First of all, why don't we call getting together a playdate anymore? That sounds so much more fun than hanging out or getting coffee. A playdate sounds like a fun adventure.
Oh, right, because that's for little kids. Fine.
Anyway, so we all know what a normal playdate should consist of. Getting your kids together and letting them play with Legos and dolls while you and the other moms sit in the kitchen and secretly drink wine, right?
Alright, that's sort of what they're supposed to look like. But that's not what this particular playdate turned into.
This is 28-year-old Sarah Bryan, and she made a playdate not so normal. Nope, because after one harmless get-together with her daughter's friend, this mom charged the other mother over $500 in damages. Because her daughter's shoes got scuffed. Woah. Woah. Let's back up here for a moment.
Sarah Bryan is a fashion designer, and in 2014 she created this tasty looking dress from 3,000 Skittles. Taste the rainbow, wear the rainbow, we guess. Whatever you think about this dress, this is what launched her into relative fashion designer fame. "My idea came to me one night when I was falling to sleep – almost dreaming. I stuck a picture of the dress on social media when I finished and it just snowballed from there," she said.
Alright, so now that we know that tidbit of information, maybe we can understand a little bit better what was running through Sarah Bryan's mind. We said a little bit, not entirely. This little cutie that she's seen with is her three-year-old daughter, Isabella. She also has a son, 13-year-old Keegan.
These are the boots in question. They're Italian leather designer boots, and apparently they're very pricey. Also, she's not supposed to go outside in them. Which, obviously, is not what shoes are designed for. Obviously. Can you see the damage on the shoes? No? Let's look a little closer.
"Obviously shoes get scuffed on the soles, but these look like they’ve been worn for a year, not for a few hours. There's also a big black mark on the toe where they've been drawn on. I was devastated when I saw them," said Bryan. Yes, that mark is truly devastating. We don't know how to contain ourselves, really.
"If your child comes back with scratches on their body, you’d be like ‘what’s happened?’," said Bryan. "It’s the same with her shoes. She’s not supposed to go outside with them." She also went on to explain that wherever Isabella goes, she carries around a bag of other shoes. That seems normal. Not an extra step at all.
Bryan says her daughter has about 60 other pairs of shoes and only wears designer clothing. She ships clothes in from a Spanish boutique. We're just going to take a moment squishing our stress ball thinking about how quickly a three-year-old's feet grow, and how 60 is sort of an unreasonable amount of shoes to have, considering this fact.
"As a designer you can imagine I do not want my child to look anything less than pristine," said Bryan. Of course it's highly unacceptable to have any slight scuff marks on your boots that cost more than our car insurance, then. Bryan sent an email to Nicola, the mother of Stacey, with whom Isabella had had her playdate.
Take your stress ball out again before reading this letter. We're pretty sure kids come home from playdates with chunks of hair missing and crayon all over their clothes, but of course, this warrants a $500 bill. She gave her some time, though, to scrape the money together, so that's nice and considerate.
The response from Nicola? She was more or less bemused. "I don't know what her problem is to be honest. She must have more money than sense if she's going to pay that much for a pair of shoes for her daughter and then complain when they get ruined," she commented. "Kids are kids, they get messy, they ruin things, that's life," she concluded, saying what we're pretty much all thinking. "She needs to get over it because no amount of bills she sends me will make me pay for the shoes." She also added that the whole ordeal was a pile of nonsense.
Bryan, however, insisted there was more to the story than just charging another mom for the damage to her shoes. She appeared on Good Morning Britain, where she had, as the British say, somewhat of a row with host Piers Morgan. "I understand why the invoice has created so much outrage but wouldn’t anybody spoiled their children if they could?" she began.
"I was made homeless at 15 with a one-year-old after my mum kicked me out and we spent years struggling, relying on £50 a week and we had no luxuries," Sarah explained. “It’s only been the past two years that I’ve started to earn good money through my fashion work, design and some acting.” She said that charging the money for the shoes was a respect thing.
"I’ve apologised to the mother since and told her I was worked up and acted very quickly," Sarah went on. "She’s forgiven me and understands I wasn’t thinking properly – we are humans and we all make mistakes." Good for her. However, on the show, Piers called her "the worst type of parent." Bryan said that the online taunting she's received have brought back memories of being abused as a child, to which Piers said "What does that have to do with this?"
You can watch their heated exchange here. Producers have since apologized for what happened on the show. "My daughter can do anything she wants and be anything she wants – as long as she’s happy, then I’m happy," Sarah said.