Several weeks ago we were out front making fuzzy sidewalk chalk art when one of the moms from our neighborhood came by with her kids. She passed us an invitation to a Halloween Costume Party. Briar started chirping “party” and Avery gleefully parroted her, “Paw-tee. Pah- DEE!” I laughed and shook my head in that oh-aren’t-kids-precious way you do with someone you have absolutely nothing in common with other than your kids. Seems to be some weird, forced way of creating a common bond and so help me it is an impulse I cannot resist.

I followed with, “Oh of course we will come. We cannot wait. We’ll go buy costumes right now.” I felt huge shades of Molly Ringwald wash over me. Shut up, Amanda. You’ve got the invitation, leave well enough alone. “Oh and please, please, please, please let me know if there is anything we can bring, or anything I can do to help!” I might have offered to mow her lawn and hose down the drive, I really can’t remember.

She thanked me and headed on her way to deliver more invitations. Briar was pawing at the invitation so I bent down to show her. I fleetingly wondered if maybe we were invited by default, standing between her and the popular girls down the way, handing us an invitation being a means to an end. Then I saw it, the invitation bore the names “Avery” and “Briar” across the top. It had been planned. I think this means that we have officially been added to the neighborhood invitation distribution list.

I realized yesterday that the invitation requested an RSVP by the 18th. Damnit, it was the 20th. I called and left a message:

“Hi. It’s Amanda. Amanda from down the street. Ah, I am Avery and Briar’s mom. I was just calling about the party. I hope you knew that when you handed us the invitation and I said we were coming that we were indeed coming. I just, I know I am rsvp’ing late, unless you took the yes when you came by as our rsvp. I just, I should have called, but I was so sure we’d come. I hope it’s ok. If you need anything please let me know. I’d be happy to bring anything you might need or pitch in during the party. Just give me a call. Ok, so, hopefully we can still come, I mean, we will come, I just hope we don’t throw your numbers off. We’ll see you tomorrow. Again, call if you need anything. Thanks.”

I cannot leave a message that is shorter than two minutes, throw in my neighborhood clique neurosis and you are sure to get a ten minute message. “Hopefully we can still come?! Ugh. I was left with a message hangover. The party was at 2 today and by noon I still hadn’t gotten a call. If the girls hadn’t been so excited I just might have bagged the whole thing.

We made our way to the party, the girls in their short sleeved costumes were comfortable in the nearly 80 degree weather. It all worked out as our host poo pooed my worries and said that she hadn’t called because she knew we were coming and she didn’t need any help. I beamed, maybe I’m not a total misfit?

And our girls? Not misfits, but they do prefer swings to candy and do seem a bit stunned by the antics of the other kids.