SHOULD WE GO TO THE BIRTHDAY PARTY OF SOMEONE WE DISLIKE?

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.

7 comments

  1. It might be one of those things where Shitty Sean is a prick and no one shows up to his birthday party because of that. So if you DID go, maybe the Golden Boy would be Shitty Sean’s new best friend, and Golden Boy would get to drive around in Shitty Sean’s parents’ Ferrari and eat caviar or whatever.

    The invitation was for the Golden Boy, right? I guess it should be largely up to the Golden Boy.

    Does Golden Boy want to go?

    You can always leave early if it sucks, too!

    -john

    • thenewcomer

      The annoying thing is that Shitty Sean & co are only richer than US- they are not at the caviar and ferrari level. This is a public school, after all.

      The Golden Boy said clearly today that he didn’t want to go, because it is a “swimming pool” party. So that is that. It’s still two weeks away, so things might change.

      • Golden Boy doesn’t like to swim?

        -john

      • thenewcomer

        yes! yes, indeed he does. It is the whole ordeal of changing and managing his stuff with a bunch of classmates which freaks him out- he’s never been to a swimming party before, and only swum with close family and friends.

      • Yeah I can understand that.

        You could show up late and then leave early! Tell Shitty Sean and his parents you’ll try to make the birthday party, but you’ll have to come straight from this event that’s on the same day. And you’ve also got to get to some event right after the birthday party as well, so you can’t stay too long.

        That way Golden Boy won’t have to swim, and it won’t be weird to his classmates that he doesn’t swim.

        “Yeah sorry we don’t have time to swim, we’ve got to get to Karate practice.” Then you drop off the birthday present that you brought, have some cake and then whisk Golden Boy off to Karate or whatever.

        Kinda crazy, kinda cooky. But it just might work.

        -john

      • thenewcomer

        🙂 A bit overkill for a kid’s party!🙂

  2. thenewcomer

    Breaking news: I ran into Shitty Sean’s mom AND dad at school today, and both separately asked me if I had received the Evite and why I hadn’t answered it yet. I said I’d received it. I didn’t tell them a massive internet controversy was brewing over it…

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