Decorations, food, games, invitations… birthday parties for kids are expensive. So expensive, in fact, that one mom has decided to start charging guests a small fee for attending her own child’s party.
In a letter written to The Boston Globe‘s advice column, the woman’s friend asks Miss Conduct how to handle the bizarre situation.
“She is lovely and kind and a truly wonderful person,” the anonymous letter writer describes of the other mom. “But every year, she charges people to come to her daughter’s birthday party.”
She goes on to explain that if the party is at a venue (like a restaurant or play center), “the e-mail will say something along the lines of ‘please bring $20 to cover the cost of your child.'” If it’s at the woman’s home, “there will be an envelope or basket asking for ‘donations.'”
Noting that the mom isn’t poor and that people are talking behind her back, the friend questions whether or not she should say something.
Miss Conduct (aka Robin Abrahams, a writer with a Ph.D. in psychology) responds with a resounding yes, mostly for the sake of the woman’s child. “Yes, speak up before her poor daughter has to,” Abrahams advises, “Since sooner or later the girl will realize what her mother is up to and be humiliated.”
However, she cautions not to mention the other mom’s financial situation since “unless you’re her accountant, you don’t really know how she’s doing financially.”
People in the comments section had plenty of thoughts on the matter, too. Some offered their own passive-aggressive advice to the woman like the person who suggested inviting her over for coffee and then charge her $5 for the cup.
Others sounded off on the absurdity of party cover charges, saying, “these parties have gotten out of control.”