You are Invited to Attend – by Cara
My son’s birthday was this past Friday. We had his birthday celebration on Saturday, which happened to also be MY birthday! It was at a gorgeous local pool, and the weather was the best we have had in weeks! Warm enough to swim; cool enough to relax in the shade, and no humidity! We had a perfect birthday on a perfect day!
What irks me, though, is that I have found that year after year, I always have to hunt down parents who fail to respond to the invitations I send out. I always send them out about a month before the party date, because I know families are busy during the summer months, or go away. I additionally put not only my phone number, but also my e-mail address on the invite so that for someone like me, who has limited time to chitchat, the parent can send out a quick e-mail message indicating whether their child can attend or not.
This year was the worst. Not only did I have to make multiple calls during the week before the party, the parents whom I did get in touch with gave me some of the most ridiculous responses. For instance, one Mom said that she would have to get back to me closer to the day of the party because if the weather was nice. She wanted to take the family to the beach. When I mentioned that adults were welcome to swim at the pool and that her son could even bring his brother along, she said she still was not sure. She ended up e-mailing me late the night before the party to say that her son couldn’t come.
Then there was the Mom who said that her daughter had a party to go to on the same day and that if her daughter wasn’t having fun at the first party, she would leave that party and come to my son’s. She never showed so I assume her daughter was having a good time at the other party.
And finally, one mother wanted to know if another particular child was going. She said that she would not let her son go if the other boy would be attending, because the two boys don’t like each other. When I said that the other boy’s parents hadn’t responded yet, she said to give her a call when they do, and that if the other boy was not coming, she would let her son come. (Incidentally, neither boy came because I never heard back from the first one, so I didn’t have any information to give the second one.)
There were also the no-shows. Mom’s who said that their sons would definitely be there but ended up MIA. And there were no follow-up calls indicating why the boys didn’t come! To make this particular incident even more outrageous, one family happens to live six houses from the pool!! I just don’t get it.
Has the world become so bogged down with so much to keep track of that they can’t leave a simple message on the phone or through e-mail? I will give one Mom a little credit. She called me back very quickly after I called her home to see whether her daughter would be coming to the party. She apologized profusely and said that she had the party invitation in her pocketbook with the intent to RSVP, but the invitation got swallowed up inside her bag. At least she was carrying the invite around with her!
Until I can figure out a system that will work better, so that I am not scrambling to put goody bags together at the last minute with an undetermined head count, I guess I’ll be flying around, flapping my wings to make sure that I have everything ready, no matter who shows up or not. And I do want to thank those parents who actually did RSVP in a timely manner! One Mom even offered to come early and help set up! Two thumbs up for that Mom! Although I did decline her generous offer.
In the end, as stressful as putting a party together can be, the most important thing is that the kids had a great time! My son was ecstatic, and I had a terrific birthday, chatting with many of the Moms who are also my friends, while basking in the glow of my son’s happiness!
What more could I ask for on my birthday??