Parties are generally fun, and in an apathetic place like Halifax, Nova Scotia, rare enough. But the question storming our household now is what to do when we receive an invite from someone we richly and justly dislike, and have been bad-mouthing the past year or so?
“Sean” was the Golden Boy’s best friend last year. But it was immediately clear to us that he was not a “good” boy. For one thing, his mouth was always hanging half-open. You know the kind of kid I mean?
The dislikeability of “Sean” was compounded by his parents. After a few interactions, I concluded that they were racist, classist or horribly rude, or an unholy mixture of all three, and I tried to find subtle ways to indicate my disapproval to the Golden Boy.
During the first week of school, “Sean” kicked the Golden Boy hard enough to make him cry. After bewailing the dollars I am spending on martial arts class for the Golden Boy, for apparently no use, I instructed the muscular Princess to seek out “Sean”, tell him that she knew he had kicked her younger brother, and he would be in deep trouble if he ever laid a finger on him again. The mission was accomplished, and the Golden Boy did not talk about “Sean” again, until a few days ago when he mentioned that “Sean” says that his house is bigger, and therefore better than our house. This leant credence to my previous hypothesis that he came from a family of unbearable snobs, and we spent some close enjoyable family moments discussing the shortcomings of “Sean”, now known as “Shitty Sean” to us, and his shitty parents.
And then plop! An “Evite” for his birthday party landed in my inbox, creating another round of discussion. For, as noted, birthday parties are fun, and the Golden Boy enjoys them enormously. But Shitty Sean? It would mean that I would have to buy a present for him, and also exchange pleasantries with his parents, both tasks which I am loath to do. And in passing, let me comment, an “Evite”? Really? Pretentious much?
So, there you have it. The complexity of modern social life, shimmering in a tiny crystal microcosm here, in my house.