A thing I don't have time for that I secretly enjoy

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4867169530_11b012e941_b.jpgHere are a few things I should be doing right now: finishing reading a book on how to make my child a money genius (it does not bode well that I keep putting it off.) Coming up with amazing story ideas and then pitching them. Selling old books and clothes to make a little beer money. Working on actual deadlines.

But instead I'm going around to local businesses begging for donations.

Paul goes to the same private school that I attended (hand-wringing essay on how my child goes to private school to never come) and I foolishly put up my hand to help with an anniversary fundraiser that's coming up. I ended up taking on the role of being the person who goes about asking for gift certificates or merchandise for us to use as prizes in pay-to-play games. This is one of many instances where my life has come full circle. The school was brand-new when my brother and I started attending and my mom was heavily involved. She worked on a now-legendary fundraiser and I remember going down to the basement and looking at all the merch she had gathered for the silent auction, including signed shoes from a Chicago Bull.

There is some little rat-pellet-dopamine thing going on with this fundraising because instead of focusing on my actual deadlines and goals I can't stop brainstorming new places to hit up. Most of the time when I submit a request I get a "I'll have to check; we'll see." Sometimes I receive something smallish, like a $10-$20 gift certificate. A few times we've hit the jackpot though, in the form of something worth $100 or more. It's extremely satisfying even though I'm getting nothing from this interaction. It's not like I can enjoy the wine tasting or free chocolate or round of golf. It just feels a bit like a slot machine only instead of putting in money I'm putting in time and instead of a payout I'm getting something that makes me feel like we're going to put on a party that's pretty fun.

In the meantime I keep pondering whether you can put school fundraising as a volunteer activity on your resume. So far every response I've heard is "Umm..." I understand in theory--raising money for a kid's private school doesn't scan the same as helping the homeless in a soup kitchen, for instance, or tutoring. But technically it is work I'm doing for free, so isn't that volunteering?

I'm probably just justifying all this, and trying to deny my transformation into suburban mom. No matter how many colors I dye my hair or tattoo artists I investigate, I can't dance around the fact that I'm apparently a parents association mom, with a basement full of givaways.