Suppose They Gave a Co-op And Nobody Came?

empty parking lotI’m only late when I’m lost, when I don’t give a shit, when I know I can get away with it, or any variation thereof. So when a homeschooler signs up to attend an event and then doesn’t show up at all, I’m insulted. Because I know, in her case, it’s not because she’s lost.

Online databases are set up where families can register for field trips, single classes or on-going co-ops. There’s usually an RSVP date with columns for the parent’s name, the number of kids, any payment needed or job assignments like bringing a craft, story or snack. Please and Thank You.

Now, I’m no Emily Post, but I’ve always held the belief that when you Répondez s’il-vous-plaît, that means you are committing to attending the event. And while French is not my native language, I don’t believe RSVP translates into “Do whatever the fuck you want.” But, apparently, I was wrong.

Listen, we have all used the-dog-ate-my-homework excuse. And I’ve boned my parents more times than I like to admit by being beyond fashionably late or a total no-show at family events. And I’ve crapped out on many an appointment, party and dinner date in my half-century. But to post a rambling regret the morning of a kids’ co-op is inexcusable. Even for me.

Usually the posts involve sick children or dead cars. Some of us can play the “gotta work” trump card. But this week, we get a straightforward “We won’t be there.” No contrived excuse. No ambiguous “We CAN’T make it,” like a 100-year flood or Klingon force field has blocked their way. Not even an obligatory “Sorry.” Just your basic “Screw you.”

These co-ops don’t happen through spontaneous generation. Even something as seemingly simple as a Moroccan bangle bracelet craft or Nigerian caramelized bananas snack takes thought, effort, expense, time and creativity. So when a parent casually reneges on her promise to provide an important element to an activity, like her family’s attendance, she goes on my “No, screw YOU,” list.

And that, my pretty, is a place nobody wants to be.

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