Welcome to Literary Mama Rewind! Every few weeks we’ll round up some of our favorite essays, stories, poems, columns and reviews from the Literary Mama archives relating to a particular theme. We are rolling into the season of parties and holiday events, so this month we’ve collected a set of stories to get you thinking about RSVP’s, extended family, and how to navigate having a social life while also being a mother.
The Kismet of Mumtaz by Nabeela M. Rehman in Fiction
No one shows up to an Indian dinner party on time. Everyone knows to come at least two hours after the stated invitation, but her husband had gotten the odd notion that they would “come early and leave early.” As Mumtaz expected, only the arthritic mother-in-law was there to greet them at the door.
- Wearing the Family Party Face by Ericka Lutz from the Column Red Diaper Dharma
Our daughter Annie was still young when we stopped going to most family parties. Some I refused to go to, many we stopped being invited to.
- RSVP Hell by Marjorie Osterhout from the Column Dear Marjo
My problem is what happens after all those decisions are made and the invitations go out. That problem is RSVPs. Can I say it again? RSVPs!!! I’m not asking for a handwritten note on formal stationary, or even a phone call. I use an online site to invite people, so all it takes is one click to say yes or no. Just one click! Then if you change your mind, just click again. It’s not that hard.
- Postmortems, Premortems, and Parties by Ericka Lutz from the Column Solo
My perfect Afterlife is a lot like Facebook. Or like my upcoming birthday party.
- Tea Party by Leah Mooney in Poetry
My daughter cups / an imaginary tea pot, / tea that she has steeped / for a blue and winged skunk
- To My Mother, at Fifty by Bethany Tyler Lee in Poetry
You call to tell me what you cannot have at your party, / what the doctor will condemn
- Essential Reading: Social Life by Libby Maxey in Literary Reflections
What is the “social life” of a mother? I distinctly remember feeling that I had no such thing when my children were babies, but even those women who never seem to leave the couch for breastfeeding are still negotiating their place in a social world.