Mom Bills Little Boy for Missing Birthday Party

Pay up kid. That fun ain't free you know.

Pay up kid. That fun ain’t free you know.

First, I just want to say: Who does that?

Secondly, how dumb can you be? Kids have no money. At least go after someone rich.

This fascinating story about the mom who billed the little boy for failing to attend her kid’s birthday party has been all over the news and social media (and I have loved every second of it), but no matter which side you’re on — the it-was-rude-not-to-inform-the-mom-your-kid-wasn’t-attending side or the birthday-mother-was-obnoxious-for-sending-an-invoice side — I can end the whole debate right here without needing to delve into the merit of either side.

Allow me to explain why the whole debate moot.

Your kid’s birthday is approaching. You decide to throw him a party. You invite people. You hope people will kindly RSVP by the date on the invitation. The date passes. You hope people will kindly RSVP by any date. The day of the party swiftly approaches. You get nervous. No one has RSVPed. You think, Is anyone coming to this Goddamn party I just shelled out a boatload of money for? You pray. You remember the Internet. You take to your keyboard and frantically type emails to the families to make sure someone is coming. You go to the party and rejoice that some people showed. Also, some people you didn’t invite showed. Everyone runs around guzzling as much candy and soda as they can cram into their gullets as possible. You go home.

It’s called life.

I’d like to state for the record (because apparently this common fact is not known to all): If you throw a party you may not charge your guests for the party. You know why? Because you decided to throw the party. If you do not want to pay for said party, do not throw the party. Simple. Did you also ask the guests to bring their own slice of pizza and piece of birthday cake as you would not be providing those items either?

I’ll tell you what, I would love for this little fact of life not to be true. Because if I asked my guests to bring all the food and wine they’d like to consume with them to my party, do you know how easy my life would be? I mean, when you’re hosting who wants to be bothered by all that preparation and cooking and cleaning and setting up? It’s too much of a hassle. I’d much rather sit back, relax and have the guests do it all. I’d have them bring their own dishes, cups and cutlery, too, and tell them not to forget to come back the next day to vacuum up. They left the crumbs after all. I just might start throwing parties all the time. Think of how much fun it’ll be.

Here’s the thing. If you chose to have the party, you must pony up for the party no matter how many guests there are, who shows, who doesn’t. It is regrettable that some people do not RSVP. I’ve certainly been frustrated and upset when people didn’t RSVP to my kids’ parties. It’s rude and inconsiderate, but it also may be an honest mistake. Life is busy and people forget. Or maybe those people are just jerks, and you should be glad you discovered that so you can move on. Either way, chalk it up to a learning experience.

I have even been, on occasion, one of those bad people who has forgotten. I not proud, but it’s happened. It’s nothing to start invoicing people over. Although if we’re gonna go that route, there are plenty of people I’d like to invoice for rude behavior and perceived slights. So let me know if we are going to switch up the rules on common sense.

The one other thing I’d like to say on all this: Who invites a bunch of 5-year-olds to a ski lesson birthday party?

photo credit: StaunchThrowback via photopin cc

What Do You Do When Your Kids Won’t Stop Lying?

Liars. All of them!

Liars. All of them!

 

I’ll tell you what I do, but I’m gonna have to tell you over on Mommyish because I got my first piece published over there, and I’m super stoked about it. Stoked isn’t a word I use lightly. In fact, I never use the word “stoked” at all because I’m not a college student, and I don’t live in the northwest either. Those are the only two circumstances under which the use of the word is understandable. But I was going for something a little different. A little pizazzy. To show how very stoked I was. I didn’t want to say excited because excited is so…boring. It doesn’t fully capture my excitedness. I could say psyched, but again I’m probably 20 years too old for that word. What else can I say to express my joyous delight in being published over there? Ebullience? Yes, I think that’s it. I am ebullient. Although not so much over the subject matter. Kids lying. Specifically my kids lying. To me. All the time. About their ailments. To get out of going to school. And it drives me insane.

Basically, Meghan Trainor said it all in “Lips Are Moving.” I think she was talking about her kids.

What about you? Are your kids pathological liars? How do you handle it? And how do you know?! I mean what if they really are dying, but you can’t tell for sure?

Go take a look and tell me because I’m tired of being a goddamn private eye.

