Come and see fake birthday parties in Jand by Esame Okwoche

Come and see fake birthday parties in Jand by Esame Okwoche

The parents of a 5 year old boy in Cornwall were served with a ‘ no show invoice ’ for £ 15.95, because their son failed to attend a school mate’s birthday party. The five year old had agreed to attend a schoolmate’s snowboarding themed party, but failed to show.  The celebrants mother even threatened legal action if the parents refused to pay.

As the news broke, it re-opened the raging debate on children parties and the pressure it puts on parents.

‘Why do parties have to be so expensive?’

‘Why do people have to go through so much trouble to celebrate birthday parties, EVERY YEAR?

And then, there are those who go through the trouble of throwing big birthday gigs, then hide their true ages. Really!?

bestie

I remember this lady I met some time ago. I was  taking an evening stroll with my kids that day. It was Autumn and the weather was just right. We were not in a hurry to get home, just kicking dead leaves and talking about everything and nothing.

A car stopped by me. A woman I identified as a parent from my kids’ school stepped out in her glorious blond dyed hair, [which  I loved by the way], and ribbed tights. She was holding a large Sainsbury’s bag, and smiling. I looked behind me, trying to make certain she was smiling at me, because we were not friends, hardly even acquaintances.

She was one of those parents you see often during school runs but never speak to, and then when you see them outside of school, you realise just how familiar they have become.  So you try to be polite. You nod, and they nod, and if you are in close proximity to each other, you make an obvious statement like

‘It’s cold today, isn’t it?’

Or

‘The sun is out today, thank God’

or

‘It’s quite windy today’. They agree with you. And when you are done bashing the London weather, and if you have time, you move on to the weather in Aberdeen.

Usually the familiarity ends there, because when you see each other again during school runs, there will be no need to be familiar. The environment is familiar enough. She was that kind of acquaintance.

So, I realized this frantic wave was for me and so I waved back. She commented on my weight loss, I smiled and acted surprised. She asked me what diet I was on. I told her I run, 30 minutes every morning, up and down the hill.   We laughed about something mundane, something I can’t remember. She whipped out a gold envelop from her bag

happy birthday

‘I am inviting you for my birthday party. You can bring your husband’ she said

‘Okaaaay’ I began, dragging the ok, to allow me time to think. Why was she inviting me? We were not friends, we hardly even talked.

She said all her friends were wearing white. I wondered what was so special about a white top and glad I was not her friend, so I needed not bother.

‘What age are you celebrating?’

‘Don’t worry about the age, just come and enjoy yourself…, here, this is the scarf’ She pulled out a gold gele from the bag she was carrying.

‘So this will go with the white lace, its £15.0 for the gele’ She said, thrusting it into my hands

‘Lace? I thought you meant a white top’.

She looked at me like I was an alien. Uncertainty flitted through her face, as I imagined her thinking that I wasn’t a good invite after all.

When I mentioned it to a friend, she laughed until she cried. And then asked me what planet I lived in. She said people spend way more than that as guests.

To some people, I might sound incredibly naive, but, why is it okay to go through so much hassle just to attend a birthday party. Sewing an outfit in London costs about £70 to £100.0, maybe more + gele, £15.0 + lace, maybe another £100.0, definitely more = £200.0 (approximately).

Why do parties have to be loud and expensive and impersonal?

Why can’t we just huddle around a table and pop a bottle of red wine (or whichever you prefer) and blow the candles off a sponge cake, and make a silly wish, and sing happy birthday?

Whatever happened to an evening out to a restaurant you can afford. Or a meal at home surrounded by people you actually know and love?

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4 Comments

  1. faithladi@yahoo.com

    Nice article and very true. I hope this will make positive impact on peoples unnecessary show-offs.

    Weldone Sabinews!

    Reply
  2. Pearl Osibu

    This is beyond funny. You didn’t tell us what you did. I hope you declined. She didn’t even have the decency to tell you her age. Wobbish. It’s the same culture that pervades wedding ceremonies. Me I only do aso ebi for family o.

    I won’t forget when I was struggling with my project in school. My friend who has never wanted for even a pin in this life, both parents worked in Mobil, holidays abroad n shit. She wanted me to cough up 25k on bridal train dress, more than I spent in a whole semester on food I’m sure. I was bitter, not because she didn’t have the right to have the wedding of her dreams, but because she knew very well I was scraping and she could afford the clothes for all of.us without even noticing. I mean, there were like 5 pre- and after-wedding parties. Wedding attended by governors n shit. But that was when for d first time I realised we weren’t really friends cuz she dropped me from her train. I have long determined that if I will ever have a wedding with a train, I will dress them. I won’t break people’s back so they can be my maids of honour.

    Reply
  3. Calabar Gal

    LOL!! This article is so true!! She looked at me like an alien had me in stitches!!

    I attended a wedding sometime ago and at the time, it does not look like you are throwing moeny away. When I sat down and calculated how much I spent on the last wedding I attended, it came up to about £200. Aso ebi – £50; Tailor (To sew Aso ebi) – £50; Shoe and Bag (To go with Asoebi) – £0; Spraying at Party – £80; Fare to Party – £20; I am not adding the cost of shoe and bag to go with the asoebi cos I decided I would not spend money on those but if I had like other people did, then that would have been an extra £80. Gone are the days when you just pick yourself up and head to a party without spending any money.

    Reply

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