Party Peeves

We went to a couple family parties this weekend. One was a Labor Day bar-b-que – which was relatively mild; the other was a family dinner in honor of the seventh birthday of my cousin’s kid. These parties (the latter for the most part) inspired me to compile yet another list of pet peeves. Today while we were eating lunch at Panda Express, I got a little teary over the music they were playing and realized it must be getting close to Rag Time, so excuse me if my reasoning sounds particularly bitchy.

Party Peeve 1:

You Scratch My Back, I’m Not Scratching Yours

How many birthday parties have we gone to where the other person never comes to ours? These people with this seven year old kid (relatives of my Trailer Trash Mom) are the worst offenders. They are the only real family we have in California – which makes it particularly difficult – because every kid party we have they never show up for, making ours sort of un-kid kid parties.

Year after year, though, I send down a gift when it’s time for one of their two kids to celebrate another birthday. When they have a family party for it, we make the two hour drive there and two hour drive back and bring wine and a side dish. We smile. We listen to people talk about their hillbilly family dramas. We show interest when my aunt talks about all the oppressions put upon her working for the Girl Scouts. We laugh when her husband tells jokes about watching pornography on the Internet.

But when it comes time for a kid party here, they can’t make the same trek.

Party Peeve 2:

Cow-Towing To the Old People

I’m sure when I’m elderly, I’ll want everyone to cow-tow to me like they do at my family parties. Kiss my ass and act like everything I say is plated in gold and shit. I’m not being a dick, either, by saying it’s a problem to let the elderly have the comfortable chairs or use the bathrooms first or whatever would make me sound like a real asshole. Because that’s not what I mean.

By cow-towing I mean that everyone in the family acts as they always do – as though what the old people say goes. An example: my grandma and grandpa went to college in Nebraska, so of course are Cornhusker fans. But if you aren’t a Cornhusker fan too, you have to sit there for forty-five minutes while grandpa fucking yells at you for being such a dumb ass. It’s really mean, actually, if you think about it because he will shout at you and tell you to get out of his presence if you support a team other than the Cornhuskers.

Just about everyone in the family swore their allegiance to the Cornhuskers a long time ago just to get grandpa to shut the hell up.

Party Peeve 3:

Feeding Kids Different Food

Oh dear God, this really roasts my ass. If you think it’s totally acceptable to let your kid drag you around by your she-balls, and therefore prepare meal after meal after meal until you settle on Spaghetti-O’s because your precious cargo has been conditioned (by you) to be a terribly picky and unhealthy eater – well then you should stop reading now. Because I don’t tolerate that shit, and so it really pisses me off when other people do it at a kid’s party we attend.

I can see that not all kids at the party are healthy eaters and the host just doesn’t want them to go hungry. I’ll accept that a lot of people were born and raised in a barn and, therefore, don’t care much about instilling basic values in their kids’ upbringing.

At our house, you have to try everything that is put on your plate. If we go out to eat or to someone else’s home for dinner, we all eat what is served. We do not request that people make us something special because we’d rather have neon-orange fat-O’s in a can.

At the family dinner Sunday night, they served BBQ chicken, bread rolls, fresh fruit – all in all, a pretty healthy meal. You can imagine, then, that I was fucking livid when I saw my mom carrying plates of per-request food for all the kids, none of which had BBQ chicken or fruit. All of which were covered in Spaghetti-O and macaroni and cheese slop.

Party Peeve 4:

Inadequate Planning

When I plan a party, I typically plan everything down to the “T.” It isn’t what you faithful blog followers are probably thinking: that I’m terribly anal retentive and OCD. (Well I am, but that isn’t what this is about.) The thing is that when people take the time and effort to come to a party you’ve thrown, the least you can do is have things organized at least enough so that things don’t get out of control and chaotic.

I mean, every party in which kids are involved is going to have a little chaos. But at least have it be organized chaos.

This party on Sunday was so poorly planned (go figure, it was done by my mother and her sister with the porno-watching-husband). It was supposed to be a kid’s party (sort of), but they really didn’t plan anything for the kids to do besides terrorize everyone else with chaos, out of control screaming, and whining that they were bored.

Of course my Trailer Trash Mom was too busy rambling on about her recent Hillbilly Husband sagas to actually entertain the kids. My aunt was busy cooking the food. My grandpa was yelling at me for being a Notre Dame fan, instead of the Cornhuskers. My aunt’s husband was in the other room looking at his Internet porn. Pretty much everyone else was just sitting back, watching carnage unfold until finally, towards the end of the party, Poor Nick and I took charge and played Duck-Duck-Goose with the kids to try and get things under control.

