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An Open Letter to the Elementary School Parents

I honestly cannot believe that we still need to have this conversation but after what transpired at the 4th/5th grade Musical Performance it is apparent that some of us have forgotten the long established etiquette of school functions. Allow me to refresh your memories so as not to have a repeat of such behavior at the 5th grade Dance Performance later this month.

First, please make a sincere attempt to be on time for the performance. The children were supposed to arrive half an hour prior to the performance in order to give everyone time to get settled. Showing up 15 minutes into the show is bad enough but slamming the door open and waltzing in to the auditorium as though you own place while chatting loudly on your cellphone is appalling. Hang up the phone, sit your ass down and shut up so the rest of us who had the courtesy to show up on time can enjoy watching our kids perform.

Second, please remain seated during the performance so everyone seated behind you has the opportunity to see the show. I don’t know if you are aware of this but you are not, in fact, invisible. I, like many other parents, was attempting to film the performance on the handy dandy camera that I was holding up in front of my face. I’m sure you saw it before when you turned and looked right at me prior to standing up and blocking my entire view with your butt. If you feel the need to stand up during the show, please take a spot in the back. My kid is just as important as yours. If you fail to heed this warning I will put the video of your butt on YouTube.

Third, if your toddler is going to scream throughout the entire performance please do the rest of us a favor and take that kid outside. The rest of us were there to hear our kids singing, not your toddler shrieking at the top of his lungs. And don’t give me that ‘oh well, kids will be kids’ speech. I have 5 of them. 3 of them were in attendance to watch the show. Not one of them made a peep the entire time. If they had, one of us would have removed them so as not to disturb the other parents. Common sense, people.

Fourth, perhaps you missed the camera that I was holding in front of my face when you turned to look at me no less than 10 times during the performance. Perhaps you just have the manners of an inbred hillbilly, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I did not need to get your loud, vulgar mouth spouting out nasty language and racial insults on video. I was there to video my kid singing, not listen to you spout off your idiotic racial idealism. Moron.

Fifth, tables are not meant to be climbed on unless you are either a stripper or trying to escape a killer spider. Were you raised in a barn? Two feet on the floor at all times, please. I can understand that type of excitement from the parent of a Kindergartner who perhaps is overcome with excitement at seeing their child perform for the first time. But your child is in the 5th grade and there have been many many performances over the years. There is no excuse for jumping on top of a table to snap a picture of your kid. Get it together.

Sixth, unless you have a bladder the size of a grain of salt there is no acceptable reason to walk in and out of the auditorium 8 times during a 30 minute show. And if you know you are going to have to exit and re-enter that many times, please do us all a favor and don’t sit clear on the other side of the room thereby interrupting every single person in your own row of seats as well as the people in the 5 rows behind you who cannot see through your large body. You also are not invisible. Please see #2 for further clarification.

Seventh, using your elbows or your extremely large purse to clear room for yourself as you walk through the room is not only rude it’s likely to get you tripped by an angry mother, namely me. If you swing an elbow, a hip or a handbag at me rest assured I will return the favor and I aim for the sweet spots. You are not the most important person in the universe, Miss Narcissistic Drama Queen. Wait your turn or I’ll take you down.

 In conclusion, take a moment and think about how your behavior effects others around you. I’ll be more than happy to introduce you to the manners that your mama obviously neglected to teach you if I see any of these behaviors appear at the Dance Performance. See you at the next PTA meeting. I’ll bring the wine.


Miss Manners with a side of bitchy


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  • Oy! A huge AMEN to this!

    Was so frustrated this week to watch 14 sets of grandparents literally reserve ALL THE SEATING in the entire place. There were scores of actual PARENTS that had to stand against the walls while the grandparents allowed millions of noisy little cousins to sit – after arriving 20 minutes into the show. I got zero good shots of our little guy’s kindergarten graduation and many good shots of grand-parental butts. ARGH!

  • This is classic and oh so true!!!!

    I hope everyone around the US reads this before their child’s next play, event, graduation, etc.

    Nicki G. The Blissful Wife


  • HA! Awesome.

  • Wow, I don’t know if I would have been able to bite my tongue through all that.

    Confession: I sometimes stand just for a moment to snap a pic and then I sit right back down.

  • I love #5 “get it together”. Seriously.

    When my children were little I can’t remember not plotting the escape route with my husband just in case one of them got a little restless during a performance.

    These people you speak of they need to have their own section – the rude people section.

  • Where were you when my kids were in elementary school??? LMAO!

  • I can’t stand it when people act that obnoxious. These days you can even witness that type of behaviour in church. When I took my daughter to her First Communion rehearsal, there were two moms behind me, loudly talking, cursing, and complaining that we were asked not to take flash pictures during the ceremony. Meanwhile their kids were jumping off the altar and being generally horrible.

  • Affect is right in this case. If you had said…”think about how your behaviour has an Effect on me”, then that would’ve been right.

    Great piece.

    • See if you were following me faithfully, you would know that because I just blogged about it a couple weeks ago. It’s okay. I’m not hurt. Much.

      Junior high and high school parents are just as obnoxious, by the way.

  • Okay,

    First of all to get around the affect/effect thing, I write things like, “Consider the impact your actions…” Then I don’t have to choose. But I do think it’s effect in this case.

    Second, you are Mrs. Manners, dear.

    Third, I always hated going to Mac’s concerts because of the behavior of many (kids included, especially those whose furious waving is out of control–you know waving at the parents whom they just saw five minutes ago in the car), but your list is much worse than any I ever encountered.

    However, as a teacher, I am not surprised. I suggest manners rules to my students, and they often look at me like I’m making it all up…

  • This seems to be the scene in gymatoriums everywhere – what’s wrong with people? At my kids’ last music show, we sat in the front row nearest the door because we had an unpredictable baby with us (easy escape – trying to be polite) and we were there early. Some lady came in 10 minutes into the show, talking on her phone, and has the nerve to say to us, “You know you COULD scoot down and fill in that empty seat.” Why, so you can have the corner seat by the door instead of walking around us (yes, all three of us) and sitting in the empty seat yourself? We were in the front, so she wouldn’t even have to squeeze between rows. Gah. People.

  • Love this! What has happened to common courtesy and respect these days? These days? Gosh, I sound ancient, huh? Next I’ll be using phrases like whipper-snappers.

    ANYway…. I just experienced something similar at my oldest son’s middle school band concert. I’d also like to add that folks might want to start using some deodorant! OR… maybe, just maybe, they might want to consider bathing more than once a week! Just sayin…..

  • RJ

    Bwahahaha. At my daughter’s ballet recital the woman in front of me actually said, “do you mind if I stand so I can film this?” And then she looked at me like I was the crazy one when I said, “Yes, because I would like to see the performance too.” I’m printing this letter for the next recital. Just in case.

  • LMFAO!! That was perfect!! You crack me up:) We have a parent who’s child always drowns out everything being said on stage by their horrible shrieks! Talk about annoying. I always try to make a point to stare them down as if they owe me money….but I would love to go grab that child and take it outside. She just looks around like “Oh no…is he being loud?” URGH! Can’t wait to hear how the dance performance goes!

  • Woah. Sounds utterly infuriating. I think I’d actually eventually tap her on the shoulder and ask her to pack it in, or to take the screeching kid out.

    I’m gonna do the concern troll thing though and call you on Item 6. You can’t see whose continence is shot through a rough labour/delivery, or who has inflammatory bowel disease. Although people suffering from the above or anything similar would usually have the sense to position themselves near a door/bathroom!