Monday, March 9, 2009
Jennifer is stresed out. She's throwing a birthday party for her 3 year old and just found out what's expected for the fête. In other words, if she wants to keep her cool maman reputation intact, she needs to get a bank loan to throw her kid a birthday party!
She found out that you can't just do a plain old birthday cake and pin-the-tail-on-the donkey. Maybe in Marseilles you can, but not in the 16th arrondisement of Paris!
It's a full-on fête for toddlers and their parents.
La Mom filled Jennifer in on how large the bank loan's gotta be. Here's an itemized loan listing for your reading pleasure. Feel free to modify as needed, but remember, you risk your reputation if you're caught skimping...
BIRTHDAY PARTY BANK LOAN BUDGET
Guests: 10 toddlers + their younger siblings (10) + parents (20) = 40 people cramped into a small Parisisan apartment (even if it's a big apartment it still feels small with 40 people.)
Party duration: 2.5 hours
FOR THE KIDS:
~1 organic, American style birthday cake (for 35 people/elaborate decoration - Dora & Diego) = 75 euros
~3 bottles of organic orange juice from Le Bon Marché = 12 euros
~Dora & Diego party decorations = 20 euros
~10 party bags (contents: one *hero* toy, in this case a stuffed animal from Bonpoint) = 10 euros + various goodies (budget another 5 euros/bag) = 150 euros
~entertainment (annoying animateur/master of toddler ceremonies who covers all the 16th arrondissement parties) = 2.5 hours @ 350 euros
~1 babysitter to look after the baby siblings = 3 hrs @10 euros/hr = 30 euros
FOR THE PARENTS:
~1 helper (to coat check/pass out food/tidy up/babysit/patrol the back of the apartment to make sure nobody's husband has gotten "lost" with one of your mommy friends and wound up in your bathroom "admiring" the imported Italian bath tiles) = 3 hrs @ 10 eur/hr = 30 euros
~6 bottles of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne = 222 euros
~6 bottles of wine (and a plug for Big Cheese's family): Chateau Bizard Cotes du Rhone = 60 euros
~1 six pack of Perrier sparkling water = 5 euros
~1 six pack of Evian water = 4.50 euros
~1 box of 59 La Durée macarons = 80 euros
~2 platters of petits fours from Le Notre (don't *gasp* go with frozen finger food from Picard!) = 100 euros
~10 mini bouquets of baby roses from the local market for the moms = 40 euros
Birthday Party Bank Loan Total = 1178.50 euros
By the way, if you don't go all out for your tot's party, you're secretly known as a Tulip Mom in certain expats circles of the 7th, 8th and 16th arrondissements.
Why a Tulip Mom? Here's a little quiz...
Where do tulips come from? Holland.
Who has the reputation of being the cheapest people in Europe? The Dutch.
Is there a secret message when an expat snob mom brings you a bouquet of tulips as a gift? Of course! She's not being nice, she's secretly telling you (and the other moms) that she thinks you're cheap.
So would you take out a bank loan for your kid's birthday party? Or would you prefer doing it your way at the risk of being branded a Tulip Mom?
PS- The French TV channel M6 just launched a new soap opera called "Paris 16th." Reviews say the soap is a total caricature of 16th arrondissement life (imagine Beverly Hills 90210.) La Mom's certainly not helping the 16th's reputation, is she?