Have Sweet 16 parties always been prevalent here? Where I grew up in the Midwest they were not. Our version of a Sweet 16 was a big slumber party in the birthday girl’s house. And none of this mixed boys and girls stuff, either. Slumber parties for us may have meant we spent the night talking about boys, but none were ever invited to the party. OK, occasionally one or two might have shown up. But only long enough to cause giggling and the fear that parents would discover they were there. They never stayed long and the visits were innocent.
Our daughter K is 15, but she’s gotten a few invitations to Sweet 16 parties for her friends (she’ll turn 16 herself in January). Am I terrible to say I have no intention of throwing a big party for her on that occasion? Renting some sort of party hall, paying a caterer, these are expenses I associate with a wedding — or a big milestone birthday, like 50 or 100.
Just what is the significance of turning 16? It’s billed as a coming-of-age thing, but at 16 you can’t vote, you aren’t considered an adult and you’re still too young to legally consume alcohol. So I’m not sure exactly what the coming-of-age marks here other than being a true teenager.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with other parents throwing these parties. I just don’t intend to throw one myself. I’d rather put that money into the college savings account — or save it for a future wedding!