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Mia's birthday is coming up, and she is planning an ever more outlandish pool party for every child she has met in her entire life. We will be spending the next week winnowing her guest list down a bit. When I ask her who she wants to invite, she always says "and of course we will invite Alice." Alice is her second or third choice every single time. And that would be fine, except that Alice's mother has made it pretty clear (through omission, nothing direct) that she no longer cares to associate with me.

I find being dismissed by Alice's mother unfortunate, but I'm not losing any sleep over it. These things happen, I'm a grown up, moving on. But Mia is not a grown up, and she really wants to invite Alice to her party. I'm a little surprised, because I never felt Mia and Alice got along that well, but I'm not going to argue, and I'm not going to allow any drama even remotely close to Mia's fifth birthday party.

My current plan is to invite Alice, and then Alice will come and I will smile and make super-dooper nice to Alice's mommy, or she will RSVP no, and I will tell Mia that Alice just can't make it, or she will not respond at all (unlikely, I think) and again I will tell Mia that Alice just can't make it. But since I am unwilling to explain the situation to Mia and unwilling to lie to Mia, I think sending the invitation is the only way to go.

However, I have the social awareness of a garden slug, so I thought I ought to check with you guys first. I understand I haven't given much detail, and that is entirely intentional, but I promise you have enough to go on and if there is some egregious act or unforgivable conflict that has led to this situation I am as fully unaware of it as you are. So, would you invite Alice to the party? If not, what would you do?

(Alice's name is not Alice. I have never even met a child named Alice.)

Comments (33)

I think you should invite her.

I'd invite her, definitely, for a couple reasons. I think when it comes to inviting or not inviting, no matter what, you always fare better by inviting.

Also, even if Alice's mother has no plans to attend, with or without an invite en route, it's one thing you've taken care of so she can't ever call you on it (directly or indirectly).

I agree. You're doing the right thing.

I'd do what you're doing, but I also have the social awareness of a slug.

Invite her. Let the grown ups be grown ups and go from there.

I'm kind of aghast that YOU could have done anything, being that I know you and unfailingly polite. But that is just me.

Michael was the same way with his 5th b-day party. I can't even imagine his Bar Mitzvah.

Yeah, I'd invite her. My guess is that if Alice's mom is an uber-beeyotch who wants to deny her daughter a possible friendship, she'll RSVP no, and that'll be that. But it doesn't hurt to send the kid an invitation if Mia wants her there.

Invite her, and if Alice's mom wants to act like an idiot, so be it, at least you asked.

Inviting her is a good idea. It's always easier to let Alice's mom avoid the awkwardness by declining or making an excuse than it is to potentially snub them by not inviting her at all.

Invite Alice's mother out for a drink.

When she arrives, hand her the invitation, then pick out someone at random and beat them within an inch of their life in front of Alice's mother.

Post-whoopin', look Alice's mother in the eye and say in a cheery voice, 'I look forward to seeing you and Alice at Mia's birthday party!'


Oh I'd invite her. If the mom is being snooty and doesn't want Alice to go, the onus is on them thus providing you with a great explanation for Mia. It'd be harder to explain to Mia that you don't want to invite them because Alice has a snooty mom who has rebuffed all previous invites so why try again.

Invite Alice, let her mom deal with figuring it out.

yes, invite her. the worst that could happen is that she says yes!

I say invite her. Don't let whatever animosity exists between the parents extend to the kids, especially if they like each other already. And tell her mom to get the stick out of her butt.

Yes, I would invite the kid for Mia's sake. Even if they don't come, you've done the right thing.

Yes, invite Alice - do exactly what you got this...

Holy crap, please tell me that I am not Alice's mother. I know we haven't seen you guys in a while, but its not on purpose.

Also, clearly everything is about me, me MEEEEEEEE!!!

Echoing everyone else: invite Alice. If her mom really doesn't want her to associate with you guys, it'll be on her shoulders, not yours. I'm all passive-aggressive like that.

Maybe Alice's mom isn't that way on purpose? I'm a horrible combination of a little anti-social and a lot scatter-brained...and it tends to create these type of situations where I accidentally offend people. I'm trying to be a little better about it as a parent, but I still miss lots of RSVP deadlines and that sort of thing.
But that's just me and maybe not Alice's mom at all? =)

I would do exactly what you plan to do. And Alice's mother is a weirdo.

My thoughts are that you have to invite Alice and that way Mia asks, you can say with honestly that she was invited. However the Mom handles it is on her. This way, you did the right thing and were the adult which is more than I can say for her Mom.

I would send it. This is you being gracious - their response is up to them. We were doing a Bible study tonight of which the main premise was along the lines of, "Make every effort to keep the peace", to preserve unity. I think we do our best, be kinder than we have to, and will hopefully get it right!

I havent met an Alice either, but I think I kind of like the name!

One of the things we've always asked our kids is why they want to invite certain people, especially if we didn't think that they had gotten along too well with them before. We've found, on more than one occasion, our children asking to invite another child simply to get more presents or to have another person there to be "all about them". That's one reason we always put on invitations that no presents are necessary. If Mia really does like Alice, then definitely invite her, but I'd talk with her more first to find out why she's inviting her.

I would invite Alice...for Mia, and for Alice. And if Alice's mother can't be mature enough for a couple hours to allow her daughter to spend time with a friend, I feel very sorry for the poor child.

Yeah, you gotta invite her. You'll be too busy at the party to notice her mother being an asshat anyway.

Yes, I think inviting Alice is the way to go. Then you've done your best for Mia, and it is up to Alice's mom to decide whether or not to come. Of course, I may also have the social awareness of a garden slug...

Invite Alice, her Mom can stick it. :-)

Maybe Alices' Dad will come instead, hmm, maybe he is a firefighter too, so win win, eye candy and Mia's favorite friend!!

Definitely invite her, if Mia wants her there. Who knows, maybe it's ALICE'S Mom who's the social garden slug? Maybe there's no real issue and she's just socially inept? Maybe she'll be thrilled to get the invite?

Or she'll RSVP no, and then what can you do?

I guess I'm just a wee bit bitchy since I'm the only one who's answering differently - I would totally *not* invite her because life is too short to deal with annoying moms at your own child's birthday party - especially since Alice isn't really her BFF. I would just tell my child that we can't invite everyone because parties are just for a few friends and leave it at that. On party day, I would be surprised if Mia even thinks of Alice...

Just my two cents. That apparently the rest of the world thinks is rude. Oh well! ;)

I think you're doing the right thing.

We pretty much restrict birthday party invites to grandparents, close family and a few friends... that live close. That pretty much eliminates a lot of drama. I suppose in your situation I would go ahead and send it, but only if you can accept whatever the response [or lack thereof] is without additional drama and upset.

Personally, I prefer to leave sleeping dogs alone. If you chose not to send the invite, saying that Alice can't make it isn't exactly a lie.

I think I would invite Alice, and it's because I wouldn't be able to think of a way to explain to Mia why we wouldn't.

Or it is POSSIBLE I would SAY we'd invite Alice, and I would accidentally lose the invitation before it got to the mail, and then I'd say that unfortunately Alice had other plans that day. I'm not saying I WOULD, I'm just saying it's POSSIBLE I would.

I have to weigh in on the discussion, not because I have anything new to add (I agree, invite her and see what her mother decides to do) but because I am mother to a bonifide Alice. And under no circumstances would I ever shun your company because I think you're lovely.

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