Saturday, November 03, 2007

The birthday party

This afternoon I went to a birthday party for my friend's one-year-old. As I walked in, carrying my gift of a plush Nemo clownfish, I took a deep breath while realizing I would be the only single person there-- certainly one of the only people without a child. Inevitably, I always end up feeling like one of the witches of Eastwick whenever I go to these things. (This includes bridal showers, baby showers and, of course, weddings) Though I did immediately warm up to the tasty fall beverage of Captain Morgan and apple cider, I was definitely uncomfortable.

I was also uncomfortable heading to Toys 'R' Us earlier today when I went to find said Nemo plush, and I felt like a fraud just going to a toystore. (It didn't help that I was feeling slightly fuzzy from last night's barhopping with Urban Princess and kept my oversized Gucci sunglasses on my face for the duration of the shopping trip. I thought maybe I'd look a little Jackie O, but I just looked like I felt slightly fuzzy from last night's barhopping with Urban Princess.)

Walking through the aisles deciding on the little Nemo doll, I couldn't help but wonder if the idea of him was created just to make adults feel better. I mean, here you have a clownfish with a gimpy flipper, but he still manages to do some amazing things. Sure that's great, and adults can then tell their kids, "Even if you have shortcomings, you can do some amazing things." In reality, kids are just freaking mean. Somehow the message is lost when they're sitting in elementary school and they're making fun of the kids that are different than the others-- in reality, Nemo still has a gimpy flipper. It seems parents go to sleep feeling better that since they've shown a Disney DVD, their kid has some Ghandi-like sense of acceptance of mankind.

This party was the same way. The kid was actually forced to go all mud wrestler on his cake, when it just looked like he wanted a nap-- to make the adults feel better. I mean, this kid doesn't have a gimpy flipper or anything, but he was totally overwhelmed by all the staring and the performance anxiety of having fun at his birthday. He's one, he's got his whole life to cry over performance anxiety. 

Now I don't have kids, and there's probably a reason why I haven't even wanted any in my life thus far. I give my friends, all my friends, kudos for even attempting to train their offspring. I have a mother I still can't train, and she's over 60. I don't understand what they're going through, or what changes go through their heads when they all of the sudden have this little person for whom they're responsible. I'm constantly amazed at what they do, and I'm pretty sure there's a reason why I don't seem to be programmed to procreate. 

I'm also pretty sure I'm the Susan Sarandon witch of the group. At least I am now with this hair.


M.R. Larson said...

Nemo has a gimpy flipper?

Holly said...

You never knew this?