I just want to let you know that I’m boycotting your party, so save your energy and don’t invite me! Yes, you, my dear beloved friend, cousin, Aunty, and acquaintance with whom I get along with so well. I adore you, but I don’t want to attend your party, even though it might be an insanely good time. It’s a risk I am willing to take, of possibly missing out on your festivities, for the sake of the greater good; because you, my dear one are broke! Or, you just have ridiculously poor social etiquette; either way, I just don’t want to come!
Now, It’s a shame that things have had to come to this, but we are living in somewhat precarious times. Overt celebrationism has run amuck! We’ve sadly become a party obsessed society, adding to the traditionally observed occasions, such as weddings and anniversaries, a new trend of making merriment over the silliest of things. Little Johnny got accepted into an Ivy League Preschool—Yaaaay, let’s have a party. Grandma Bernie has recovered from bunion surgery, time to rally the family to celebrate. Baby Shawn just turned one, he needs a party too, even though he’ll cry and be cranky the entire time, and Cousin Trina is getting married—but she wants a grand wedding in less than a year! Great! All of those events could still be wonderful and fun, if people acted normal and planned said events in appropriate ways. Then, the normal people they invite, like myself, would come to these events and bring gifts, like invited people are supposed to do. Even better, when we’d arrive at said events, the normal people who invited us would be welcoming, and there’d be pleasantries, and food, and entertainment, all provided by the host. This seems simple enough, right?
Well, unfortunately, it must not be, because far too often, this is not what happens. Instead, you get an invitation; the invitation goes something like this: “We’d love the honor of your presence at Sally’s retirement party. Would you do us the honor and attend?” At first, this invitation seems innocent and exciting; you love Sally, so of course you’ll come. It’s what happens next that’s the problem. You get another message, telling you to bring spare cash for the pin a dollar on Sally game, a wrapped item for the white elephant table, and money to pay for your own dinner and drinks, because the hosts are only providing cake. What the hell! All that is in addition to the gift that they will parade in front of everyone and you will be shamed for if you happen not to bring!
By the time the whole thing is over, Sally might be happy (if she had the turn out she wanted and if she actually liked her gifts), but you leave feeling like you’ve been financially violated, in some way that you can’t quite explain. And that’s not even the worst. I’ve taken my children to birthday parties where I graciously gave up my precious weekend do nothing hours, to not even be offered a single thing to drink, much less, some food. Or, I’ve had to shell out my own money to pay for my kids to eat or play games at these parties, because the host didn’t properly plan for the extra children (there are always extra children) who showed up. I’ve been to weddings where there were so many people and so little food, that the guests were served dinner on dessert plates, and I’ve traveled hundreds of miles to attend special celebrations, without being given so much as a dry slice of bread.
Again, why do these party debaucles happen? Are people really that clueless as to what hosting a party entails? Do they legitimately not understand that inviting people to a wedding reception, birthday party/dinner, a graduation party/dinner, a bridal shower, a baby shower, and now, the ridiculous new gender reveal party, means that they are supposed to pay for the ENTIRE event, including food, decorations, party favors, the venue, music, entertainment, etc? Personally, I think most people do know how to throw a proper celebration, but, the real problem is something else.
What is it you ask? Well, It’s obvious really– these people are undeniably broke! And no, I don’t mean the destitute, the homeless, or the having to beg random people for change, kind of broke. These folks are broke in more of a, I want to have a party, but I don’t have the funds to do that without being tacky, sort of way. And, as such, they like to cleverly disguise their lack of funds (and consideration) by deferring their costs onto you. Like when Jim-Bob invites everyone over for a backyard barbecue, only to request that all of his guest bring their own meat. Really Jim-bob? Are you just that pitiful that you need me and everyone else to supply the sustenance for your barbecue that was your idea? Whatever the answer is, I no longer care, because I’m not doing it anymore, for anybody! Why? Because it’s your damn barbecue Jim-Bob! It’s your damn birthday Sheila! It’s your damn whatever-the-hell-type-of celebration you want to call it, whatever your name is, and that means it’s your responsibility to pay. If you can’t do that, I understand completely; It’s your prerogative to host parties as you please. In the meantime, however, don’t invite me. I am boycotting until you can do better and until you do, I don’t want to come!
How do you feel about helping foot the bill for other people’s parties? Do you mind? Is it just about being a good sport? Do you have party horror stories of your own to share? We want to hear them, tell us down below.