Paranoia Part 2: The Principal's Office
For some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter how benign the circumstances, sitting down in the office of a school principal gives me a bad case of gastrointestinal distress.
Maybe that’s because most of my life, I’ve been a smidge shy of being totally innocent.
And maybe it has something to do with the fact that there have been way too many visits in a principal’s office over my lifetime that have left me attempting to swallow my heart and my stomach out of my throat and back into their correct anatomical positions.
So when #2 gorgeous model birthed of my loins called me on Monday saying I had to go right that second to meet with the high school principal about her dropping a dual credit math class, it was all I could do to remove the vise grip from around my chest. It didn’t help matters when she threw in a spare comment about him having something else to visit with me about.
The voices inside my head went something like this:
“What else would he have to visit with me about? Maybe my bad habit of ending a sentence with a preposition? Nope. This new guy’s a math teacher, not an English teacher. Uh-oh. What if he is less than impressed with my blogging about his coaches?”
“I bet that’s it. I bet he wants me to lay off the blogging where his staff is concerned. I bet he didn’t like something I said. I bet…”
“Or maybe that isn’t it at all. Maybe it’s something else. What did I do? Think, Angie. What stupid, well-intentioned act did you undertake that’s got you in the hot seat with someone for whom you don’t even work?”
“Stop it. You don’t really know that there’s anything wrong. Just go take care of the little meeting so your kid can get out of dual credit hell and quit making it into something worse.”
“Yeah, but she said there was something ELSE.”
Meanwhile, I took off walking toward the school (it’s only a block away, and after all, I AM attempting to be a little bit green) carrying 3 dozen eggs to be delivered to a customer who had planned to come by and pick them up during the time that I was now spending in the principal’s office.
I handed off eggs to #2 daughter to deliver. “That’s for making me come over here.”
He very graciously greeted me, invited me into “the office” and proceeded to offer me a chair in front of the desk behind which he was about to be seated.
I hate that position.
It’s so freakin’ intimidating.
And if it freaks me out, how freaked out are parents who haven’t spent 18 years in and out of that office.
He was very nice. Just making sure I understood that she was wanting to drop the college credit part of the class, which I did, and had in fact encouraged after watching her have a psychotic meltdown the first week of school.
I’ve seen dual credit math induced psychotic meltdowns before.
They aren’t pretty.
It’s really disturbing for a parent to watch a child have an academically self-induced meltdown that can’t be helped with medication or sleep.
So there I was acknowledging that I had in fact attempted to discourage the whole dual credit thing in the first place.
He had kind words for my #2 progeny. He even chuckled a bit about her honesty when he had asked her if she had given it her very best shot and received a response of “probably not.” I think he appreciated her straightforwardness. At least someone does. I find it rather annoying at times.
Especially when she is telling me what she really thinks….about me.
And for the record, at no time during this little meeting did my heart and stomach ever remove themselves from my throat.
When he indicated the conversation was over, I asked him if there was something else he wanted to talk to me about. After all, the kid had said there was. That had been a significant part of my stomach/heart-in-throat syndrome.
He looked at me funny saying, “No. I don’t think so.” And I left.
No grievances filed.
No parents threatening to sue me.
No fear of losing my job because I had ticked off the school board.
No documentation in my permanent record.
I just walked out.
And the voices inside my head said, “You dope. You stressed out over nothing.”
To which I replied, “ANYTIME a principal’s office is involved, I will stress out. It’s never ‘nothing’.”
(Should I be worried that I actually answered the voices inside my head?)
Just thinking about it makes me wonder if I need to go see a cardiologist….
…or just invest in a white jacket and some wall padding.
….or tell the principal to lose the desk and office next time he wants to talk to me about something.
That’s it. Next time I receive a principal summons, I’m going to insist on a neutral meeting place with no furniture. Maybe then my heart and stomach will stay in their proper anatomical positions.
And that’s all I have to say ’bout that.