Monday, August 4, 2008

Life Lessons

(Here we are at, I believe, my 10th birthday party.
The birthday girl is in the chic green ensemble.)

"If you don't want to invite everyone, then you're not having a birthday party."

Can't give Oprah credit, this one comes from Mom. I believe there was only one other girl in my grade school class who had to follow this edict. It didn't make us any more popular with the popular kids, but I'm pretty sure we were worshiped and adored by The Untouchables: the kids with lisps, greasy glasses and ill-fitting hand-me-downs. Every year, they knew that even they would be invited to at least two birthday parties.

By the time we reached Junior High, I think even Mom realized this was a lost cause; the caste system was firmly in place and pretending otherwise was an exercise in denial. Probably because of Mom's inclusive policies, I fell squarely in the middle of the popularity continuum: nowhere near Cool, equidistant from Total Loser. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have been bringing up the rear, with a "kick me" sign on my back.

Mom was right about this... like everything else (big surprise). There is no such thing as erring on the side of kindness.

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