This week Emma brought home a birthday invitation. It came home on Wednesday, and the party is on Saturday. For me, this is very short notice. I don’t enjoy getting last minute invitations
I don’t know about other parents out there, but I am always percolating ideas for my kids birthdays. And I mean always. Emma’s next birthday isn’t until September, but I already know we have a wedding to go to on the weekend closest to her birthday (and she and Rose are in the wedding!) and the Fall Fashion Show at the mall is likely to fall around her birthday time. Rose’s birthday is in less than a month and Patrick and I have already discussed ideas for outside the home parties. We didn’t make any decisions yet, but we’re on the way to one.
As a parent who wants to stay on the good side of other parents I would never expect kids to show up to a party with less than a week’s notice. I’ve been in conversation with one school-mom friend about her daughter’s birthday party since before March Break – easily 4 weeks ago. That young lady’s party is this weekend also, fortunately on Sunday. But I’ve known about it concretely for two weeks.
The thing that gets me about this family and the late invite is that this is a “destination” party. Meaning they had to plan it with the party location likely weeks in advance. Something I didn’t think about was maybe Emma is in the second string of invitees. This was an idea tossed out when I posted my gripe on my Facebook page earlier this week. The other thoughtful Moms who follow me there were kind enough to suggest reasons why this family was late with the invite. I love my readers.
While I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I feel like I know this family. The young lady whose invitation we received this week gets on the bus with my kids and she’s often late, and will usually miss the bus at least once a week. If that’s not the product of a disorganized home, I don’t know what is. So my tendency is to think that they just weren’t ready to get these invites out until too close to the party. Maybe that’s also because I don’t like to think of my daughter as a “second string friend” even though she’s not even in this girl’s class this year.
Nothing would give me more pleasure than saying that Emma can’t go. It’s that sort of passive-aggressive world that I live in. I’m not one for confrontations. Sadly, I know a lot of people don’t even pick up on the subtle statements made by not attending parties because the invites went out too late, or even my comment in my RSVP email where I said “Luckily we don’t already have plans for Saturday so Emma should be able to come.” This stuff goes over most people’s heads. Especially the people who don’t think there’s anything wrong with sending out invitations 2 days before an event.
Something that would have gone a long way toward reducing my annoyance would have been a statement in the invitation saying something along the lines of “sorry for the short notice” or similar sentiment. At least it would show that the parents recognize that short notice invites are not the best for busy families.
While we are not perfect parents (or people, for that matter), I’d like to think that when I’m planning things that involve other people I won’t leave it to the last minute. In fact, I’m about to create an event to let people know about Emma’s First Communion in 3 weeks time. Which, of course, falls right before Rose’s birthday. Guess it’s time to sit down and think a little harder about what we’re doing for that and when the invitations will go out. I would hate to be accused of sending out last minute invitations!