Listen up, ladies: it's time to band together. Remember, together we can change the world -- or at least the annoying and unnecessary tradition of dolling out goody bags at birthday parties.
Yvette Manessis Corporon: It all started innocently enough. This weekend was my son's 6th birthday, so I went ahead and invited his entire kindergarten class and a few assorted friends to the shindig. Mind you, this was not an over-the-top extravaganza -- I've never been a fan of those. Instead I opted for a pizza-fueled sports party at our local church gym. Simple and stress-free; or so I thought ... but that was before the dreaded goody bags ruined everything, including my bank account and mood.
Don't get it? You do the math. Twenty-seven kids equals twenty-seven goody bags -- which equals an hour at the damn party store staring at bags of cheap plastic crap, and me wondering what the heck I'm going to stuff the stupid bags with. Several packages of whistles, tattoos, cheap plastic medals, and assorted candies later, I had the makings of a modest loot bag. Now I say modest because as we all know, our kids sometimes come home with loot bags loaded with toys, games, and candy that you and I both know probably cost the parents a pretty penny. Did I mention that most of this ridiculous paraphernalia comes in packs of 12, so I had to buy 3 packs of everything just to make enough for all the invited kids, not to mention the assorted siblings that always show up and make doe eyes at the parents dolling out the parting gifts. Ka-ching, ka-ching ... it all quickly adds up.
It took me another hour sitting on the floor, stuffing the stupid bags while cursing the person who ever had the bright idea to give kids parting gifts just for showing up at a party, getting sugared up, and singing "Happy Birthday." That's one hour of my life I'll never get back -- an hour I could have spent exercising, organizing my closet, or just staring into the mirror and contemplating my quickly graying hair.
Here's the thing: if the goody bags really made a difference in our kids' lives, I wouldn't be so livid. But we all know the bitter truth -- our kids take the loot bags, rip them open, look inside, and are amused by the contents for about a hot minute. By the time you make it home, your kids have forgotten all about the stuff some parent wasted precious time and money on while your house then becomes littered with assorted whistles, rubber balls, and stickers your kids will never even play with.
So let's solve this problem once and for all. Please, let's make a pact to end this ridiculous and wasteful practice. Forget loot or goody bags -- let's call these bags what they really are: ludicrous good-for-nothing bags.
|Yvette Manessis Corporon is an Emmy award-winning writer and producer. She is also the co-author of "Peeing in Peace: Tales and Tips for Type A Moms." Yvette lives in New York with her husband and two children.|