And if you are so inclined follow me on the Facebook for daily fun and games. Or subscribe to the blog by entering your email address over there —> on the upper right where it says “Subscribe. I’ll be your best friend.” I will. Promise.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

On Writing

On Writing

I wrote this on Sunday.

I know I’ve been ignoring you lately, but I needed a little time away. I’ve been working my fingers to the bone over here on a longer work, one I hope will be worthy of publication. I really haven’t talked to anyone in days. Well, my husband calls me every now and then (he took the kids skiing), but I mean a real conversation. Not that we have real conversations when he’s home or anything, but at least there’s the possibility.

I stayed behind, left alone to work. Which has made me think a lot about the writing process. How it works or, in my case, how it doesn’t, how to get it to work, and how great writers do what they do. How to go back and forth in time, how the story should be sequenced, what goes where and when, what to put in and what to take out.

How am I supposed to do all that? Huh? It’s near impossible.

Then the other day I was listening to the radio, and an interview with Anne Lamott came on. It was quite unexpected, and I got so excited. I know people revere her, but I’m not one who really gets start struck by anyone except for Stephen Colbert and maybe POTUS, which is a bad acronym if you ask me. It makes me think of potato. And that’s not very presidential. Couldn’t they have come up with something better? I mean the guy’s the president of the United States for Christ sake. You’d think he could have a good acronym. Why not #Pres? Even #USP would’ve been better. Anyway, I wasn’t really star struck by Lamott. I mean I do like her work, and I like her as a person, and I’d love to see her speak somewhere, but with all this writing on my mind, the interview was just perfect timing, and I was eager to hear what she had to say. So I listened to the whole thing, and I think I’m becoming a little reverey.

But wait, there’s more –>

Let Me Be BLUNT

BluntmomsLogo

I’m on BLUNTmoms today, reprising my piece, “10 Lessons I Never Thought I’d Have to Teach My Kids.” I was planning on coming on here today to say, “I’m so excited to announce my first piece is being featured on BLUNTmoms,” but I can’t. Because it’s not my first piece. I just found that out yesterday. When they told me they were gonna run this piece, I asked if they needed a bio, and they were all like, “No, we got it from the last time we featured your piece.” And I was all, “What do you mean the last time? This isn’t the 1st time? What piece did you feature? The one where my son was a jerk?” And they said, “Yes.” And I was like, “Oh, that’s great, thanks!”

It happened sometime in December, and because I don’t know how to work a computer (and also because I’m afraid of technology), I never saw the notification. So turns out what I thought was my 1st piece is actually my 2nd. So there ya go. The first piece was about my no good, double-crossing, back-stabbing 10 year-old son. It’s a good one. If you’ve never read it, it’ll make you appreciate your own kids – provided they aren’t lying, cheating, double-crossing backstabbers, that is.

The one today, though, is all about the lessons I wish I didn’t have to teach my kids. Like new day = new underwear. Who doesn’t know that? Shouldn’t that be a human instinct?

Anyway, if you have some spare time, head on over. I personally like the one where my son stabbed me in the back better, but if you like list then the “10 Lessons” is the one for you. And, thanks.

 

The Sweetest Christmas Story Ever Told

The Sweetest Christmas Story Ever Told

Just a quick Christmas note to wish you and yours a very merry Festivus and to report my most favoritest piece I’ve ever written was pick up by BlogHer yesterday. It was my first piece published on The Huffington Post, and although it ran a few years ago, I think it’s going to become a holiday tradition to replay it every year. Because it really is the sweetest Christmas story ever told. I’m not just saying that because I wrote it. I really had nothing to do with it. I merely transcribed what I overheard one night when I noticed a murmur coming from the other room, and I tip toed over to listen. What I heard was a conversation between Crazy and our Elf on the Shelf.

Although I once despised that smarmy-looking, little Sprite, after that night everything changed between me and the Elf. Standing in the darkened hallway that night I witnessed the true meaning of Christmas, and the lesson came to me from a 9-year-old boy.

If you missed it or need a little reminder go on over and take a look. It’s guaranteed to melt even the most hardened hearts. After all, it melted mine.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Books

You may have noticed, but probably not because who reads this everyday, that I haven’t been posting regularly. And there’s a reason for that. I’m working on developing a robot that will write posts for me while I do other things. Who am I kidding? I’m not smart enough to create a robot that writes, but it would be great if I was. That robot would make millions! Think about all the bloggers out there. Everyone would want one. I’d name it The Writing Robot, for when you just don’t have time to blog. I’d make rounds on the Today Show and Good Morning America and all the morning talk shows with Bottie. It would be the hot Christmas item.

