This week’s blog post is by WDP co-host Matt Rocco, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with Professor Foster ( his “Brown Mom” wife), and their daughter Viva who also wouldn’t go to a skiing party in Britain.
By now you’ve probably read about the British mother who threw a birthday party for her son at a ski resort. One of the invitees didn’t show, so the next week she slipped an invoice into the offending child’s bag for £16 (that’s about $25 in freedom bucks). My initial impression of her actions were, like most people’s, one of shock and disgust – you can’t charge a no-show fee for something you invited someone to, and you don’t slip creepy notes into little kid’s book bags. Oh, and skiing with grade schoolers on a dry slope in Cornwall is a terrible idea for a birthday party. But as I thought about it more, she might just be onto something with the invoice …
Other parents, and their children, upset me all the time. I’m sure they do the same to you – but they do it even more to me, because I’m a wildly superior parent to most people. That’s why I’ve decided that whenever another parent’s decisions, manners, and choices offend me, I’m going to send them a bill. I mean, really, if I have to put up with other people’s crummy parenting decisions, I at least ought to be able to offset my inconvenience with some revenue. Monetizing my annoyance? This could make me a very rich man.
Below are seven types of parents who will be receiving bills from me:
Parents Who Serve Lousy Booze at Play Dates and Parties:
This is Chicago, you can’t swing a growler without hitting a microbrewery. I believe you’re actually required by law to drink a Double IPA if you walk through Ravenswood. And there are wine stores like Edgewater’s Independent Spirits and Andersonville’s In Fine Spirits that offer all kinds of smartly curated wines at Trader Joe’s prices, so there’s no excuse for trying to pour that Coors or Franzia down my gullet. It’s hard enough to manage play date politics sober – please don’t make me try to do it on Heineken. Please give me $16 so I can get a quality bomber.
Parents Raising Their Kids to Like the Cubs:
Why are you doing this to your kids? Why are you doing this to me? You’re not going to the World Series this year. You’re not going to the World Series EVER, do you understand me? Why must you get your hopes up? You’re like the Sisyphus of sports fans. Now, don’t make me look at that “Cubbie blue” on your kid and expect to take them seriously. They need to put down the fruit snacks I paid for and go home. And you need to give me $25 to buy my kid a new Southpaw doll. Make that $50 just because I had to listen to that Eddie Vedder Cubs song once.
Parents Who Are Less Cool Than Me:
Okay, “norm-core” parents – you’re giving us all a bad name. Your saggy dockers and poorly tucked-in button-downs that you think aren’t making a statement? They are making a statement, and that statement is, “I surrender. I surrender to irrelevance, formlessness and beige.” I don’t want other people thinking I tell bad jokes and dance poorly just because you do. Just because we have children, we needn’t wear fleece, we needn’t listen to Train and we needn’t watch any show whose name begins in the letters “CSI.” If I must hear you discuss preschools, traffic, or your IRA endlessly, pay up. You owe me $200 for my time.
Parents Who Are More Cool Than Me:
Your immaculately tended stubble, your tattoo sleeves, your cadet cap – they make me feel fat, and I resent you for that. I’ll bet you take ukulele at Old School, don’t you? I am getting more upset. Oh, you homebrew? Now I am beside myself. That’ll be $250 for pain and suffering.
Parents Who Try to Hide Their Child’s Runny Nose:
It didn’t just start – I KNOW it didn’t just start. Look at their shiny sleeves! You’re sneaking your sick kid in here, aren’t you? Now the kids are playing some game involving licking each others hands. I’m going to have to call a doctor on call tonight, aren’t I? Damn it! That’s $25 for the copay at the doctor’s visit, plus $6 for the meter, $10 for the meds, and then $500 for the time off work.
Parents Who Make More Money Than Me:
Look, I’ve always been at the top of my class, not mention talented and charming. Just because I made the horrible mistake of staying in the Arts while you decided to go move money around doesn’t mean you should go to St. Barth’s while I go to Key Lime Cove. Let’s not allow this to get weird, just give me $100,000 and we can both keep our dignity.
All right folks, I’m sure you mean well, but your shallow understanding of herd immunity, your confusion of correlation and causation, and your decision to choose Jenny McCarthy as your Surgeon General mean the very young, the very old and the immunosurpressed are now at increased risk of contracting viruses. It means that diseases once thought to exist only in games of “Oregon Trail” are back with a vengeance. And you BROKE DISNEYLAND! Who does that? I’ll bet Huey, Dewey and Louie have MEASLES now because of you. Stop saying “toxins!” You owe the world, like, a billion dollars.
So, that’s it. I’m sure of people deserving of charges will grow, in the meantime, tell all your friends to read this, or I’m charging them $10 a head for my troubles.
If you enjoyed this essay, subscribe to the WDP podcast (One of Podbean’s 10 most downloaded Parenting Podcasts worldwide and an iTunes staff pick for best Parenting humor) for free on iTunes, or listen at whitedadproblems.com. (Do note that the show has a potty mouth and is definitely for Over 17 Only.)