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Imagine Billing Latinos for Not Showing Up to a Party

Have you heard about the mom who sent an invoice to parents whose child was a no-show at her kid's birthday party? It's a story that has spread across social media and has many people talking about what is and isn't appropriate. Most people are bashing the mom for sending a bill and defending the other parents right to refuse to pay. Honestly, kids party etiquette shouldn't be that complicated.

Yes, charging guests for no-shows is tacky (and something I would never do) but I can understand why the mom sent the bill. (This mom could be setting a new trend. Let's hope not, though.) Maybe it was a financial burden to put out the money in advance. Maybe they couldn't invite someone else, to make room for a kid who didn't show up.

But you know what else is tacky? Not showing up to a party after you said you would be there.

And yet, people expect and accept this behavior. Why are we willing to excuse one lack of social etiquette, but condemn another?

Latinos are notorious for being late, for showing up to a party without RSVP-ing and/or not showing up at all without any explanation. An RSVP on a party invite is seen as more of a suggestion than anything else. We accept it and we laugh it off. Because can you imagine sending an invoice to your Tia Blanca's kids or your cousin Carmen for skipping out on a party? That could easily start a familia feud! And the chisme... that would never go away.

We all know how birthday parties work. The person who invited you is footing the bill, and you show up with a gift. I get that things come up that are beyond our control, but if you say you're going to go, the right thing to do let the person know if you can no longer attend. A quick call or text will do. And if for some reason, you can't notify them the day of, you reach out as soon as you can. That's just common courtesy.

Latinos are notorious for being late, for showing up to a party without RSVP-ing and/or not showing up at all without any explanation. An RSVP on a party invite is seen as more of a suggestion than anything else. We accept it and we laugh it off. Because can you imagine sending an invoice to your Tia Blanca's kids or your cousin Carmen for skipping out on a party? That could easily start a familia feud! And the chisme... that would never go away.

The no-show is one of the reasons why I've never thrown a birthday party with kids from school for my son. Birthdays at party halls can range between $400-$1,500. There are child minimum requirements, party add-ons and planning can be stressful. And paying per child adds up, so I would have to be selective with who I invite. And if I left someone out to accommodate a child who never bothered to show up (after their parents already RSVP'd "yes") — well, I'd be annoyed. Would I send an invoice? No. Probably not. But they may not get an invite ever again.

And if someone ever sent me an invoice for not showing up to a party, I'd pay just to keep the peace.

Explore More: mamá a mamá, Latina Mom
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