Friday, October 23, 2009

A Party for What?

When my oldest kid started school, I was introduced to the process of subtly screening the other parents and putting them into categories. There were the crafters, the over-eager-to-volunteer, the enablers, the over-educated and the ones I could actually be friends with. Now that my youngest has started kindergarten, I am faced with a whole new crop of parents to weed through and I don't have near as much patience for this process as I used to.

Yesterday, one of the mommy's (Let's call her Ione, short for "I only have one child") left a message for me, using her most exasperated tone:
"Hi Zoe's mommy. It's Ione. The RSVP cut-off was yesterday, and we are wondering if Zoe will be able to make it to Suzie's Halloween party on Saturday. I need to know right away because I'm trying to assemble the party bags and organize crafts. Please call me right away because this is really important to Suzie. I know that all of the girls in the class are coming, because their moms RSVP'd already."
Apparently, while I had been dealing with my germ infested family last week, I overlooked the critical RSVP for Suzie's week before Halloween party. I'm guessing that the main reason Zoe was invited is because word got out that she is dressing up as a fireman, complete with crow bar and ax, and they want her there in case any of the highly flammable princess costumes go up in flames.

With 3 kids, a science project, two tennis tournaments, eradicating a gallon-size pickle jar worth of germs from my house, a geriatric dog that won't stop barfing, and the occasional need to pee, I'm happy to throw together a couple costumes and buy some extra sugar to hand out to the tricksters...on October 31. Needless to say, keeping track of an RSVP date to a middle-of-a-Saturday-you-don't-have-anything-else-to-do kindergartner's Halloween party wasn't exactly high on the list of priorities. Making sure I have cider to add to the Captain on October 31, definitely a priority.

After listening to Ione's message 4 times for clarity, I had heard bags and crafts. I've seen a couple articles recently, supporting my belief in the banishment of party bags at birthday parties and criticizing the trend of inviting entire classrooms to get pedicures or go on a helicopter ride. I'm ecstatic about the fact that my boys are finally at the ages where the frequency of birthday party invites is diminishing, but just when I was choreographing my dance of glee, I find myself right back in the land of Who Can Overindulge The Most.

Needless to say, Zoe is busy on Saturday. She'll be at her brother's tennis tournament, being deprived of all joy and forced to go without craft time and the bag filled with whistles, bracelets and spa gift cards. Unless, of course, she has a relapse of last week's illness. In that case, she might make a surprise visit.

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