The Loh Life

The Wild Party, Part Three: Helicopter Mom

Sandra Tsing Loh recruits kids for her daughter's birthday party.

Helicopter parents?  Amateurs.  Me - I'm less helicopter mom than Robert Duvall in "Apocalypse Now."  Think a fleet of choppers, napalm, Ride of the Valkyries.

Today's mission?  My daughter Suzy's 12th birthday.  Due to her usual procrastination, it is five days before her big Friday night party and co-ed sleepover, right!  Small wrinkle is she only gave out paper invites two days ago ,and has 1 ½ RSVPs.  This will be a long night of crying.  I can't even conceive of a parent who would drive his kid from Sherman Oaks - where Suzy's school is - to Pasadena - where my house is - on a Friday night, wait for four hours, then pick the kid up.  It's like hoping for a unicorn, which is probably another thing on Suzy's wish list.

As this is a new school, I know none of these kids or their parents.  But, I do have the homework group email list.  Gingerly, I pull it up.  It is an alphabet soup of parental first names like JohnM and Nancy123 and then more helpful addresses like FloresFamily - Or they would be helpful if Suzy could remember any last names.

So, wincing at the possible illegality of it, I send out a few tentative, apologetic notes that say, "My 11-year-old guesses you are the parent of her friend, Tom.  She would like to invite him to her birthday party Friday night in a venue very, very far from you.  I am not a serial killer.  If this is not Tom's dad, please ignore."

And, the first note bounces back immediately from a mom who says, indeed, we have the wrong family.  And, I realize I have inadvertently informed a parent that my daughter Suzy is having a party and her son is not invited.  Terrific!

At which point - I kid you not - my account is hacked, and my IP address starts spewing out ribbons and ribbons of SPAM.

A friend writes, "You just sent me an email that reads: 'I can't believe I've just lost 12 pounds!  Ask me how!'  I think you've been SPAMMED."

And, I write back, "Actually that's not Spam.  I really CAN'T believe I lost 12 pounds.  Although since I wrote someone else that I lost 8 pounds and another that I lost 16, I am also apparently drunk."

But then, a dad writes back - amazingly - that we got the right email, and his daughter wants to attend the party, so the parents will drop her off at 6, go to dinner, and pick her up at 10.  It'll be date night!

Another mom writes that her son would love to come, but as she's already madly chauffeuring her three other children to Friday night events, can I give him a ride?  Sure!  Anything to pump up the numbers!

Next week: Tween Jumanji!


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