OK. Here's what I do. When someone asks me to volunteer for almost ANYTHING, I say yes without hesitation. That's just how I am. I like to help out. This works out well most of the time for all parties involved. I feel good about contributing in my community, and people get what they need.
About three to four times a year (I don't keep track on purpose), I say yes to too many different things and something falls through the cracks. This happened today. I volunteered to work at the school bookfair and didn't show up. This happened even after writing it in my daytimer, on the fridge calendar, and getting a reminder phone call.
After cooking all day yesterday for my Halloween party, making it to my children's Halloween parade, making a dip for my daughter's class party, going to my database class and to work, and then today; cleaning up the party aftermath, meeting a contractor who will be quoting us on a new roof and painting, preparing a casserole for the teachers at my children's school, putting in a couple hours at work, arriving for early pick-up, and trying to remember piano lesson and conferences tonight (which I had to arrange a babysitter for), I could not keep the bookfair in my feeble brain.
The worst part about it is I flaked on the same woman at least a few times before this so my reputation is sealed. It doesn't matter if I remembered and fulfilled 95% of the committments I made. The only thing people will remember is, "That flake, Ellie couldn't even remember to show up for a two-hour shift at her children's bookfair!" It's almost better to be unreliable all the time because it's a whole lot less effort and a person like that has a reputation about as good as mine. It's a small town and word will be out by this time tomorrow for sure. It sounds paranoid, I know, but it is so true. I might as well tape a scarlet "F" (for flake) on my shirt whenever I show my face in public. Poor me!