Monday, February 23, 2009

Who's in Your Five?

I asked my middle son if he still wanted to invite one of his friends from school over this weekend. I have found this to be a great trick to getting the kids to help clean the house. Works like a charm.

Step One: "Would you like to have a friend come over today?"
Step Two: "We have to clean the house first!"

This time the question was met with a pair of sad eyes. Apparently there was a Birthday Party / Sleep-Over that 3 other friends from class were invited to that my son was not. My poor child was the odd man out.

Teaching Moment

I started a discussion about how sometimes a person can not include everyone.

"I know that Mom." was my son's response. "That's not what hurt my feelings. "Birthday Boy" has been acting very cold to me lately and I've been nothing but nice to him."

I explained that perhaps the birthday boy was feeling guilty about not inviting my son and that's why he started to distance himself. I even suggested that this boy might even be a bit jealous of him. Alex is a very smart, sweet, caring young man who gets along with everyone.

This is why I don't like birthday parties and stopped having them for my boys. Besides the chance of hurt feelings by inadvertently leaving a friend out, there is also the time and money spent to gain a bunch of unneeded gifts and subsequent Thank You notes to be written.

Instead we take a small group of family and one or two friends to a movie and dinner. We try to keep things low-key.

I then had an AHA-analogy moment.

Some people are like T-Mobile and only have room for 5 close friends. Others are like Verizon and prefer to have a large group of Friends and Family. Maybe that's why we chose Verizon as our network provider.

We have better reception and no "Dead Zones"!

Revenge Gifting

In a recent conversation I had with my sister, I learned of a concept called "Revenge Gifting". My nephew was the recipient of such a present from a neighbor that was not invited to his Bar Mitzvah.

Due to a space issue, just a few of the neighbors ( ones that had boys that were close to my nephew) were invited. This particular neighbor was left out because her children were not the same age and are not close with the family.

After the event, this neighbor mailed a card with a substantial check enclosed; apparently with the intent of making my sister feel bad for not including their family. My sister retaliated with a really nice Thank You note and a baby gift for the neighbor's sister who recently had her first child.


What Would You Do?
I prefer to look at the bright side of not having to buy a gift. I have learned that life is too short to worry about being left out. You can't be in everyone's Five. Have you been in similar circumstances? Ever received a Revenge Gift?


OhCaptain said...

I don't even understand the revenge gift. I was left out a lot as a kid but I don't remember there being nearly as many birthday parties then as there are now. Of course I'm also not a person that would notice the subtleties of being slighted.

WeaselMomma said...

I can't tell you how many times we have had the "They could only invite so many people" talk at our house.

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

Ooh, send me a big check as revenge. That's gonna teach me. Right.
I got left out some as a kid, and there were the parties for the whole class. Both sucked. We stick to family parties and the next door neighbors (that way they don't call the cops when we get loud...)