Party Peeve 5:


This is always a sensitive subject for some people. I get it: people didn’t come to the party to see my fancy house or my fancy clothes. So the place isn’t perfectly cleaned, and I’m wearing sweatpants – but we’re family so it should be OK, right? Or as a guest, you should just be grateful that I came and spent the money on a birthday gift and the time preparing these appetizers and the gas driving down and my Sunday that could have been spent doing something else I actually want to do, so I should be cool in these coolots and halter top, no?

Actually, NO. You should not be “cool” or “down” with people dressing down for a party. As is the case with organization, the least people could do is wear regular clothes or even just pants. When I opened the door to my aunt and her husband’s home Sunday, you can all imagine my surprise when I was greeted by her porno-watching husband wearing nothing but a t-shirt and Cornhusker boxer shorts. Maybe he was trying to impress my grandpa. Maybe he needed easy-access for when he’d be spending the duration of the party in the other room, looking at Internet pornography. Maybe he was just really hot. I don’t know, I just thought he could have actually put a pair of pants or at least shorts on. His boxers, in combination with my mother’s pant-wedgie that lasted the duration of the entire party and seemed to cause her nothing but pleasure, made the dresscode at this particular hillbilly brawl just intolerable for me.

After the lack of organization, the food problems, the underpants, the screaming at me for not pledging my loyalty to the Cornhuskers, and my mom rubbing her pant-wedgie further and further up her asscrack during the inevitable family photos that always cap off a family party with these people, I had just about had it.

What are your party pet peeves, faithful blog followers?


  1. STFU Fridays, with our special guest: STFU Socrates | B(itch) Log

    […] in my grocery blog as I thought he would; to my trailer trash mom, who complains when I don’t go to family parties but then dumps on every time I offer to host them at our […]

  2. lifestooshorttoplaypossum

    I was thinking about this post today…
    I have a friend who loves to throw parties…she cooks up a storm..makes sure there is plenty of beer and booze…BUT…never once has she thought about what the KIDS will drink. Yes, she specifically invites kids too. Then again she’s half in the bag before it even begins. 9 times out of 10 I’ve gone and gotten something so these poor kids don’t have to drink water at a party. And she wonders why we don’t attend anymore.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I’ve been to parties like that too, and then I totally understand when the kids get something different. These family parties we go to out here, though, always serve stuff any kid would eat.

  3. lifestooshorttoplaypossum

    I LOVE your perspectives on your hillbilly family (no offense). It’s awesome.
    We have kind of a similar situation.
    My cousin used to faithfully invite us to her kids birthdays. Mind you, although we COULD go, we usually did not…but ALWAYS sent a gift. I just can’t do the hillbilly party, my patience, grace and class just can’t take it. We finally figured out …her “party” is all about getting the gift. We give good gifts.
    The last one was a birthday party, at the local park…at 9 am. I was told she had it early because …that way she didn’t have to serve anything but cake. CAKE at 9 am. um okay. Then she cancelled the party but made sure to call to tell us we could just drop the gift off at the house. Oh but they won’t be home. They will be at the party…a change in venue. It will now be at her mom’s house (actually closer to our house than the original venue)…so we could just leave the gift on her doorstep.
    So….. let me see.
    you invited us…are too cheap to even break out a bowl of chips…and then UNINVITE us…but still want the gift.
    yeah, uh no. I told her…not to worry about not being home to get the gift because we weren’t dropping one off. Freakin’ Hillbilly.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Good job for not dropping that gift off!! How terribly rude!! And it’s no offense taken to refer to my mom’s family is “hillbilly” … they are total hillbillies. It’s both awful and humorous, all at the same time!

  4. Connie

    I hate family photos with my dad’s family, they all act like it’s so awful to have to smile and look at the camera for 2 seconds. And they’re also the bunch that every single camera has to be used to take exactly the same shot. UGH! I, too, despise those people that let their kids rule the house and will therefore buy them every damned thing they ask for and make them a special meal separate from what everyone else is eating “because he/she’s a picky eater”. Bullshit! And I also don’t like the “I don’t dress for a party” wardrobe. Put some clothes on that are at least more than pajamas for goodness sake.

  5. just keep swimming

    I just realized that any party I ever throw will top the one you went to this weekend so suddenly all of the pressure is off. I totally needed this. Thanks!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Hahaha – I felt the same way!! We are throwing a Thanksgiving party and I was like “well, pressures off now!!” hahaha

  6. alienredqueen

    Family pictures were always such a pain in the ass with my mother’s side of the family…likewise, the annual CHristmas “Chinese Gift Exchange,” or whatever it was. It git to the point where I was like, “no, do not count me in for the gift exchange.” Everything is a big 45 minute production for getting the pix and stuff organized. Luckily, now all that side of the family pretty much hates each other. Well, that takes care of those pesky family photos.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I know exactly what you mean! And everyone wants a shot with their own camera.

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