Several weeks ago I custom made my daughters' birthday party invitations because---despite ample shopping endeavors---we could not find the exact ones that met Patience's specifications. If you'll recall, this is also the child who drew a detailed schematic for the cake, which she handed off to the cake designer. Luckily, my crazy cool Photoshop skills allowed me to create the Just Right invitation. When I sent the image to the printer, I had to select quantity. I dithered over 10 or 20 and asked my husband for input. I think I may have mentioned this but he suggested 50 (!!!) because we needed to be inclusionary.
I gasped at 50 (!!!) and asked who we knew that well. He started listing and sure enough, he had in mind a large group of children. I about cried. He asked what I had I mind and I said maybe 10. He more or less accused me of being snobbish and exclusionary. He reminded me the school encouraged us to include every child for birthday parties and thus far every party had (and you can imagine how well that argument went over...oh the school said, oh the school tells me my morals now...)
I argued against a big crowd: money, chaos, Julie's hair all falling out.
"I can't do this all by myself," I said, "That's too many kids and you know parents will drop their kids and run like it's free babysitting. Especially this time of year when they'll think, 'HA! Shopping time!' I can't handle that many kids!"
He said, "What's this 'I' you keep saying? Aren't we a we?"
And I, cruel yet honest woman that I am, laughed. "Yeah sure! It'll be the two of us fairly and evenly distributing the work load and supervising the kids. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"
He was offended.
I had chapped my husband's hide and proved myself snobbish and exclusionary.
Guess who lost?
That's right: me.
Believe it or not, the Kind and Generous person won the round. So I ordered 50. And duly sent them out to Every Single Child Patience Ever Sees God Help Me.
The party is nearly upon us and I am streeeetched to my limit trying to plan and manage Big Honking Party, Christmas, and plans every single day of the week. Husband's contribution thus far:
That's right. Blank.
I think he grunted (in approval?) at the party favors (little 'color your own' 2008 calendars and crayon sets).
So you can imagine how well I took it when this happened:
Husband: Hon. I need to tell you something.
Me: You are NOT backing out of this party.
Husband (with surprise): How did you know it had to do with the party?
Me: The dire tone. You know your ass is about to get kicked and your tone is very dire. The most likely thing for me to get that upset about is the party.
Husband: Well it's out of my control. The weather has delayed the foundation and they have the cement mixer scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They planned to pour the concrete starting at 4 a.m. Saturday. If I have to go, I'm sure I'll be back in time for the party.
(Please note that the project is out of town. And my husband is a Big Appeaser.)
Me: (No words, thoughts not publishable)
Husband: Ummm I can probably see if my boss can go instead. But his wife is starting to ask him to get some shore leave, too.
Flash forward...company party...feeling fine with my wine and hot new outfit...
Husband's boss: So, I hear we have a scheduling conflict on Saturday.
Me: No conflict. Husband has a family obligation.
Husband's boss: So do I and I promised my wife I'd spend my weekends at home.
Me: Do you have 75 children coming to your house, all under 7?
Husband's boss: No, just my own kids.
Me: I'm all full of sympathy, really I am. I know you guys work hard. But a job can only fire him. I can kill him. And I will. This birthday party was all his idea.
Husband's boss: Well it's at 4 a.m.
Me: Yes, and he needs to receive and supervise construction of the jumpy thing and pick up the cakes and balloons. I bet if you drive fast you can be home before your wife wakes up.
Husband's boss: All right. But we keep this between us. I can have way too much fun with your husband all week about it.
Me: So long as we are clear, it's straight between us...he's so not going to be there. He's mine this Saturday.
Husband's boss: Aye aye.
At least this round goes to the Heartless person in the marriage. Kind and Generous comes through again making us flat even:
Me (aka Heartless) --- 1
Him (aka Kind and Generous) --- 1
And the rest of what made me eat more chocolate than I should have this weekend? Falls into the "not fit for print" category. So if I'm a little stressed seeming (aka preachy and ranty) you'll all understand, right? Anyway I already vented to my husband last night who laughed. Apparently my rendition and imitations are fairly funny...as is my outrage.
I'm so glad one of us finds this funny.
Lotta. I need Lotta and our support group.
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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