I a) attend the meeting but keep my head down, my mouth shut and hope it will somehow end without bloodshed; b) go in swinging or c) prepare a planned statement, then get all angry and and up in probably the same situation as b)?

You should probably know that I have already written a letter. But things could happen at the meeting. HH could be placed in said uncooperative chair, or condemned to shunning. Parents could start deciding to remove kids from Thingy, and it could become necessary to decide about that immediately in order to influence events. And the thing is, I know me, and I know this town and these parents. There are really only two choices: Speak, and get into trouble, but at least it’s my own damn fault, or Not Speak, and probably still have certain parents prefer not to interact with me for a while just because of presence in room, but at least be able to pretend nothing happened when passing at the grocery store. And I need to know going in, because the only way I will manage not to talk is if I have already firmly decided not to. I mean, unless there are parents heading out of the room with flaming torches or tar and feathers. So wait and see, while it’s kinda what has to happen, isn’t really the right way for me to go into the meeting. I need a plan of action, or inaction.

I would not be the only one to speak for HH (in fact, that’s a slight majority). HH knows where I stand. That’s prolly not an issue. But I, of course, will know I didn’t speak up. But then, it’s really not THAT big a principle.

OK, now you know everything. What should I do?

4 Responses to “Tempest. Teapot. But I live in this teapot…”

  1. G. Silva says:

    What I would do is not speak up, because I am that much different from you. So you shouldn’t emulate me. On the other hand, I’ve been shunned plenty of times before and it never killed me, so I will encourage you not to be afraid of a little shunning. Besides, there will be other activities, other alliances, and before you know it, a whole new set of parents will be shunning each other over a new reason. There might be a serious grudge-holder or two in the group, who can’t help snarkily bringing up, “Oh, remember back in ’10 when you stood up for HH over the Thingy?” But I bet that when Thingy has been replaced by Whatzit, then all the other parents will be so absorbed with Whatzit drama that… wait… is your town really like a high school for grownups or am I just imagining that?

  2. Deb B says:

    Here is another principle. What example do you want to set for your kids? Do you support what principle and people you believe in or do you let them stand by themselves and see what happens from the sideline? I, first, would go. I would plan to speak IF necessary and I would try to make my case tactfully to the point and not personal and emotional. You have to live with yourself but I understand you have to live in a small town too. By the way if you sense possible shunning anyway without even going, why not go down with a ‘deserved’ dose? Tread carefully and adjust as necessary. Good luck.

  3. Lisen says:

    Hmmmm… can there be a splinter group of Thingy that works w/ a softer HH, and then maybe all the parents can be happy and all the kids still get to do Thingy?

    As for going and speaking, I think you have to. And being from a much smaller town, I can assure you, you’ll still have enough friends left. 🙂

  4. Kelly Morant says:

    Phew difficult one.. personally I am a woman of principle. I work for a Trade Union, I’m an organiser and I defend people’s rights all the time. This doesnt mean that I am some loud mouthed agressive woman. Quite the opposite. It means I choose my battles wisely. This is advice I give all my members. If this is a battle worth fighting for, that is winning then go for it. If it’s a battle worth fighting but not winnable, how important is the fight? is it a matter of defending a friend/ other person?? equally this can be important. Sometimes speaking up is the right thing to do just because others won’t until you do.

    Compromise may be the key to the solution but I think that speaking out will be in your nature.

    Good luck


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