“Yes Janet, I did receive the email that they are changing the mascot…again.” There she goes. Back
at her rants. Although Janet was the best source for all the gossip, you had to go through the
weeds to get any of the juicy stuff.
“I’m just saying. We can’t keep selling to the highest bidder. Next thing we know our kids will be
calling themselves the Hamilton Middle School Crypto Currencies!”
I snorted into my mimosa, coughing more bubbles up my nose. I needed harder liquor for these
meetings. Janet continued rambling without even checking to see if I was ok after my coughing fit.
I turned to avoid coughing on her and noticed a woman in a sky-blue blouse, with ruffles at the
shoulders of her sleeves, moving her hands in a sharp gesture.
That’s odd. I thought I was the only one who talked with animated hands.
Keeping my body immobile I craned my head to see who was speaking while still mumbling my
“mhms” to a rattling Janet.
Another woman stepped into an opening between coifed heads. Her bleach blonde waves bounced
as she leaned forward, puckered her lips and pointed a long-manicured nail at the woman in the
sky-blue blouse. Her wine glass sloshing almost to the brim in her other hand.
Was that Tiffany?
Tiffany is one of those overzealous PTA Presidents, almost like on tv but more subtle, so initially it didn’t surprise me that she was “scolding” another parent on protocol. But it was more interesting than listening to Janet’s nasally voice. So, I shifted my body to try, and ease drop on the conversation, which I found increasingly difficult as more parents filed in, creating a low buzz, drowning out any concrete pieces of conversation.
I rolled my eyes as Janet’s voice raised another octave as she plowed into her next favorite topic:
criticizing the PTA board and school. Great, right when the interaction started heating up as the
women in the sky-blue blouse (that I decided to nickname “ruffles”), took a step toward Tiffany, her
white nails catching the luminescent lights as she motioned down with an open facing palm.
“I will NOT lower my voice!” I could hear Tiffany’s shrill voice cut with the delicacy of a butter knife through the din of the gathering crowd.
Ruffles didn’t look too impressed as she snapped her head from side to side, a finger pressed against
her cherry-colored lips. She looked so familiar. I knew I had seen her before. My brain whirred as I
tried to place Ruffles. Cranking open my memories, I had pretty much surmised that she may be a teacher, but she definitely worked in the front office somewhere, when I noticed it had gotten quieter in my section of the room.
Pausing my intent gaze on the escalating interaction, I turned to find Janet had stopped talking and
was staring where I had just peeled my eyes from. Instead of inquisitive eyes, hers shown with a twinkle of
mischief. She knew more than I did about this.
“Who is Ruffles?”
“Hmm?” Janet threw me an odd glance at the nickname I had accidentally let slip out.
“Ahem, I mean who is Tiffany talking to?”
Janet chuckled. “Oh that? That is Tracy. The new Secretary to Principal Skyler.” Janet leaned in,
lowering her voice. She absolutely reveled in knowing more than everybody, and for my good
fortune, she loved sharing her knowledge even more. “Word on the street is that since she has
started working here Tiffany’s precious “in” with the principal, and keeping her son out of trouble, is
slipping. We all assume it’s because of Tracy whom, the last time I saw during an unexpected visit to the office was getting pretty close with the principal.”
Janet’s flawlessly penciled eyebrows wiggled (as much as fake eyebrows can wiggle).
I wondered if the rumor was true. Or was Janet exaggerating as she always did to garner attention.
Not 5 seconds after I had that thought, Principal Skyler himself, strode up to Tiffany gripping
her elbow, attempting to steer her away from the confrontation that continued to escalate. Janet
grabbed 4 more full bubbling champagne flutes and shoved 2 in my hands.
“Here! This is about to get good!” She hissed in my ear.
“I wish I had shots of tequila instead.” I murmured back, knowing if this turned into a brawl, tequila
would sharpen my outdated skills better than champagne.
Tiffany refused to go down, yanking her arm free from the principal and stalking back to Tracy. “No!
No! I won’t be silenced.”
“Bring your drama down a notch.” Tracy snapped, her nose in the air.
“I warned you what could happen, now you’ve gone too far!” Tiffany screeched tossing her red wine
onto Tracy’s beautiful sky-blue blouse. Ruffles and all.
Janet and I gasped, clutching our absent pearls. Everyone else in the room had gone silent. Principal
Skyler’s face flooded crimson. Tracy’s eyes glazed over with unshed tears. Her wine glass shattered
to the linoleum floor as her hands trembled over her beloved blouse.
As Tiffany stormed away, she shouted over her shoulder, “You knew he was my man and I told you
to stay away from him! This is what happens when you cross me slut!”
The collective room gasped. Janet and I glanced at each other with covered mouths holding back
giggles. Tracy rushed from the room, crying.
Principal Skyler lost his composure. “Tiffany! That was uncalled for! You and I are not exclusive! You
know that!” He called after her. I gave him a pointed look, which he caught and realized he was still
in a room full of people. He straightened his tie, combed his hands through his wavy, black hair and
cleared his throat.
“I apologize for the interruption. Please continue the meeting as planned. I will be right back.” He
paced a moment back and forth, trying to decide whom to follow and at the last minute scurried out
the gym doors that Tracy had exited.
“Can you believe that?” I breathed to Janet.
“I can.” I jerked my head toward Janet whose aw filled eyes followed the principal.
“How can you?”
Janet turned her head slowly to me. “You saw Principal Skyler. He’s hot, sexy and I would’ve done the
I burst out laughing, the mimosa bubbles creeping back into my nose causing me to snort.
“What?” Janet asked, pushing her jet black hair behind her shoulder with a flick of her wrist.
After controlling myself and placing a forearm against my pinched stomach I faced her, tears rolling
down my face. “I’m so glad you forced me to come. You were right. This is WAY better than staying
home with a pint of ice cream and watching Real Housewives!”