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It was the party no-show heard ’round the world pretty much thanks to social media. Don’tcha just love it?

On a positive note, it brings an interesting twist to the table on handling no-shows for parties and, heck, while we’re at it, how about wedding receptions?  At 50 bucks-plus a plate, why shouldn’t the guests who say they are coming then reneg due to circumstances unknown be obligated to pay for their no-show?

The story goes that a 5-year-old boy named Alex, who planned to attend a classmate’s birthday party at a skiing center of some sort in England. The cost for each child to participate was $24.13. At the last minute, according to published online reports, Alex decided that he would rather visit with visiting grandparents instead of attending the party, even though he had replied that he planned to attend. According to Alex’s parents, they were unable to contact the birthday boy’s mother due to holiday break when the party occurred. As a result, no regret was given and Alex appeared, so to speak, as a no-show.

Alex’s no-show spurred the birthday boy’s mom to send an invoice to school to send home with Alex. Alex arrives home from school with said invoice in his bookbag titled “Child’s Party No-Show Fee.”

Huh? Seriously?

Well, Alex’s parents refused to pay the bill, and birthday boy’s mommy plans to take the couple to court to retrieve the money. At this point, according to an article on Yahoo Parenting, Alex’s classmates aren’t speaking to him because he missed the party, his parents were wrong to not try and contact the birthday boy’s family to cancel Alex’s attendance and birthday boy’s mommy should have left the school out of it by contacting Alex’s parents personally to handle the matter.

I agree with many bloggers, posters and writers regarding responding and attending kids’ parties, or any party, for that matter. Practice common courtesy. Reply if you are coming or not, or worse, don’t just show up — which happened at my son’s fourth birthday party. Let’s just say I ended up unexpectedly paying for two more relatives’ heads that I wasn’t expecting because I never heard anything from the parents. Still, they were there for my son and I embraced that fact.

In conclusion, the guest-who-doesn’t-show-up-should-pay debacle shed some light on proper event etiquette. If you receive an invitation to an event, kindly respond if you plan to attend or decline. If you reply with a yes, make every effort to attend. If life happens, make every effort to contact your host and express your regret. Either way, communicate, people! Party planners, be it parents, a wedding couple or parents to be when it comes to baby showers, work hard for their money. If they end up paying for a locked-in price (some places demand final head count and lock that price in for the big day), then yes, it’s money wasted  for the host(s).