Monday, October 29, 2007

Keeping Up Appearances...NOT!

I have a request to extend to the parents out there. DO NOT come to a party just to prove that you’re still hip and cool and normal and can hang out with all your kidless friends if you can’t be hip and cool and normal and hang out with all your kidless friends. KTHXBYE.

We have a couple we know through some other friends. In another time I’d have called them friends, but that was before an unfortunate (and hugely petty) altercation not involving us resulted in not really seeing each other for the better part of a year. They are now babified and Mom has completely changed. I do not like her anymore. In fact, I think I actively DISlike her.

Many of my friends have become parents without simultaneously becoming horribly unlikable people. I’d argue that MOST, if not ALL of my parented friends have done so. But this girl is too much.

EXAMPLE: She and her husband do nothing but sit on either side of the baby carrier, which sits on the futon. They do not interact with others. They are there to say “we went to a party this weekend”. Yes, their costumes of Mario, the Princess and a tiny one-up mushroom were clever and adorable. But when you don’t interact with people and spend the ENTIRE PARTY SITTING ON THE DAMN FUTON, why bother having the costumes?

EXAMPLE: The one time Mom ventured out into the party early in the night (before drinking had begun, by the way), the host’s new girlfriend, a mother of 3, asked if she could hold the baby. Mom FREAKED OUT and said “NO!”, then backtracked and said, sheepishly, “I don’t want to be the overprotective mom, but I don’t know you.” Your husband’s best friend trusts her with his penis, she has proven herself friendly and likable… hell, the rest of us like her lots. She doesn’t want to breastfeed the kid, she just wants to hold her for a moment and give you (who appears to be struggling) a break to maybe pull your top up to keep you from flashing everybody your boobs. Oh, and no touching either. That’s right. No touching the 4-month-old baby. We can admire her, though. But who knows where your hands have been, even if she’s reaching out to grab your finger.

Mom and I used to have great conversations. We used to want to get to know each other better, hand out. She was awesome and thought I was awesome. Now we have no words to share. She’s weird and standoffish and obsessively overprotective.

And I could not figure out, for the life of me, what they were doing at the party. Other friends in this particular circle (one we don’t usually travel in) have brought their babies to events but still manage to be sociable, interesting people who love it when others show interest in their daughter who’s about the same age. They come to a party to enjoy themselves and we enjoy their company. It doesn’t bother us that the kid is there. This couple, however, is so self-absorbed that it’s just AWKWARD. The party literally did not get going until they left because they made everybody so uncomfortable with their protective wall and “no touching” rules. It was just bizarre.

It felt to me like they were there just to prove to themselves that they could still party. But they failed, and I was actually embarrassed for them.


Adri said...

i once had a couple showed up with a four- and a two- year old and no one, not even the parents, was sober. bleecccchhhh. parents are so grown-up and proper sometimes.

The Coach's Wife said...

I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog this morning. Your blog description speaks to my heart in many, many ways. You may have enven inspired to start a second blog of my own where I can safely share my views of being childfree in a childed world without offending my "friends".

Anonymous said...

We had a housewarming party; we are married, without kids. 75% of those at the party left their kids at home or didn't have them to bring. It was 100% an adult party. Drinking, bar games, loud music and a pre-season football game blaring on all tv's and radios. There was some very definite adult activity occuring - nothing "bad", just adult. People tossing each other into the trough (we used an old horse trough with a liner for our cooler; it was full of ice cold water). Adult humor, and as I said, lots of drinking and drinking games.

The people with kids - most of them were ok. They knew when it was time to go home, they watched their kids, etc. They knew it was their choice to bring them and not my job to maintain a child friendly environment. But there were two couples who just went absolutely crazy over the fact that the party was not appropriate for kids. They ranted for weeks afterwards about how the kids should not have been there.

Um, hello? They were your kids. You brought them. You brought them to the housewarming party of people you know do not have kids and have adult focused lifestyles. How was it even remotely my responsiblity to make sure your kid was not around when 30 year olds were doing beer bongs? The fact that your 8 year old watched a 21 year old throw up in the woods? Not my problem. Although I wasn't thrilled with the 21 year old and her actions myself, that was her choice and she happened to have been the date of a friend who managed to keep watch of her and get her out of here when she went overboard. The 21 year olds date was more responsible towards his adult date than the parents were for their own children.

It is beyond mind boggling.