10 Ways Birthday Parties Suck

by Karen Alpert
Originally Published: 
A birthday cake with candles spelling out Happy Birthday

So let me get this straight: I push an 8-pound bowling ball out my hoo-ha and who gets to celebrate every year on that date? The f’ing bowling ball?

In less than two months my poop machine is turning four (Dear God, pleeeeease let four be better than three), which means it’s time to plan another birthday party. Agggggh, is there anything more torturous on this planet? Maybe water-boarding? Hmmm, no, I’m gonna say it’s a tie.

1. The Cost. I’d love to have the party in our backyard and save like a bazillion gajillion dollars, but A. You know if I do it’s going to tornado and hail and rain nuclear ash that day and B. My kid’s like 200% dead set on one of those bouncy house places. Are you f’ing kidding me?! Once we were at a bouncy house place and this kid must have had too much cake or caught Ebola there or something because he threw up in one of the bouncy houses and all the kids kept bouncing because no one noticed it was filled with vomit until it was all over the kids. Let’s just say I bleached and loofa’ed my kid until she had no more skin left. And now I kinda sorta have a thing against bouncy house places.

2. The goody bag. I just entertained and fed your little jackass for two hours, and now I’m supposed to send him home with a parting gift too? Some people call them goody bags. Some people call them party favors. I call them cheap plastic crapola from China that cause cancer and have parts that fall off and choke babies to death. Hmmm, yes, let’s waste more money on stuff that kills our kids and helps China. Brilliant.

3. The kids. Holy shit, we have to invite HOW MANY people to this birthday party?! Are we planning a wedding here? I mean, she’s four. For starters there’s this new rule that we have to invite every single kid in her class so we won’t hurt any feelings. What?!! They’re four. They’re not talking about what they did on the weekend. All they ever say these days is doodie and poo poo and toot. Besides, what ever happened to the whole damn totem pole of popularity and not everyone gets invited to everything? It’s like how they give a stupid trophy to every kid who participates these days. Remember the good ole days when kids could be like, “Nahhh, you’re not invited because you wear your underwear on the outside of your pants and save your boogers on your desk for when you’re hungry.” But seriously, I have nothing against Mr. Booger-Eater and my daughter is totally welcome to invite him or whoever else she wants to her party IF THEY ARE FRIENDS.

4. The whole RSVP thing. For the love of God, respond! I know that technically it means s’il vous plait, but it’s not really “if you please.” It means DO IT. I know you’re busy, but do you know what I’m busy doing? Counting the number of slices in a pizza in my head to make sure I’m ordering enough to feed your RUG RAT. So here’s the deal, if you don’t respond and your kid shows up, he’s not getting anything to eat. Nope, I don’t care if we have enough cake left over to make my ass look like J Lo’s. I’m sending your kid home a hungry, crying, snotty mess.

5. Cake. Are there things I can complain about when it comes to birthday cake? Sure. Am I going to say them? N-O. Birthday cake is like my bestest friend in the whole wide world, and I’m not going to say bad shit about my friend. I love you, birthday cake.

6. And speaking of friends, let’s talk about enemies: Pinterest. Pinterest is like the bane of my existence. ‘Cause here’s the shit I see on Pinterest:

Damn it, now I need a snack break after seeing those donut holes. Back in a minute. Okay, I’m back.

This is actually a party I went to last week at my friend’s house. Correction, ex-friend’s house.

ME: WTF, Penelope, what is this? PENELOPE: Isn’t it adorable? I saw it on Pinterest. No, Penelope, it’s not adorable. It just makes me look like a shitty mom for dumping a bunch of chips in a bowl and forgetting the forks at home so everyone has to eat cake with their hands and now they’ll all have black fingers for a week from the black frosting (which should be illegal).

7. Balloons. Kids think balloons are basically gold spun from unicorn hair but they’re wrong. Balloons are annoying as shit and I refuse to have them at my kid’s party and here’s why: a. Your kid’s going to let go of her balloon like a thousand times and whine every time and every time you’re going to have to reach up and get it for her. b. If you’re outside, your kid’s going to hold onto that ribbon tight until the second she’s out the door and then she’s going to let go of it and lose her shit as she watches it getting smaller and smaller in the sky. KID: Wahhhhhhhhhh ME: I told you not to let go. KID: Wahhhhhhhhhhh ME: Sorry, honey. We’ll get another balloon later. KID: Wahhhhhhhhhhhh ME: Okay, that’s enough. It’s a piece of plastic. KID: Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh ME: Fine, hold on, I’ll go get you another. c. No officer, I didn’t see you following me with your lights for the past two miles because all I could see in my rearview mirror was a giant purple orb of latex bobbing around. d. Don’t bite the balloo— oh shit, that’s gotta hurt. And judging by the giant red welt across your jaw it hurts like a mother-F’er. Let’s just hope you’re only psychologically scarred for life and scared shitless of balloons from now on and will never want one again.

8. Lunch. Eight times 22 divided by 2.5 plus 7 times 15, awww screw it, I can’t figure out how much pizza we’re gonna need. Just give us the largest pizza package so we don’t run out and we’ll just take home the leftovers. Only we won’t end up taking them home because our trunk’s gonna be full of presents. Then again, this is probably a good thing because if we take them our trunk’s gonna smell like pizza for the rest of the week and make me salivate every time I get into my minivan.

9. Gifts. Recently I’ve heard about some moms creating registries for their kids’ birthday parties. Insert barfing sounds here. But fine, just to go with the flow, here’s my registry: 1. 2. 3. No, that’s not a typo. It’s supposed to be blank. Because WE DON’T NEED ANY PRESENTS. The last thing I want is more shit in our house. Wait, no I changed my mind. You know what I want. I would like everyone to bring us empty gift bags in assorted sizes because that’s the only thing having a party is good for. Getting all the wrapping you can use for the rest of the year.

10. And what comes after getting a lot of crap you don’t want? Thank you notes. I’m all for thank you notes WHEN MY KID CAN WRITE. Exhibit A:

So guess who has to write them all. Yours truly. So if you give my kid a drum set or finger-paints or another stuffed animal or pretty much anything else they sell at Toys R Ass, guess what I’m gonna do. I’m going to fill your thank you note with glitter and confetti. It’s raining sequins, hallelujah, it’s raining sequins, amen!

And there you go. So if you don’t get an invitation to my kid’s birthday party in a few weeks it’s actually a good thing. It means I like you and don’t want to subject you to the torture. And if you do get one, I’m sorry.

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