It's nice to be nice, whenever you can.
It's nice when people call before they come over. I don't even mind if they call on the way over, but I don't want to answer the door with a messy ponytail on top of my head and bleach stains on my t-shirt (more about my Clorox obession later). I call people before I go to their homes, except for my mother's.
It's nice to say hello to people you have seen before. I always say hello to the guys who take care of these townhouses. Yes they are cute but that is beside the point. Because I say hello and don't act like I can't see them, they take excellent care of my apartment. Everyone is happy.
It's nice to be polite and it's always nice to say positive things. It just doesn't leave the right impression if you are always whining about something. I have learned these things over time.
And there are invitations... it's nice to send written invitations or even e-mail invitations. They are lovely things. Verbal invitations, however, are very delicate matters and should be reserved for your closest family members and really tight friends.
Case in point...
Yesterday I took the B-girl to her good friend's Birthday Party, who I will call M. We had a wonderful invitation to it. It came in the mailbox; it denoted a Luau theme and her parents even noted the kids would need swimwear and towels. M is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Heavensent (see archive).
So the party went off without a hitch. Everyone had a great time. B-girl and M are friends with some of the other girls their age from school. They are T and C. T's mom is really nice and sent an invitation to T's birthday last month. C's mom is a different story...She seems to only want to "associate" with T's parents and some of us appear to be after-thoughts.
While sitting at the same table at M's party, C's mom said this to me...
"I did not have your address or phone number but C's birthday party is next Sat. between 2 and 4. You don't have to bring a gift but please feel free to come by".
I said "sure we will be glad to and we will be happy to bring a gift". I said this because my daughter was standing behind the woman with her hands pressed together as if she was begging me to go.
I know the woman actually sent out invitations to some of the other kids' families, because Mrs. Heavensent asked me if I received one.
C's mother and I are developing an uncomfortable history. I have tried to talk with this woman at various events, but my attempts have been rejected. I noticed she talks very often about having a degree and working all the time. I have a degree too but I am sure she doesn't know it because I haven't mentioned it. I really don't talk about it unless I happen across a fellow Spartan or am trying to convert a Wolverine fan. After a certain age, we tend to be better schooled in the college of life.
There are some things to consider about this verbal ambush...
I am mildly upset the woman did not care enough to get my daughter's address from one of the other moms.
I do not want to go to this birthday party but I don't want to disappoint my daughter or the birthday girl, who could benefit from my daughter's friendship and attendance.
The woman's casual invitation seemed insincere. She did not even write down her address or phone number. She gave me verbal directions to the street and told me to look for balloons.
Now I am stuck going to a party I would rather avoid because I promised my daughter she could go.
Are there some new traditions of which I am unaware? Are we in such a hurry we don't have to consider the feelings (or schedules) of other people?
I am by no means a "Miss Manners" type...far from it,
yet I cannot help but wonder if there is some new
"Keep it Casual" club
of which I am not a member.
Is it perfectly normal
to be frustrated about
this apparent lack of consideration or
am I totally over-reacting?