Thursday, March 18, 2010

I guess the word "adult" is relative

There is this couple I know from church. They are very young (acting) though they are legitimately probably only a few years younger than us. (I'm guessing they are in the 24-25 range by this point, but they seem SO much younger some how... I'm about to tell you how). They got married very young (19-20? I don't think either of them had a great home life) and had a kid right away (she's about 3 now, I think?) and have another who is under a year. He had a good job and I think she was mostly staying at home and maybe working part time at a grocery store or something like that, I can't remember. But now they are both out of work and have no income, no savings. They kept talking about buying a house last year and I know what they were living in was a double-wide trailer and they were trying to upgrade to a nicer one within the same mobile home park. But now, without any income, they are losing their home and are being forced to move out this weekend.

I feel bad for them, I truly do. They're nice, if a little immature, and they are doing the best they can. I know that the husband worked hard at his job, took as many hours as he could, etc. but in this economy, weird things happen to the jobs of good people, so there was nothing he could do about it.

But here is what gets me. I got a Facebook message from the wife a couple of weeks ago that was an invitation to the 3-year-old's birthday party. It was being held at a park (which, granted, does cost money to reserve a shelter, but it's under $30 in most places locally) and she explained that she was asking everyone to bring their own picnic lunch since they really couldn't afford to feed everyone right now. Now, I get that that is true. Completely. As a matter of fact, I'd probably still be baffled at them for continuing with the party due to the fact that they are temporarily "homeless" (they are staying with friends) if they were planning on spending money on it. But seriously? Isn't that pretty much the height of rudeness? Aren't you simply asking for gifts at this point? Just blows me over.

Fuss didn't get a birthday party this year. Granted, she had no idea - she's 2 - and we're planning on taking her to Disney in the fall when her cousins are down, etc. But the reason we decided not to throw her a party? Because we couldn't afford it. Even to reserve a shelter and have very simple food, we felt that we couldn't swing the cost of even having our families and closest friends (and we'd limit the guest list to those people only) so we decided not to do it. We had my mom and step-dad over to dinner and we went out to dinner (everyone paid for their own) with Daddy Fuss's side, but we felt that we couldn't afford more than that, so we skipped it.

It makes me mad that people who are in much tighter financial straits than we are can't be responsible and unselfish and polite. They've been begging on FB all week for help with a move to get their belongings to a storage unit this weekend. And they keep posting their statuses as "about to be homeless" and "landlord kicking us out", etc. I just think it's awkward for their friends and family to be hearing this, when many people are having rough times. Maybe not as rough, but rough none the less.

Sorry for the rant, but it bugs me.


  1. I honestly don't see a problem with it. My take is, why should their child (who guessing is old enough to know when a birthday party went missing) miss out on gifts from friends and family because his/her parents are having trouble financially? If they are really that bad off chances are they aren't getting anything for their child, so the gifts the child may get at the party might be the only ones.
    Even at 3 K knew about and anticipated her own party a she went to all of her friends parties.

  2. I guess you have a point, Heather. I just felt sort of awkward about it. We're not close friends, and while we used to be part of the same adult Sun School class, we're not anymore (and haven't been for almost a year) so part of the awkwardness is that they are asking people (us - I don't know who else is involved) who they don't hardly see or talk to anymore for a gift even though they can't afford to really do this.
    I know plenty of families who only have parties for their young children at "big" birthdays. 1, 5, 10, and maybe 13 if that. It's not like every single child has a birthday party every year and it's a requirement for every family to do so.

  3. Ok, now I see where you are comming from. I thought you had a closer relationship. If they are inviting everyone they can think of... Well that leaves a bad taste in my mouth as well.
    As for birthday parties, no they aren't a requirement. Whatever works for the individual. I could really care less about how often or how elaborate people make birthday parties.