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When people show you who they are....

......believe them the first time.

Words of wisdom I learned from Oprah (and she got it from Maya Angelou, I think).

Usually when she says it, she's referring to cheating or abusive husbands, but I think it applies to people across the board.

And those words kind of summed up our weekend.

Note: this is a long one. But it's a very interesting story to say the least, if you can stand to read it all. :o)

The little girl (who I'll refer to hereafter as 'Lulu') who's family kept Mariah waiting (click here for previous post) when they invited her to Sea World...she invited Mariah to her birthday party Saturday at Chuck E. Cheese. As hard as it was to watch Mariah waiting for them in vain and feeling so sad about it a few weeks ago, I was willing to let it be water under the bridge and give them the benefit of the doubt. Things do happen, and since I don't know what happened (because they weren't thoughtful enough to call and explain), who am I to judge.

So we rushed around Saturday morning, getting things done, getting ready, and getting a gift. A half hour before the party was to start, and as I'm getting ready, Mariah gets a call from the little girl. They chatted for a few seconds, then hung up and Mariah tells me "Lulu says they'll call us when they're leaving". I said "well....the party starts at 2, so just tell her we'll be there at 2".

The phone rang again, Mariah talked to Lulu for less than a minute, hung up and then told me "Lulu says her Daddy doesn't have any money so we can't go".


I asked Mariah: "Did she just say her Daddy has no money? Or that her Daddy has no money, so the party is cancelled?".

Mariah reitterated what she had said, but it still wasn't clear to me what was going on. So, not more than 2 minutes after she had gotten off the phone with Lulu, I called them back.

No one answered.

I called 3 more times, no one answered.

Now, I understand having no money. Especially for a party like that...they're expensive. But you don't call 1/2 hour prior to cancel it, and you don't have your 6-year-old call and relay the info to another 6-year. Too much is lost in translation!

So Jesse & I brooded about it, feeling confused and angry....and mostly confused. I feel like I've known a lot of people in my life, interacted with a lot of people, known lots of little girls and their parents since 2000 when I became one, and some people are good, some are weird, some are in between. But nobody does this kind of stuff. And more importantly, no one does it twice.

Mariah went back to playing, and Jesse and I continued brooding, all of us accepting the fact that there was to be no party.

But then I said "You know what? We're going. Get in the car.". I wanted to go there and just see for myself what the situation was, if there really was a party or not. I let Mariah sit and look out the window for 2 hours last time, this time I wanted to do something. I didn't want to find out Monday morning that there had been a party and we missed it because of a half-conversation between two six-year-olds.

And the more I thought about it, I figured that must be the case. Lulu must have misunderstood her dad, and the reason they didn't answer the phone when I called back was because they had already left for the party. See? People are good. Faith in humanity restored.

So we drove over there, walked into Chuck E. Cheese and looked around. We circled the whole place twice, no sight of the little girl or anyone else from school who might be attending the party (Mariah insists everyone in class received an invitation). So I asked an employee to check their schedule, and they informed me there was no party scheduled for a 'Lulu'. However, they said people can still have parties there without having reserved tables. So we waited.

Went outside and waited 1/2 hour. Nothing. I called Lulu's house 3 more times from our cell phone. Nothing. At that point we were convinced: this party isn't happening.

We went home and went on with our lives. I did some gardening outside.

I came in, and Mallory tells me "Lulu's mom called...she said you'll have to wait till Monday.".


"What do you mean?" I asked.

She told me again, Lulu's mom called and left a message on the machine and says we'll have to wait until Monday.

I checked the answering machine, there was no message.

Apparently, Mallory picked up the phone mid-message, so it didn't get recorded. Now I'm relying on a 5 year old to relay this information, which I'm hoping will make sense of the whole mess.

I ask Mallory: "That's all she said? Hi, this is Lulu's mom, you'll have to wait until monday, bye?".

Mallory says "No! She said some stuff at the beginning but I forget!".

So I called them back, no answer. Called again, and....

.....the mom answered.

She tells me (in a happy, distracted, air-headed kind of voice) that her other daughter wrote the invitations and put the wrong date on them. (Her other daughter is a kindergartener). She says 'you know how kids are, ha ha'. 'Must have been a misunderstanding'...those are her actual words.

She says the party is actually Monday, after school. I said well Mariah won't be able to go, she has another party that day (which is true).

There's LOTS of words I wanted to say to this lady, but all I could manage was "you didn't know what date she had put on the invitations until just now?".

She says no, oops, and laughs.

I say "well..... thanks for letting us know, I guess". But, I did not say it very friendly. Take that, lady. ;o)

So that's the story, and these are my thoughts:

1. WTF.

2. What is wrong with these people?

3. Who lets a kindergartener fill out invitations?

4. And by the way, a kindergartener did NOT fill out those invitations. I looked at it over and over. An adult did it.

5. If the party was planned all along for Monday, why did they also write 2pm on it, when school doesn't get out until 2:05? I guess that's the kindergartener's fault too.

5. I can't believe I almost let these people take Mariah to Seaworld.

6. How do they hold down jobs, or get the kids' homework done, with behavior like this?

7. Poor Lulu, it's obviously not her fault and she has to just go with the flow with these people running the household.

8. I'm glad I kept the receipt for the gift.

I never ever confront people, I never even stick up for myself. I let it go and then I write it all out like I'm doing now, I vent to Jesse (or someone else if it's Jesse I'm venting about). But I have never wanted to go off on somebody like I wanted to with these people.

But I was very aware the whole time that this situation was one big 'teachable moment', as far as my girls were concerned. So instead I tried to show them that we don't really know what's going on in these people's lives. Maybe there's more to the story. They most likely don't take pleasure in breaking Mariah's heart...they're just not as dependable as other people are. Lulu is still a great friend to have, we just won't be accepting any invitations to go anywhere or do anything ever again. And that's a shame.

Maybe money really was the issue, and they were just embarrased. No one understands that more than me & Jesse! But you don't determine you're broke and cancel a party 1/2 hour before it starts. And if you do, you call the parents. Yourself.

On the upside though, I decided not to return the gift.

Instead, I gave it to Mariah:

(a do-it-yourself build-a-bear.)


I sewed it, she stuffed it and dressed it and filled out the birth certificate.


She was contented with it. And we were happy to see her happy. Finally. :o)



Courtney said...

Oh Heck NO! Lulu's parents need to get on the ball. Geez!!

I am glad that it was a teachable moment. I have too many of those where I give people a second chance and am disappointed yet again. But UGH!! Not to Mariah!

I am glad she kept the bear. Ok. End of my rant!

Howard Family said...

She's happy she got to keep the bear too. :o)
Yeah something is obviously not right with those parents! Well i HOPE I taught the girls what I wanted to with the whole situation. To trust people & give them the benefit of the doubt, but then graciously not allow yourself to be walked all over either. But who knows if they'll remember it that way! :)

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