Given the title of this column it would be fair to assume I was going to proceed with making jokes about “your Mum”, but I’m not going to do that … Your Mum told me not to. And besides, I’m going to salute Mums everywhere. Especially insofar as they are the writers of notes to our teachers.
I remember being a spectacle-wearing, chubby, drama-geek in school. For me, at that point in my life, there was no torture greater than P.E. class. Physical Education, as far as I was concerned, was Board-of-Education-speak for “the class designed to separate the fat, uncoordinated and/or asthmatic losers, from the kids who are WINNERS and always will be”. Groan. It made me actually feel ill. The days when I knew I was going to have to squeeze my ample, pubescent rear into a swimsuit, or crack my glasses against my own face due to missing ANOTHER ball, made me actually want to die.
Now, of course, as an adult, I understand the importance of physical activity, training and sports. Now I’ve come to understand the joys of pushing your physical endurance, and building your confidence as a result. Now I know why they make athletics compulsory in schools.
However, my current knowledge of what’s good for me does not mean that I don’t vividly remember the thrill, the utter smugness and sense of righteousness, when I had a note, from my Mum, excusing me from P.E. … Oh my stars!
Now, my Mother isn’t an idiot and she wouldn’t write me a note just for the heck of it. There had to be a reason. But once every month or two, I was able to produce a truly solid case against my inclusion in sporting activities. It’s true, there were half-truths in the stories of affliction I presented to my Mum. However, I maintain, the conviction that enforced sporting activity was going to kill me, was very, very real.
I digress. As I said, there was a pomposity that was reserved for those moments when I was able to brandish a freshly-inked note from my Mother about why I wasn’t able to participate. I remember the depth of justification I felt. The blamelessness I felt. I was NOT FIT for gym-class, or Phys Ed, or sporting of any kind, and we all knew it. My gym-teacher would invariably scowl at me, loathing my loop-hole prowess, as I thrust the note forward and exclaimed, “I’m not allowed – Mum said!”. But teacher couldn’t do anything about it. Mum always trumps Teacher when it comes to rules – everyone knows that.
So here’s the thing: every now and again life will throw a PE class at me. Not literally of course, I’d love a PE class now, I pay a Personal Trainer for Christ’s sake. But once in a while, I get that same feeling I used to get before a gym class. That sinking-stomach nausea. That anticipation and dread. I just. Don’t. Wan’t. To. Do. It … And I don’t want to do whatever it is, really badly!
At these times, I want a note from my Mum. Still.
Please excuse Georgia from meeting her deadline today. She tried to meet it, she really did, but ‘Boston Legal’ box-sets do not watch themselves. Again. And she needed to clean the house like an OCD patient on meth.
Dear Utility Provider,
Please excuse Georgia from paying her bill. She had some shoes that were going to improve her entire life, so she had to buy those this month.
Please excuse Georgia from attending your event, I won’t let her.
Please excuse Georgia today, she just can’t. Not today. You understand. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll see how she feels.
Lots of love,
… And, like I said, I feel completely justified in my need to be excused. I really, really need to be excused. I’m not kidding. It’s making me unwell.
Actually, my understanding of the dire need for notes from your Mother, leads me to the following promise:
If you write your name below, tell me what you need a note to be excused from, and to whom it should be addressed, I’ll write you the note! Yes, I’ll write you your very own note, explaining why you can’t. You can take that note to the relevant parties and enjoy the delight of unimpeachable lack of participation! Because the truth is, sometimes, you know best what’s going to be bad for you. And you just need someone to be on your side.
Dear Reader’s Boss,
Please excuse Reader from work today due to a desperate need to read everything ever written by Georgia Keighery.