Tuesday, May 10, 2005

After this, her wedding should be a breeze

The birthday party runup continues. I discovered today that the gymnastics gym hosting our 4-year-old’s party provides the goody bags – yes! Outsourcing these things does have advantages, though I fear that given the nature of the work and current trends, by sometime next year the bags will be assembled in Bangladesh.

But party stresses continue to play out. Over the weekend, the gym called and said they needed a head count. Have you ever tried wrangling more than a dozen sets of preschool parents, getting them to make a commitment on what they and their children will be doing on a Saturday afternoon more than a week in advance in May? Even with the empathy factor of birthday party, it can’t be done. By definition, it’s a down-to-the-wire thing.

Twenty guests were invited, most from her preschool. Approximately seven had responded in the affirmative, maybe three in the negative. With ten unaccounted for, my wife began to get antsy. She was going out of town for a day, and asked me to go to the preschool and buttonhole parents Monday morning. Well, I’ll admit it - I am woefully disengaged. I don’t pick up/drop off there much and don’t know many of the kids or more than a few parents. And most by sight, not by name. So my wife wrote up some notes to leave in the kids’ mailboxes saying “need RSVP by noon Tues!”

This struck me as a little pushy – especially the exclamation point. In these times of multiple obligations, I don’t like getting notes from people I barely know with demanding punctuation. But I didn’t argue the point. Efficiency ruled the day. The count now stands at 12.