Anyway, that’s not happening, and I’m depressed about it. But what is happening is I’m working on a super secret project in a laboratory underground beneath a laundromat in New Mexico. Just kidding. I’m not making Crystal Meth either although I’ll tell you Breaking Bad does make it look tempting. Actually, Breaking Bad terrifies me, and it’s making me seriously question my plans for opening a meth lab.

So I’m not doing that either. Although what I am doing might be equally as challenging. I’ve been working on getting my book together to send off. And, let me tell you, it ain’t easy. I need to hunker down and concentrate my energy on that right now if I really plan to make a go of this thing. And, I wanna make a go of it because I’ve come too far to turn back now. I’ve written bits and pieces over the years, but now I have to put them all together in a coherent, organized, readable fashion, and that’s a real pain in the a$$. Why can’t people just figure it out for themselves? Why do I have to do all the work? People are so lazy these days. They want everything to make sense, and that’s just not how I roll. Does life make sense? Huh? Does the world make sense? NooOooo. But apparently publishers and audiences expect me to make sense. That’s a double standard if you ask me.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to, and I just wanted to let you know. It’s not that I’m ignoring you. And, I hope that you’ll have patience for me through this difficult time. I plan on posting occasionally. I’d like to keep up Tweetpeat Tuesday at least, and I’m shooting for doing some sort of short post on Thursdays, but with the holidays thrown in, who knows? Also, I’ll be on the Twitter and Facebook and all that although my daughter informs me that Facebook is over. I’ll tell her to inform all the bazillions of people on Facebook about that.

So hang tight. I’ll definitely keep you updated. And wish me luck.

photo credit: A river runs through via photopin cc

Hey, TIME How About Banning “Bitch?”

Think

I have long wanted to write this piece. I have rolled it around in my brain for years but never put my thoughts to paper. What would I say? How would I frame it? What was the context? But TIME Magazine’s list issued last month of suggested words to slash from the English language, gave me clarity. The magazine’s suggestion to ban the word, “feminist,” gave me all the fuel I needed to finally put my pent up thoughts to laptop, and today I’m honored that my essay, Here’s a Word TIME Magazine Could Ban, has been published on The Broad Side.

While I understand much has been said in the wake of the poll and the magazine has issued a quasi-apology, my criticism of their error goes beyond simply condemning the magazine and looks at what their statement really says, why feminism is still very much needed today and how TIME could have put their list to better use.

I’m aware the opinion expressed in my piece might not be a popular one given the common and casual use of the term “bitch” by just about everyone. But the word has always managed to shock and assault me every single time I hear it. I am jolted by its use time and again because the word is so hateful and yet so easily tossed around. I hope you will go take a look as I am quite proud that my words have found a home on such a thoughtful and respected site run by the accomplished and award-winning journalist, author, editor and political strategist formerly known as PunditMom. PunditMom or Joanne Bamberger as she is now known is not only the founder and publisher of this site but also the proud owner of many titles. She has been honored as an innovative “disruptor” in new media (yeah!), has won an Advocacy Innovator Award (she can advocate for me anytime) and has been named one of the Most Powerful Moms in Social Media (that’s right). The woman has more titles than will fit in this blog post. Let’s just say she’s impressive, and I am humbled and delighted to be in her company. Now go read it! And tell me what you think. Thanks.
photo credit: jDevaun.Photography via photopin cc

Better Know A Blogger: Love Morning Wood

Better-Know-A-Blogger:LoveMorningWood

It’s only right that as Stephen Colbert enters the final weeks of his glorious, ground-breaking, brilliant show, Better Know a Blogger shall too come to an end (see the origins here if you’re curious). Now and forever, I stand in solidarity with The Colbert Report (I love you, Stephen!) But fret not my fellow bloggers. This is not a time to be sad (ok, it is), but it’s also a time to rejoice in all that we shared together and the myriad fond memories we shall cherish for a lifetime.

Plus, today we are going out with a bang. I have for you the very funny and extremely fecund (look it up or just click on the link if you’re lazy because I defined it for you in Word to Your Motha) Tara of Love Morning Wood. But that’s not what it sounds like. Or maybe it is. I don’t know. Tara claims she titled her blog as such because she wrote early in the morning and because her last name is Wood. And she wanted everyone to love it. The name has nothing to do with loving the other morning wood, ok? Although it does bring in a lot of strange internet searches usually resulting in disappointment for the searchers.

