School volunteering in snoburbia: This is where former lawyers, journalists and Ivy graduates who are stay-at-home moms fight for the plum jobs that will win them reverence and thank yous from other former lawyers, journalists and Ivy graduates who are stay-at-home moms.
The desirability of any volunteer job in snoburbia is directly proportional to the amount of kudos the previous volunteer received on the PTA listserv. Desirable job: teacher appreciation breakfast chair. Desirable job: holiday bazaar chair. Desirable job: fun fair chair. Not so much: classroom volunteer. Not so much: room parent.
I was a room parent for ten years in a row at my children's elementary school, organizing classroom Halloween and Valentine's parties, and organizing the teacher gift* at year end. I tried to be holiday bazaar chair but didn't have the credentials.
* This consists of getting people who have more money than you to pony up $10, that they promise you they'll give you "tomorrow." So you buy the $200 gift certificate, the teacher thanks you, and then after a few emails to the scofflaws, you give up and eat about $80 in expenses.