Chips for Sale

I wish I could blame all of my dizzy blonde moments on my inner ear disorder. Then, at least, I’d have an excuse…

Every fourth Monday of the month, we’re going to just take some time to laugh at, well, mostly me. And it’s okay, because I’ve learned to laugh at myself, too.

Let’s start with my daughter’s soccer meeting.

During high school, my daughter played soccer for the freshman, JV, and varsity teams. Each year, the coaches would call a meeting of all soccer players and their parents to go over the upcoming season. When she was a sophomore, I attended this soccer ballmeeting and listened to her coaches discuss the rules, expectations, schedule, and busing issues. Since most of this information was the same as last year, I also looked through paperwork and filled in emergency information as the coaches talked. But, when they announced an upcoming fundraising idea, I was instantly all ears.

Our high school has a “Pay to Participate” sports program. That means, if our children make a team, we parents must pay a fee in order for them to participate. Therefore, anything that would help defray the cost had my undivided attention.

Two girls from the varsity team presented the plan: selling chips at our local bowling alley. They explained that, if we could find enough volunteers to help out for a weekend, the soccer program could make thousands of dollars.

I imagined myself sitting behind a table, encouraging bowlers to purchase bags of Doritos, pretzels, and other assorted snacks. It didn’t seem like selling chips could potato-chips-448737_960_720raise so much money, but what did I know? The girls had given us examples of other organizations that had made a bundle, so the idea had to work. And maybe bowling made people hungrier than I thought.

So, after the meeting, I marched right over to the sign-up sheet and wrote down my name. Selling chips didn’t sound very hard, and it might actually be fun. And, of course, it was for a good cause—my daughter’s soccer team, and my bank account.

Later that week, I received an email from the woman who was organizing the soccer fundraiser. I began reading the information, and suddenly stopped and stared at the words. As it turned out, our team wasn’t selling potato chips.

They were selling poker chips.

“How did I miss that?” I asked my husband that night.

He bit his lip, trying not to laugh. “You really didn’t know our bowling alley has a poker room?”

“I never saw a poker room when we were bowling.”

Of course, I’m not the most observant person, as my husband will attest.

I folded my arms. “No way am I selling poker chips. I’m not sure I like the idea of our teenage girls making money from other people gambling.”

“Then call up the lady who’s running it and tell her you don’t want to help out anymore.”

“I can’t do that! I’ll die of embarrassment!” I told him.

The only thing worse than having a dizzy blonde moment is having to tell someone else about it.

“You don’t have to tell her why,” my husband assured me. “Just tell her you can’t do it anymore.”

But the woman who had sent the email was a soccer mom, like me. I’d seen her in church, and we’d bonded over the years watching our daughters battle and occasionally bleed during their travel soccer seasons. I knew, if I got on the phone with her, that I’d feel uncomfortable being evasive. So the next day, I swallowed my pride, dialed her number, and told her everything.

My friend either has remarkable self-control or a very handy mute button.

When I had finished, she cleared her throat. “That explains it. To be honest, I was kind of surprised when I saw your name on the sign-up sheet.”

That made me feel a little better. A little.

“Please, just cross me off the volunteer list. And, please, please don’t ever tell a living, breathing soul how ditzy I am.”

And, since the other soccer parents and coaches never started giggling in my presence, I don’t think she never did.

As it turned out, we never had the soccer fundraiser. Maybe the other parents were just too busy to volunteer. Or maybe the bowling alley backed out of the agreement. But I like to think that it fell through, because the other moms and dads thought they were selling potato chips too.

But probably not.


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