I’ll be the first person to admit it: I am not a fan of balloons in my house. Balloons have a purpose and I’m all for them being decorations at a celebration. They are festive! So is crepe paper — and no one would ever accuse a person of being a killjoy or a merriment killer for taking down some crepe paper after the party is over. Why is it then, that a person who wants to pop balloons and throw them in the trash after the party is done is a terrible person?

As you can probably guess, I am that person who pops the balloons and is accused of being no fun or called mean (or both). I’m fun. I swear. It’s just… Ballooons get in the way. I don’t like running into them. I don’t like tripping on string. I don’t like the kids going bonkers slapping them around (and in the process driving the dog absolutely crazy). So after a day, yes, I pop them.

There was one particular balloon — a Steelers balloon from the last time they won the Superbowl — that stuck around FOREVER. Months. I got so sick of it. It was a mylar one and didn’t seem to be loosing any helium, so I very ceremoniously threw it out (maybe I went a bit Elaine versus George’s toupee on it though). That moment has never left Bridget’s brain. It’s burned into her mind. I murdered the poor balloon! Plus, Brendan always talks about how I was mean and popped that particular one. There is no forgetting.

It’s become a bit of a joke (with an admitted kernel of truth) in our house that Mom Hates Balloons. Fine, it’s an exaggeration that perhaps I get a bit sensitive about but whatever.

Of course, this joke has gotten out. Bridget recently went to a schoolmate’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. There was a balloon on the table, but none tied on the back of the chairs. I randomly noticed that the decorations were different for the other parties but didn’t really think about it. Well, it turns out that Bridget told the birthday girl at school some point earlier that she wasn’t allowed to have a balloon. And that turned into: since she wouldn’t be able to have one, it wouldn’t have been fair for anyone to have them at the party. Thus, no balloons. So now I feel awful. I mean, it’s a bit hilarious to think about, but kids, I’m sorry if I’m the reason there’s no balloons at your next party.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

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