Tara is a southern girl with lots of kids she calls the Woodchips. Isn’t that cute? At first I was like what the hell are these woodchips she’s talking about? Then I got it. Because I’m smart like that. She’s a blogger and freelance writer from Augusta, Georgia who lives in a perpetual state of blissful exhaustion caring for her 6 children (make that 7 when her husband is sick). She enjoys sitting down occasionally and long walks, all alone, in Target. The first piece of Tara’s that I read was Zero Shits to Give, and I instantly fell in love. Go, ahead, read it. But first read this.

1. Why did you decide to start your blog, and did you have any idea what you were getting yourself into?

I started my blog to shut up my friend Steve, honestly. He bullied me into committing to write something every day. I thought I’d keep it up for maybe 3 days.

OFM: Funny, no one in my life has ever encouraged my writing.

LMW: After the first week, I looked forward to getting up at 4:30am to write.

OFM: What?

LMW: I had no idea that anyone other than my family and a few friends would read it. I was even more surprised at how much I enjoyed the process. It was new and terrifying and brutal.

OFM: I hear you.

LMW: I can’t remember life before writing now.

But wait, there’s more –>

Dad’s Prank is So Wrong

Yet so funny. I know, I know. It’s awful. And when I clicked on the video I fully expected to be outraged. And I would have been except I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m sorry. I know I’m a horrible person, but it’s funny when the kid…well, I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet so look for yourselves.

Am I wrong? C’mon it was funny. I’m not saying anyone should do this. In fact, do NOT do this. Ever. It was just funny since I already knew it was a prank. But I can’t believe anyone would actually terrorize their partner like that. The guy even titled the video “Killing My Own Kid Prank.” Who does that? If I was that guy’s wife I think I would have made my own video called, “Killing My Own Husband,” only it wouldn’t be a prank.

Something else that’s completely incomprehensible yet funny?

But wait, there’s more –>

Better Know A Blogger: Hungry Little Animal

 

Leslie of Hungry Little Animal

Today I have the lovely and multi-talented Leslie Kendall Dye of Hungry Little Animal on Better Know A Blogger. I met Leslie online. In a nefarious chat room. Just kidding, but that’s how it always sounds. I read her piece, How Not to Potty Train at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Blunt Moms and had to get more. So I did. I followed her all around the internet until she finally let me be her friend. Then I demanded she answer all my questions and submit a bio and here we are.

Leslie’s bio may be more interesting than any of the interview questions I’ve come up with. Leslie grew up in LA and started working in theatre at age ten, playing the the Little Prince in a ballet adaptation of the book by Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Leslie: I hope my characterization didn’t wreck the book for anyone.

At 11 she began working in television and film.

Leslie: Although during the lean times I was forced to return to school.

Unconscionable.

Leslie: I co-starred in a wildly unpopular Fox TV series starring the late great Sam Kinison, and I did a turn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which is the one thing people ever care about on my resume. Seriously. A man in England bought the costume at auction, which I guess is nice if you want an old TV costume of yours hanging on a stranger’s mannequin in the basement of his country house. (Could I make this up?)

OFM: I don’t think so. Although I’m more interested in the whole co-starring with Sam Kinison bit. Were you Punky Bruster? Am I friends with Punky Bruster?!

Leslie: Anyway, I grew up, attended Columbia University, kept working in Los Angeles and New York after graduation, met my husband while shooting a film, got married and had one perfect kid. I think so, anyway. I mean I know I have only one kid, but technically the “perfect” thing is subjective.

OFM: I have called my kids a lot off things, but I don’t think perfect was ever one of them.

Leslie: I still dance and act, but these days, more in my head than in real life. Once the kid goes to school, that life will call to me and I shall answer the call. In the meantime I am available for day shoots, staged readings and any other acting gig that takes only a few days. You know, if you are reading this and hiring.

OFM: I have a lot of film execs reading my blog.

Leslie: I live in NYC with my husband and kid. That is obvious, but I just like writing it out, as it sounds like it is on the dust jacket of a book I wrote. I have not written a book.

OFM: Do you happen to know Stephen Colbert by any chance?

But wait, there’s more –>