Friday, March 4, 2011

Those Lunchroom Tables are LONG, People.

Bean was invited to a birthday party, but it's being held at the kid's house and it's three hours long and I have never met this child's parents and I know one day (when she's 30) I'll have to just give in and let her go to these things, but for now she's only six and I don't feel comfortable (and neither does Al) leaving my little girl at the home of some (perfectly normal, lovely, I'm sure, but really? You can never BE all the way sure, right?) people I've never even lain eyes on. Does that make me crazy?

And then Bean came home yesterday and announced gleefully that the birthday boy in question SAYS HE HAS A SNAKE AT HOME AS LONG AS THE LUNCHROOM TABLE, MAMA AND WE GET TO HOLD IT AT THE PARTY!


And y'all? Call me a stick-in-the-mud if you have to, but that sorta clinched it for me. Because I had kicked around the idea of staying at the party with Bean, but A) THREE HOURS? and B) WITH A SNAKE? I told Al about it when he got home last night hoping he'd say, Oh, no. A snake, honey? Well, you just stay home, sweetheart, and I'll go to the party with Bean. But he didn't. Instead he said something that rhymes with SHUT-THE-BELL!? and then Oh she'll be MISSING this party, sister. The snake's a deal breaker.

And there you have it -- our daughter's social life, permanently sssssssstunted by her parents' shared ophidiophobia. Sad, isn't it?

Hey, get us invited to a party with eight-week-old golden retriever puppies? Or cute little sea otters? Or fuzzy bunnies? And we'll both gladly go and stay the whole time. The good news is, we're not afraid of animated gnomes or shamelessly punny farcical adaptations of legendary Shakespearean tragedies set to classic Elton John soundtracks, so I'm guessing there's a strategically-planned Family Movie Date on the FriedOkras' agenda right about party time.

Y'all can subscribe to FriedOkra's feed here.


  1. I can't believe you got away without taking her!! Causing her to miss a party is considered a parental sacking offence from my DD ;)

    For the record I still don't feel comfortable leaving her alone at a party.... Even when we do know the parents. Sleepovers are different but a big party I stay for.

  2. Oh my goodness! For the record, Noah is TEN and he has never been left at a party. It's hard enough for me to let him go to school.


  3. The snake wouldn't be the deal breaker for me. It would be the fact that it's THREE HOURS long with people you don't know. That's way more small talk than I can handle!

  4. I'm with Beth. The snake isn't so bad, but I would have a hard time with a 3 hour party at a house where I don't know the parents. I remember those days. My kids did survive my stunting of their social life!

  5. I just finished your "yes" post and then read this post about you saying NO!, haha. :)

    I probably still would have gone with her, BUT I think snakes are NEAT-O! If they had a ladybug terrarium, I might feel differently. ;)


  6. With us, the snake would have been Emily's dealbreaker! That would have kept her away! For me, it would be big spiders. Ugh, just the thought gives me the heebie jeebies. Movie night in the cosy room sounds MUCH better!

  7. A party with people you don't know is not as much fun.

    A snake at the party makes it "iffy".

    A snake as long as the cafeteria table???

    Absolutely NO WAY. Good Call Fried Okras!

  8. The snake could turn out to be a garter snake (or a stuffed animal), and it wouldn't matter much to me. The deal breaker is not knowing the family. That's a long party for little kids to be at a place where they don't know the people.

    (And it doesn't get that much better once they get older. I let Natalie go to a party last fall for a girl who is in her class. I've met her mother before, but I was still a little nervous about the party. Turns out, my gut was right. Things went on that made me uncomfortable when Natalie reported the details. It was a good reminder to feel OK erring on the side of caution, even as they grow.)

  9. Oh,no,no,no. There'd be no snakes in our future,either. Family Movie Date sounds prefectly reasonable and timed, in my opinion.

  10. 3 hours in the house of a stranger with a snake as long as a table for a 6-yr-old party?? thanks!

    Go AL!

    p.s. I never leave my kids with strangers. The birthday party may be the premise, but that doesn't make it safe. You are totally right on that one!

  11. I'm with you! For months every day I'd pick Petunia up from school and she'd say how mean Katie Jane was to her that day. Generally Petunia gives as good as she gets, but this didn't seem to be a case of quid pro quo. Fast forward a bit and she got invited to Katie Jane's birthday party. And being a girl with a big heart and a thirst for adventure, Petunia wanted to go! We ended up having family come to town, so I was able to use that as an excuse, thank goodness.