Okay. We’ve recently had a situation. In our house. A situation, involving friends, their children, and hurt feelings. So, it’s my husband’s birthday, and he simply wants to watch a really bad monster movie – a movie he somehow had inexplicably never seen, a movie that had somehow flown under the monster movie radar – a must-see movie, called “The Giant Claw.” This may not be on anyone else’s “must-see” list, but now, we must see it.
The night was intended to be all about The Giant Claw. Not a party, just maybe a few friends coming over. To watch the fabulousness that is The Giant Claw. We (he)(okay, and I) did not want to deal with a lot of kids, specifically, young kids.
So we invite a few friends to share the magic of The Giant Claw, (in fact, a double feature with The Creature with the Atom Brain) and those friends who have “young kids” are told that it’s to be a “no kids” evening.
But, here’s the thing: One of the invited couples has two kids who are closer in age to our two children. The fact is, their kids and our kids are great friends and are very good at hanging out in the back room and making themselves scarce during grown-up festivities. In addition, they are capable of joining the grown-ups when summoned and enjoying bad monster movies such as The Giant Claw along with the grown-up population. Without whining. So these friends were allowed to bring their kids. Because I knew that these kids would not wheedle or fidget, or need to be the center of attention. Or complain loudly about the specific movie fare. They would not make noisy protestations about having to sit through The Giant Claw. They would, in fact, find The Giant Claw to be an amusing and hilarious piece of entertainment. And the whole evening, you understand, was to be about The Giant Claw.
Well, our very good friends – a couple whose children are younger and prone to needing more attention -- had a baby-sitter problem (dog bite, long story), so only one of them was able to come to the gathering. And when he arrived, he saw that other children had been invited, even though he had been told it was a “no kids” party. Although the two kids who were invited are older and more independent than his kids, and I did make a joke about “no kids under the age of ten,” he was a little put out. And when I didn’t tell him to go home and bring the wife and kids anyway, since his baby-sitter had fallen through, he got a little bee in his bonnet. We love him, and we love his wife. We love his kids, too. Just not at grown-up parties, and certainly not at a party that was intended to be a grown-up viewing of The Giant Claw.
Well, apparently he stewed, and he went home and complained to his wife, and she was put out, too. And I got an earful the following Monday. He called me, and felt that he should share his disgruntlement about the situation, and “clear the air” about his “feelings.”
I didn’t really know how to tell him this although I tried, but honestly – what is so hard to understand about the situation? We did not want to cater to/tend to any children under the age of ten. (Conveniently, the age of my youngest.) Certain children require a lot more attention. These particular two children require quite a lot more attention, which my friend and his wife will freely admit. So, ergo, these two children were not invited to this particular grown-up party.
Is that so awful? Did I deserve a chewing-out? He felt “the situation” should have been “handled” differently. Like, for instance, I shouldn’t have invited any other kids, if his weren’t invited. I think that’s unreasonable, and since it’s our party, I think it’s not too much to ask that we get to make the rules. So tell me, how would you have “handled” the situation?
“Get over it,” is what I say. It was my husband’s birthday, and we’re grown-ups, and we get to have the kind of parties we want to have.
And if any of you somehow missed seeing The Giant Claw, you can get it from Netflix, as a double feature with The Creature with the Atom Brain. Movie night!