Sorry, but RSVPing to a five-year-old’s birthday party isn’t life or death
When you become a parent, you’re unwittingly drafted into a collective, a swarm, a cabal of supposedly like-minded people with whom you suddenly have something very important in common. Sometimes, that common ground is a life raft. You are suddenly part of a community, a village, and that village can be an amazing resource.
Other times you wish the zombie apocalypse would happen so you could be left alone.
An article out of the UK’s Manchester Evening News rants against parents who “throw [others] into a world of party planning panic” by refusing – or, I dunno, maybe just forgetting? – to RSVP to a child’s wedding. Sorry, I mean to a child’s birthday party.
Really? A panic? Was this mom left with an extra stick with which to bash the pinata? One too many goody bags? Leftover cupcakes? We all know how hectic, frustrating, and downright stressful throwing your kid a birthday party can be. But you know what makes it more stressful? Treating it like dinner at the White House.
Yes, if you’re going to be out of town, or, god forbid, have another kid’s birthday party to attend, it’s rude to not send a quick reply to an invitation. But it happens. Especially when you don’t know the parent throwing the party! Because when your kids are in preschool and kindergarten, these parties don’t discriminate: you get invited, and YOU get invited, and YOU get invited!
With kids that young, every single child in class gets an invite, despite the fact that the two rugrats may have never even spoken. No parent wants to be the one to create the next Unabomber because they excluded weird little Teddy! We get it. We all do it. But just because our kids have to be taught kindness and inclusion doesn’t mean we adults have time for that! Sorry I forgot to email you back, but we don’t have a relationship. And if you think I’m going to call you, you’re literally insane. I don’t even call my own mother.
The writer of the piece has the actual gall to place a tiny tyke’s pizza bash at the roller rink to a formal, years-in-the-making affair. “You wouldn’t just turn up at someone’s wedding expecting to be fed, expecting a party favor, if you’d not even bothered to tell the bride and groom you were going.”
No, I wouldn’t, because weddings cost tens of thousands of dollars, and each particular plate that goes unclaimed can cost the happy couple hundreds. Are you seriously comparing your four-year-old’s “slab of ice-cream cake on a paper plate in the middle of a Chuck E. Cheese” to a wedding?
Consider this my RSVP that I will no longer be attending your life.