The death of the RSVP and all remnants of kids birthday party etiquette 


I probably could have just titled this one: “WTF?!!”
I think etiquette is something that we assume falls under common sense but I was definitely wrong.

Today we are throwing my step-son an 11th birthday party at our local planetarium. It was one of few places left that aren’t lame in the eyes of these tweens.

We haven’t thrown him a party out at a place since his sixth birthday and back then it was at Chuck E Cheese. Most of his class came and everyone had a blast even though he hid under the table screaming when Chuck E brought out the cake; he was terrified of characters in costumes back then. I don’t remember any strange requests to bring extra people or anyone not RSVP’ing. It seemed more simple back then even though that was only five years ago.

I’ve recently read a lot of sad stories about kids who had nobody show up to their kid’s parties. Stories where nobody RSVP’d and stories about parents getting mad that they can’t bring siblings of their invited child.

First off, nobody showing up nowadays seems common, not purposefully done to hurt a child but because the parents (and sometimes their little spawn) are just assholes. I get it, nobody wants to go sit at birthday parties every weekend, myself included. I try to make it as comfortable as I can for people to respond. I am even cool enough to have an RSVP policy to only call if you are coming. I even tell people to text me to make it even less awkward.

There is no reason for people to need to feel like they need to come up with excuses. When I can’t go to a party, I simply say we can’t make it and thank them for inviting us.

Now, it seems common to just wait until the day before to decide you want to go, I guess if nothing better comes along. That move that the class douchebags would do to you back in high school when you made plans. Those parents who do this, they are the worst. The ones that call you the night before to ask if they can still come.

So I had only two parents let me know before the actual deadline that they were attending while three others bombarded me 1-2 days before the party. I wasn’t going to tell anyone no, because these are his friends, but it is just hard to have to run out to buy more goody bags that match the existing ones and order more food at the last minute. Not to mention-this shit gets more expensive. When you get few RSVP’s to a kid party, what do you do? You fill in the spots with more friends and family.

And why do people assume it is okay to bring extra people? Yeah, that is a thing now. There are ones who call the night before and take it even a step further…
When an invite comes home with your child from school for a birthday party of a family you don’t actually know, that does not mean that your entire household is invited.

I literally had to argue with a complete stranger about WHY she could not bring her aunt, her husband, and her other child. Her side was that they all live together and share a car. She was yelling at me, making me out to be the bad guy, because I said that an extra kid and three adults cannot come. She said that I was rude for not inviting everyone. WTH?
And listen, I did not jump to conclusions. I do not know this child or her family. Considering my step-son attends a private school that is out-of-district, I made sure to ask him about this kid and whether her bringing an entourage was due to some medical or behavioral issue before I returned the mother’s phone call. He said she is fine at school, not any crazier than the rest of them. I say this because they are mostly wild kids, with ADHD and ASD.

I tried so hard to be polite but it is just not okay to do this. She was going on and on about not having a babysitter for the younger sibling even though she had planned for everyone to attend. Her story made no sense. Somehow, even though I said that it is okay if they can’t make it, she pretty much said that both kids were coming because she was not going to disappoint them and I was completely steamrolled. WTF?
It was by far one of the rudest encounters I had ever experienced. I have not met this woman yet but my image of her in my head is pretty awful.
On that note, be prepared for these scenarios at your child’s party:

  • If nobody RSVP’s don’t worry, it is not the kids fault. They just have rude parents.
  • Expect people to RSVP late.
  • Expect people to RSVP yes and not show.
  • Expect random extra people to show up and if you are like me, be prepared to give the parents an etiquette lesson.
  • Apparently people these days think that your party is their free family fun night but put your foot down, tell them no.
  • Lastly, Enjoy the party and your children, regardless of who does and does not show up.
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2 thoughts on “The death of the RSVP and all remnants of kids birthday party etiquette 

  1. This whole post, along with a lot of the others is spot on. Every time we throw a birthday party for one of the kids, we more or less have to chase them to RSVP. Now, sometimes things get crazy and a parent forgets to RSVP for their child…I have done it a couple times myself. But I make sure I take full responsibility and apologize for any inconvenience. No one ever RSVPs these days. Even adult parties. It’s aggravating.

    We have also had friends of my children call and say they cannot attend if their little brother/sister can’t come. I see that as the parents just want to unload all their responsibility for a few hours so they can go do something for themselves. It’s not a babysitting party.

    One year my daughter was turning 7. Her friends mother’s came to drop of their kids. They ended up staying. I guess after taking a look at my husbands tattoos and mine they thought their children weren’t safe. Okay, so I understand. But they didn’t interact with anyone. The kids were running around and the whole family was there. They just sat at the table not interacting with anyone. I was very offended. If you feel you need to stay and watch, at least interact with us and others at the celebration. You’ll find we are friendly, caring good people who regrettably let you in our home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People are so rude these days. This is why I do, only RSVP if you are coming.

      We had 12 extra people show up and lucky for me the place did not charge me for them. I complained to the place and apologized and I think they felt bad charging me an extra $100. It was like a free for all. With all of these random friends and extra siblings, we wound up having to hand out food rather than let people get their own since we did not have enough pizza’s for anyone to have seconds. With Robbie being 11, I think this is one of his last ever birthday parties out anyway.

      Most of the parents did not really talk to us or our family either. I was even nice enough to invite the ex wife but that is an entirely different story. The only thing these parents said to me was that was nice that I invited her. Not, sorry for bringing 3 extra people.

      When Robbie gets his next invite, I think for fun, I will ask if I can bring my insane toddler, my dog, and husband, and toddler’s doll that needs its own place setting and goody bag. See what they say haha.

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