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Why I’ll give in to the evil goody bags

Submitted by on Thursday, 28 May 2009 No Comment

goody_bagOf late I dread the end of every party the guys go to, not because they’re going to cry as the fun comes to a close but because they’re going to line up with their little hands out like they’re expecting government cheese.

And every little host or hostess will comply to some degree and turn over the loot.

Maybe it will be a collection of candy and the latest from Oriental Trading. Or perhaps a low-key pencil and sticker collection. Or, worse come to worst, something loud and noisy that will make you remember you forgot to refill the ibuprofen bottle in your purse.

Speaking of which, I owe a retroactive apology to Boots’ preschool classmates from three years ago. The train whistles looked really cute in the catalog. If it’s any consolation, I continue to this day to suffer  – we still have a stash in the closet.

Even the local police got in on the act at a recent event, handing out a bag of swag the likes of which the guys have never seen.

There were coloring books and comic books, stencils and stickers, pencils and plastic badges. There was a police-car shaped whistle – is it so slow for the local mental health center that the police have to drum up business?

If you want to know what’s single-handedly responsible for landfill expansions everywhere, look no further than the goody bag. Kids love them, parents hate them, yet they’re de rigeur in kiddie social circles.

Big Guy was horrified last year that I was gauche enough to not provide them for his preschool party. He was somewhat mollified when I agreed to Batman party blow-outs – not the noisy kind. I’d learned from the train whistles.

And this year, now that Big Guy has a wider circle of friends and goes to more parties, the pressure is on.

I’m not even going to attempt to resist. As much as I hate them – really, they’re worse than Happy Meal toys – I realize they provide social capital in Big Guy’s world, if only for fleeting seconds before they’re torn to bits, strewn through out the house and hidden deep in the garbage a few days later.

There are less-annoying ways to do it. The last party we went to, the luau, hit on the perfect combination: a pencil, a miniature beach ball the guys still are playing with almost two weeks later and a single tattoo.

It was enough bling to keep the kids happy, but not so much that I was mentally rolling my eyes even as the kids smile sweetly and say “thank you.”

Wonder if those beach balls come in a Batman motif.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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