A recent story had me laughing out loud due to the sheer lunacy of it, and how apropos it was to my own life. This weekend the King has two birthday parties back to back on the same day. That sheer sentence sends shivers down my spine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrations, especially the kind when you can drop your child off and run for the hills; but the thought of being trapped at a germ ridden location with 30 screaming kids hopped up on sugar, well, a techno rave would be more soothing on the adrenal system. But alas, after asking the King copious amount of times if he wants to go (the King is not in full grasp of the RSVP protocol) and telling him that he cannot change his mind at the last minute, he seems pretty excited about his burgeoning social schedule (or let’s be frank, just wants to eat cake twice a day).
The story that caught my eye, and sent me howling with laughter involves a 5 year old boy that was sent an invoice for not showing up at a birthday party. Yes, you heard me. As the story goes, a young boy from Cornwall was invited to a birthday party just before Xmas at a dry ski slope. His parents accepted the invitation, but then realized they had double booked as the boy was supposed to spend the day with his grandparents (why didn't granny and gramps just come to watch him ski? Fun for all). The parents then failed to let the mother know who was throwing the party that they wouldn't be coming. A few weeks later, the child received an invoice for £15.95 in his book bag that said that the little boy’s non-attendance left her out of pocket and she wanted them to pay up.
The boy’s father was told that if he didn’t pay the invoice he would be taken to small claims court, but legal experts said the money would be extremely difficult to get back as there had been no contract created that stated that a 'no show fee' would be put into effect. (If birthday parties get to this point, you can definitely count me out). Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the parent who lost money felt annoyed by that, and we have all been the victims of the rsvp process. Just plan a wedding and you’ll want to mow down half your guests for not getting back to you until a week before the ceremony. But to go as far as issuing an invoice to a child, well now you are just coming off looking like a petulant child yourself. The parent of the boy in question explained that he understands her being upset, but she could’ve approached him in many different ways and explained the situation. Her response, the information was on the invite, you didn’t show, pay up.
So what’s the moral here? People have bad manners…yes, that’s a given [and one of the reasons I keep my circle small; less disappointment and less interaction with the fray]. Don’t throw a party that is going to cost you an arm and a leg…check! And if half the party doesn’t show, don’t go off half-cocked and start writing invoices to your kid’s entire class, probably not the best course of action. It’ll certainly lose him friends and set him up for a playground beat down.
My advice, keep parties small, cheap and stocked with booze (that way, if someone doesn’t show up, you simply won’t care).
Happy hump day all.