Monday, October 20, 2008

A Flight Risk

On a dark, cool night in late October, four women huddle under the glare of a streetlight, waiting for a call that may never come....

"So, uh, I thought we were all going to wear our costumes." I say, feeling more than a little moronic in my homemade Superhero costume, complete with mask, cape and hooker boots.

"Well, you're the only one blogging tonight so it seemed kind of silly for all of us to get dressed up." Green Bean offers.

Green Raven weighs in, "Plus, I still haven't taken that sewing class yet and a knitted cape just doesn't fly well. Too many holes"

Olive S. Oyl just snickers a bit as I readjust the control-top, spandex underwear I've donned over my red unitard. Despite the three layers of fabric covering my butt, I feel a bit of a chill. Perhaps it is the wind whistling through my Bedazzled wonder-bra or maybe it's the excitement of the unknown.

Suddenly the phone rings. We all jump a bit and then just stare blankly at one another. It isn't until Olive S. Oyl says "You gettin' that or what?" that I realize they're all waiting for me to pick up the call. I leap into the phone booth and grab the receiver. Pulling it to my ear, I take a deep breath and say hello.

A voice on the other end says "Is this the Green Phone Booth?"

To which I respond in my best superhero voice, "Um. Yeah." as I make the Oh-my-God-it's-not-a-wrong-number, open-mouthed look of surprise at my blogmates. I get a group thumbs up from them and return my attention to our mystery caller.

"This is the Home Owner's Association. We recently adopted a committee charter to create an
Environmental Committee as recommended by the Long Range Planning Committee."

"That's a lot of committees" I say.

"Yes, ahem, well, this new Environmental Committee will serve as an information resource to residents and the Board, assist with planning of educational events, work on the implementation of the our subdivision's "Go Green" initiative and seek out grants and funding for the community."

To which I say "Sounds great!" because, well, it does.

The voice continues, "The committee will consist of seven (7) members who are HOA members appointed for a one (1) year term at the discretion of the Board of Directors."

"So what's all this got to do with me? And why do you speak like a legal document that has been cut and pasted from an online HOA newsletter?" I ask.

"Shut up and listen, Superfreak. The committee is required to meet at least once every other month until such time as a plan of action is adopted by the Board of Directors. The committee shall submit a plan to the Board detailing specific proposals for implementation of the "Go Green" program, education for residents, and grant writing and funding of community-based initiatives. The plan shall be submitted to the Board by July 2009 for review and approval prior to implementation."


"Is that everything?" I ask.

"Yes" the voice says.

::More Silence::

"Okey-Dokey, then! Well, good luck with all that and let us know how it works out!"

"But WAIT! Don't you know why I called you?" he asks.

"To tell me about your association's sub-committee's new committee?" I guess.

"I called you because I need YOU on this committee."


::Blink blink::

"Ohhhhh." I say as I let the idea sink in. Bi-Monthly meetings. Proposals. Grants. Time commitments. Talking to the board. Talking to residents. Talking to people. Real live people. In person. Talking. To. People.

My stomach sinks. "Look, I appreciate what you're doing here and I think it's great. I really, really do. It's just that, well, I have two little kids at home and I don't really have time to...." I start to trail off as I realize that I am, in fact, the lamest Superhero since Arm-Fall-Off Boy. "I'm sorry" I say and I hang my head in shame, silently place the receiver back on its hook and walk back out to face my comrades.

"So?!?!?" They all shout in unison.

"They want me to join an Environmental Committee." I confess.

Green Bean actually squeals with delight and Green Raven offers a "woot woot woot". It only takes a moment though before they register my attitude and realize this is not the superhero assignment I'd hoped for. I had assumed someone would need help setting up a compost pile or crafting up a draft dodger. I had never imagined I would be asked for a year-long commitment. Jiminy crickets, I don't commit that long to a frickin hair color, much less to a committee of strangers!

There is a brief moment of silence. And then Olive S. Oyl quietly starts to sing "Look at what's happened to me, I can't believe it myself. Suddenly I'm up on top of the world, It should've been somebody else."

Green Bean, Green Raven and I join in for the chorus "Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it's just me."

By the end of the song we're belting it out with total disregard for the barking dogs and houselights flickering on in the neighborhood. I'm laughing so hard that tears are streaming out of my mask, my cheeks hurt and I'm thankful for the extra layers of fabric on my ass. These women have convinced me. I can be a superhero.

"Alright you crazy, tone-deaf eco-nuts, I'm on it!" High fives all around and I'm ready to fly off on my new assignment.

"Before you go, Burbs?" Green Raven says.


"Your cape's stuck in your underpants."

To Be Continued......


ruchi aka arduous said...

Wow, great post Burbs, and congrats! Keep us posted as to what goes on with the committee!! I can believe it that you're walking on air, since you are the wind beneath my wings!! :)

Burbanmom said...

Ruchi - It's because I'm super gassy... gives me the extra lift I need! :-)

Anonymous said...

wow! this is wonderful news- a super assignment for a super hero- you! you have all the gifts needed for this kind of work...dedication, organization, knowledge and personality.

also, a wonderfully written post.

The Purloined Letter said...

It is so wonderful to relive that exciting evening via your fabulous post! I can't wait to hear more about your assignment.

Isn't it the truth that supportive friends (as well as our green capes) can give us the strength to do what needs to be done! Thanks for inspiring us all.

Joyce said...

Congratulations! Someone must have actually noticed that you've made a few changes around your house.

Green Bean said...

Brilliant post, Burbs! It's like a serial. What adventures will the Bulk have next? Will she wear her cape to the first meeting? You rock. It's hard to take on those kinds of volunteer roles sometimes. Good for you.

leslie said...

I know what you're gonna be for Halloween! :)

Mon said...

Boy it's tough being a green superhero and mother. I know I've said 'thanks, but no thanks' to a few opportunities for the sake of staying home with the wee one.

But there are days I want to don a cape...

JessTrev said...

OK, I am still weepy and getting chills from the song. You rock so much (love the new pic!). I'm with mon, sometimes it is hard not to just hunker down with the kids...until you realize this stuff is all *about* the kids. Can't wait to hear the next installment. I promise not to snicker at your superGirl spanx.

heather from Make-A-Bag said...

Crap, woman, you make me laugh. Do you have a book deal yet?

Anna said...

You are hilarious! I give you credit to deal with a HOA and green yet? Only a true super hero could do this!

Green Resolutions said...


a new blog and a new assignment -- you're excited about green all over again, aren't you?

good luck with the committee.

Natalie said...

Good luck, woman! One word of caution, though. Hooker boots and soapboxes are a dangerous mix. I speak from experience. You might opt for sneakers while addressing your more skeptical neighbors. Or maybe the boots would be the right touch... You never know these days! :-)


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