Dear Urban Diplomat: Can I ask other parents to chip in for my daughter’s super-expensive birthday party?
My seven-year-old asked her dad and me to hold her upcoming birthday party at Ripley’s Aquarium, and we agreed without thinking about it—or checking ticket prices. She’s already told a dozen of her friends that the trip’s on us, and we assume they’ve told their parents. Turns out a group that size would cost $500, which we don’t want (and can’t really afford) to pay. Is it okay to ask the other parents to chip in?
—Feeling Shellfish, Christie Pits
Self-respecting parents are (or at least should be) smart enough not to treat a broken-telephone invitation as gospel truth, so there’s no shame in explaining the misunderstanding. There is shame, however, in asking them to pay up to fix the problem, especially when they’ve already dropped 30 or 40 bucks on a gift. The only sensible solution is a change of venue. The move might crush your youngster, so be delicate and apologetic when you tell her the truth and ask for her runner-up (in-the-budget) choice.
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