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.