Thursday, October 09, 2008

The ongoing drama about the upcoming party

Okay, so there's been some stuff going that I didn't really know about until last year, but I guess that it's been a problem for other people for a while now. Our club has an annual Halloween party, and it's a really big deal and we plan stuff for it all year. And a few of us have children, so there are usually a few kids at this party. And then sometimes there are a few extra kids at this party, because someone invited the children of the people who work where the party is held.

So I didn't particularly like that there were these other kids hanging around the party, but it didn't really seem to bother anybody else. And then I was told that not only had these kids been invited, but that someone in our club actually bought tickets for them to be able to go. So they weren't just showing up to get free food and candy like I thought, and if someone wants them there enough to buy them tickets, I guess that's the end of my wanting to get rid of the kids that don't really belong there.

But other people have other problems with the kids. Like there are some parents who don't watch their kids. They show up and then just sort of take a break from being parents, if they even bother being parents the rest of the time. They expect grandma to watch the kids, or the person organizing the party to watch the kids, or the group in general to watch the kids, or whatever. So that's rude to begin with, and not safe either. So the people in charge of the party would tell someone that they needed to watch their kids, only to be told that something along the lines of I bought a ticket so watching the kids isn't my job tonight.

Also there have been a few accidents from kids running here and there. And people have on these costumes that they've worked on and spent money on, and they don't want to trip over these kids, and they don't want these kids running into them, but sometimes it's hard to see out of these costumes, and the kids aren't supposed to be running around like that anyway. So sometimes there are accidents and wardrobe malfunctions.

And then there is the problem of having the kids in what is normally an adults only place that serves alcohol. And until recently it has been okay, as long as the kids stay away from the bar area. But now the rules are that the kids are to stay away from the bar area, and what counts as the bar area has changed a little bit, and the kids are to stay out of a certain room where the bar is unless their adult is with them. But last year the kids did not stay out of the room, and there's even a picture of one of the kids actually sitting at the bar.

Also we tried to have some new rules about the smaller children. We had a special children's area, and the children under a certain age had to stay in that area unless their adult was with them, and the adults that brought the children were supposed to take turns watching the kids. And there was a sign-up sheet and you were supposed to take your turn, or turns depending on how many children you brought, and if you didn't want to stay that long in the children's area you were supposed to pay extra to pay the babysitter that one of the parents hired to help out for the evening. But some parents didn't take their turn and didn't pay the babysitter either.

So now there is a rule that the children of the people who work at the place cannot have their children at the place, even if the people renting the place have invited them. They just aren't allowing any children, even their own, in the place with the bar, and to be on the safe side their kids aren't allowed in at all. So that ends the problem of me not liking having kids around that aren't ours.

Not that we think that any of the children, theirs or ours, are drinking alcohol, but it would still look very bad if there was an accident or a surprise health inspection or something.

Since we were still having problems with the older children and teenagers going into the bar area, and the special children's area didn't work out due to some of the parents of the younger children, it was decided that this year should be an adults only party. And that would be better than having some people in the place following the rules and some that don't, and trying to decide who should be allowed to bring their kids and who shouldn't. Just make the new rule that no children are allowed at the party at all.

About twenty people who actually care about the party and are on a committee and such decided to take a vote, and maybe a few of them didn't vote but the rest voted for the adults only party. So that was a couple of months ago, and I thought that the matter was settled. And I think that it was announced a few weeks ago and no one argued about it, though a few said that they were disappointed.

But then someone complained that everyone should vote, or that at least the club officers should vote, not just this committee of random people. So we are having another vote, about a week before the party, just to make a few people happy who didn't get a vote earlier, but we don't really expect the outcome to change.

So now someone is saying that that is too late to decide something like this, and that we should vote now, online. So I think that if it is too late to decide something like this, we should say that it has already been decided and go with the original vote. Or maybe have the club officers vote, since most of them already voted and most have probably not changed their minds.

I personally am about as anti-alcohol as you can get. So if it were just the problem with the bar, I would ask if there was some way to lock up the bar itself without closing off that whole room, and just not have a bar. Send the bartender home for the night. No alcohol. This has always bothered me a bit anyway. Problem solved.

