This is where it gets tricky.

Pool required. Hospitality not necessary.

Some of you might remember the post I wrote, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When School Volunteering Goes Wrong.  It generated a bunch of comments. It’s by far the worst—and last– tangle I’ve had with Willows School politics.


So, when an Evite popped up on my screen inviting my family to the 5th grade end of year pool party, imagine my delight disgust as soon as I saw the host. Its HER. The grandmother mom who still can’t look at me or speak to me after four years. Of course, I practically run when I see her, lest you think I’m smiling and waving hello.


I hit the delete button, but not before emailing the Evite to my husband with a “hell no” on the message. “Who else would want to do it?” came his reply.


Of course, I understand why this particular family is hosting this party. First, you must have a pool and yard large enough to hold kids from two classes (about 50 kids). You’ve also got to be willing to pay for it. And hire a lifeguard. And, most importantly, be willing to deal with the machinations behind private school gatherings.


What’s not necessary is to be on speaking terms with all the families in your grade. That obviously isn’t required to host this event.




Now that we have a pool, maybe I’ll offer to host next year!

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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

7 thoughts to “This is where it gets tricky.”

  1. CARPOOL. You have two kids right? You go to the one party and send your 5th grade child to Satan’s house with a trusted friend.

  2. How uncomfortable! Hopefully you come up with an easy solution that will allow your daughter to hang with her friends (if that’s workable) and for you to not have to worry about dealing with such an unpleasant situation, for which you should not feel guilty, obligated, etc…. To use a cliche, life is too short to fret over or expel any energy on trying to get along with everyone, or deal with unpleasant people, just because your kids ended up at the same school! Would be nice, but in a perfect world…. good luck!
    I am sorry that you have been made to feel unwelcome. I wish the moms who have engaged in this behavior had better things to do… For your own sake, I hope that writing this was cathartic and will help you let it go too…. (easier said than done sometimes, right?) best wishes, Christina

  3. I would probably just skip it too. It’s just a party, right? You can do something fun as a family and move on….

  4. Tough one…. I’d probably suck it up and take my son (assuming parents have to go and I’d have other “allies” there to talk to)… If it’s a thing that you can drop him off then DEFINITELY send him. This is tricky though… If he’s not phased by missing it then screw it all together. your pool looks LOVELY anyway 😉

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