In today’s “Wait, what?” news, 5-year-old Alex Nash from the UK received an invoice for £16 (about $24) for missing a friend’s ski-park birthday party over winter break. The invoice was put in his backpack during school hours for his mother to find when he came home.
According to Gawker, they received the invoice because Alex’s mother had had a conversation with the birthday boy’s mother weeks prior, when she said he would be coming to the party. However, in a last minute change of plans, Alex opted to spend the day with his grandparents instead. His parents didn’t have the contact info for the birthday boy’s family, so they were unable to call and cancel. Additionally, his father looked out for the birthday boy’s mother to apologize, but didn’t run into her.
This, apparently, was enough justification for the birthday boy’s mom to bill them a “no-show fee.” The invoice was passed onto Alex by his teacher, which is a violation of the school’s policy.
The Nash’s refuse to pay the “fee,” and (I think) rightfully so. Both sets of parents exchanged fighting words in person and over Facebook without coming to a resolution. According to Gawker, the birthday boy’s mom is now threatening to take the Nash’s to small claims court.
The saddest part of the whole thing, really, is that in the battle between parents over a very small and inconsequential amount of money, it is really their children who lose. Alex’s friend won’t play with him at preschool anymore.
We all know the economy isn’t doing so great, and the importance of RSVPs, but this mother’s chosen way of asking for a few bucks to make up for one kid’s absence is crazy. What could have been resolved in polite conversation is now an internationally-viral-story-turned-maybe court-case, and the kids are the ones left in the lurch.