But that isn't the only problem, and I'm not sure that they could do that anyway. Or if they could do that, they might just not rent us the space rather than lose whatever they might make selling drinks that night, which I hope isn't much anyway. But they probably figure in some amount that they hope to make with the bar when they figure up how much to charge for renting the place, and they might not rent to us or they might charge more rent for closing the bar.

In any case, I would be curious how that would go. Would people vote to keep the kids at a party with no bar, or vote to keep the bar at the adults only party.

But that isn't the only problem. If we don't just flat out say that no kids are allowed, then we have the problem of telling specific people that we don't want their kids at the party, that their kids do not follow the rules, or perhaps we would have to tell the parents that they are the ones not following the rules. It seemed more polite somehow to just say no kids allowed instead of only the good kids are allowed, and then having to decide which ones are the good kids.

I don't think that there's anything wrong with telling someone that their kids are not behaving and that they need to step up. But then I don't think I want the job of being the one having to tell that to the parents, and I don't think that anyone else wants the job either. And I especially do not want that job during the party, cause it's our party that we've looked forward to all year, and it's supposed to be fun.

If the vote changes, then I think that other things will have to be discussed. Like if you bring kids then the kids have to stay with you at all times, the kids aren't even allowed to go to the bathroom without you walking to the bathroom with them, and if any kid is somewhere without an adult in charge that both the kid and the parent (or grandparent, or uncle, or whatever) will have to leave the party right then, and their will be no refunds of tickets. And then if that still doesn't work, and one of the kids goes to the bar area and this causes a problem and they don't want to rent us the space next year, where are we going to have the party next year? Cause if people feel that strongly about it not being an adult only party, then I think that they need to come up with an alternate plan ahead of time. It's too late to have it a different place this year, but I wonder if anyone wanting to invite kids has given that any thought.

So that's what I would like to know. Would people vote to close the bar if it meant some of the kids could stay? Would someone volunteer to tell certain parents that they can't bring their kids to the party if it meant some of the kids could stay? Would someone volunteer to enforce really strict rules on the kids who are allowed to stay? Would someone volunteer to plan a whole different party at a different place if we are asked not to come back to this place?

Or do people just want to complain until we give in and invite the kids back to the party, and just leave all the problems for the people who tried to deal with everything last year?


dmarks said...

No surprise that I'd vote to close the bar. I am only slightly less anti-alcohol than you are.

That doesn't solve the problem of wild kids, but it might solve some problem of wild/drunk adults if that happens.

laughingattheslut said...

We do not have a lot of wild/drunk adults. We did once have someone who had enough to drink that he couldn't quite follow what I was saying, which was too bad, because I was saying some really funny stuff. I think mostly at the bar we have some people having a bit of fun ordering their drinks shaken not stirred, or perhaps ordering drinks that have not been invented yet.

Most of our problem adults are adults who are either technically members but only show up for two events during which they just dump their kids on other people, or else we have people who aren't even technically members but are family of members and they show up once or twice a year and expect us to entertain their kids for them. Not my kids, and not my job.

Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I don't drink much alcohol, it makes walking even more difficult than usual for me.

Most 'social club' type places like to open the bar because they get the bar takings as well as the cost of hiring out the room to your club.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to have an 'adults only' party for your club. The people with kids could always organise an afternoon kid-oriented event on another date if they wanted.

dmarks said...

It'd be fun to show up and tend bar for a few minutes, just to see the reaction when someone jokingly orders a Romulan ale, and I produce the actual bottle of Romulan ale which I do have.

bulletholes said...

If this party is as big as it sounds (20 people on the planning committee) then its hard to allow kids, unless you provide some form of supervision. Add alcohol and its every man for himself.

laughingattheslut said...

Now you know you don't want to be giving away your Romulan Ale, especially now that Quark's Bar in Vegas is closed.

We have tried providing special supervision for the kids, by the parents taking turns and by hiring extra help of a babysitting, who was supposed to be paid by the parents. The babysitter was paid, though not everyone paid their share, and several parents did not put in their share of the time watching the kids either.

The argument is now being made that the kids are equal members in the club. That argument is being countered with if the kids are equal, then they do not deserve special treatment at the party and the individual parents are just going to have to watch their own kids, and there won't be anything for the kids to do so they might as well not come anyway.