Was I Supposed to Throw a Party?

The 100th post to this blog came and went without fanfare. I guess I will have to make it up to this blog by doing something really over the top for the 200th post.

I have a tendency to downplay the significance of events in my life and the lives of the people I love, only to find out that other people get angry about my lack of celebration. For example, we didn't have a huge party for Julian's first birthday, because we figured since it was the week before Thanksgiving, why go to the effort of a gigantic party for someone who isn't old enough to care about such things, might as well save our strength for when he gets to be around five and wants to invite the whole school. However, we found out later (nine months later) that our failure to have a party for Julian's first birthday made my mother sad. Apparently, she ran into an old neighbor, a woman who is renowned for her ability to deliver the veiled insult to which you cannot reply, who implied that she (my mom) was a bad grandmother for not making us throw a party. The Poisonous Ex-Neighbor Lady was on her way to buy a very expensive cake for her grandchild's party, but she only brought up the grandchild fifteen minutes into the conversation after my mom asked her if either of her sons had children. My mom may not have been able to force us to have a party, but you can't talk to her for one minute without her bringing up Julian, so I ask you, which one of these ladies is a better grandma?

People talk about the mommy wars, but no one considers the warfare between grandmothers.

Yes, we tried to explain that she shouldn't listen to the Ex-Neighbor Bitch, but the damage was done. Mom decreed that Julian would have a party.

Can you tell how annoyed this makes me? I mean, I love parties and all, but Julian is only two, he doesn't have many friends to invite, so it will just be a party for the grown ups. Also, it is the week before Thanksgiving, doesn't it seem a bit silly to go to all this effort when we will be having to go to all this effort and seeing everyone in less than a week? I mean, as I said, it would be different if Julian cared, but he would be happy if we just sang Happy Birthday to him and let him blow out candles, he really doesn't need an event to be the center of attention. At least his birthday doesn't fall after Thanksgiving because, I have been told, that would mean we would never want to throw him a party.

It bothers me that people seem to believe that the success of our parenting would be reflected in the size of a party we throw for our toddler. As if it isn't the size of your heart, but the size of the cake which counts.

But if it makes my mom happy, we will do it. And if it makes the evil Ex-Neighbors shut their yapping mouths, all the better.

For those interested in following my nanowrimo progress, click here


Anonymous said…
Keep up the writing - you're doing fantastic!

This is the silliest thing ever - that woman is clearly an idiot with no sense of what IS important. She made your mother feel guilty for - um - no reason whatsoever.

I totally agree - having a party for a kid who can't possibly know what's going on seems like a waste of time. However, a small party, family only, might be warranted to appease Grandma (and her mouthy neighbor). Julian - as you've said - won't care either way.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps the first birthday (or a child's birthday no matter the number) is a chance/excuse for a family to get together and celebrate another family members milestone whether or not they remember. Parents do a lot that the child doesn't remember - and 99% percent of the time there isn't even a chance to celebrate with other friends and loved ones. Is it a big deal to have a party to celebrate a birthday? Must it be to appease when it can just be simple enough to celebrate? Why does a party have to become a pain?
Good luck with writing!
Anonymous said…
I never thought about all the flak my in-laws must take about us.

I think you are very sensible. Who cares what strangers think (we all do, in all honesty)? But you still have to live by your standards. At the same time if it's important to someone you love, it's worth the cost.
karrie said…
Great work!

*off to hide in a corner because I've blown this challenge completely*

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