Monday, 3 December 2012

First World Problems

Living in a first world country has made life easy for the most of us. Clean water, education, a relatively easy job market, and the ability to travel are just some of the things that most of us can enjoy. I'm not saying that everyone has easy access to these things but in general they are at our fingertips.

It's very easy to take these things for granted, but every now and then it hits me -- hard -- in the face -- that our problems are downright ridiculous.

I received a call today from my friend. Her little girl, CT, is going to be celebrating her sixth birthday this weekend. Like any little girl celebrating her birthday she's excited. I'm going to be 32 on my next birthday and I'm excited. I didn't really get to celebrate my last one because of being all pregnant and stuff, so I'm hoping that the next one will make up for it. 

My point is, she's six, and she's excited.

Naturally she is excited around her peer group. A whole group of bouncy six year olds.  However, not everyone can be invited. Sometimes there just isn't the space for a big group of kids, sometimes another kid is an annoying little ***** so they don't get invited because all they have done is make her life miserable for the last year and a half. Either way, thems the breaks, we all move on.

Right? RIGHT????

Apparently, not so. This particular child's mother called the school -- that's right, THE SCHOOL -- to complain that her daughter wasn't invited to CT's party on the weekend.

Yep, you read that right. CALLED THE SCHOOL.

As though the school would do something about it. There are a number of things shocking about this entire situation. Here they are in order of how they come out of my head. You can be the judge of just how down right laughable they are.
  • A mother called the school to complain that her daughter wasn't invited to a birthday party.
  • The school didn't laugh in that mother's face. (I would have; in fact, I'm STILL giggling.)
  • The school took CT aside to "have a talk with her."
  • When my friend called the school, they told her that CT should be more aware of how she may be hurting other kids' feelings.
  • My friend didn't laugh in the school's face.
  • When my friend asked what she was supposed to do about it, she was told "maybe you should do what I do, and just not have birthday parties." (She should have laughed again. Right here.)
Are you KIDDING me?

First off, as a mother, if you have a problem with my child, you come to me.

Second, what exactly do you think the school is going to do about it? Tell me that my child has to invite everyone or she can't have a birthday party?

Third, the school should have informed this woman that this has nothing to do with school and they were not getting involved. (Or told this woman that her daughter is a stuck up little diva and being left out is pretty much going to be the norm for the rest of her adolescent life. Too far? Nah, she's the one that called the school.)

End. Of. Story.

But no, not so....

The school decided to have a side conversation with CT about this, then speak to all the classrooms to explain that not everyone can be invited to everyone's birthday party outside of school, then sent a letter home with all the kids requesting that for all future birthday parties the invitations be given to the teacher who can then hand them out discreetly to the students invited. (Which would be acceptable, except that it wasn't invitations that upset this little princess, it was other girls talking about how excited they were to be attending.)

I have discussed this matter with The Man and we have decided that in no way has CT done anything wrong. She's turning six and is excited about her birthday party. The school should mind their own damn business and should have told the woman that this was a personal matter and to attempt to approach CT's mother, my friend.

These, my friends, are FIRST WORLD problems. I can guarantee you, in no third world country are there children that have their mommies call the school because the kid in the next hut didn't invite them to their party. Why? Because they are too busy working in the fields helping their families survive. Also, a lot of them probably don't have a phone. Or the ability to send their daughters to school.

But seriously, where does it end? In 10 years is this same mother going to be calling the school to complain that the boy her daughter likes doesn't want to date her? Or maybe she'll call the Dean of the University because the young woman two rows over has a newer laptop and that makes her daughter feel bad.

At some point this little girl is going to turn to her mom and (not so) politely tell her to mind her own business and get the hell out of her life. At some point she is going to realize that her mother is an embarrassment to her, and likely the reason she hasn't been invited to any birthday parties since she was six.

Of course, this is the same mom who will probably tell her kids that putting out will get you love.

First world problems, my friends, first world problems.

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