OK, I know I talked about children’s birthday parties before. But you must understand! Birthday parties are huge around here. They play an important role in our social life, and cost an absolute fortune. So, please forgive me this rant.
A good friend invited my child to her daughter’s birthday party. That on its own was quite nice. But then I noticed, to my horror, that the party is a shared one. Between five children!
Here I have to add, that shared parties have been annoying me for an awfully long time. I tried to explain to a family friend what it was that actually winds me up about them, but failed.
“But it is great! What is your problem? You would have had to go to all those parties anyway? This way you save time!”
Urm....no. You see, it is not quite that straightforward.
Last time my daughter got invited to a party shared by three kids; it suddenly occurred to me that, even if I get over my azeriness and buy very cheap presents (which I absolutely hate doing by the way), it is still going to cost me more than I can afford. There are 30 children in my child’s class. Besides the school, we also have quite a few other friends we see socially. By the time we go through all their birthdays, I spend an absolute fortune. The reason my friend’s logic was flawed, is that she assumed that if all those children had individual parties, we would still attend them all. That of course, is not the case.
Very often, only one child out of 3 or 4 (or...10? not sure where the limit is anymore...) sharing a birthday party is a close friend of my child. Someone we would invite to our party, someone we spend a lot of time socializing with, and someone I would buy a decent present for. When someone like that shares a party with other children (whose parties, let's be honest, we would probably not get asked to attend and/or not bother going to), I face a problem. Honestly, I simply can’t afford buying gifts for all those other kids. Neither can my child miss a birthday of a close friend.
Of course, besides me getting bankrupt on the presents, there is this other feeling... The feeling I can’t quite explain. You see, if you go into a lot of effort trying to arrange a decent party for your own child, you simply can’t help but feel a bit cheated when everybody else does not suffer as much! It is so terribly unfair! You can’t help but wonder if you are the only idiot in the village, as we say in Russian, tearing your arse apart. (Yes, Russian is a rich and beautiful language.) It is not like I have a lot more free time, energy or money. How come everyone else is being so bloody smart, but not me? Well, my friends. That ,I guess, is the question I should be asking.