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Tour de My Birthday

I’m curious what others think about this— maybe my own feelings about my birthday (which is, I’m grateful to have one and appreciate any kind gestures but don’t want any significant celebration) are clouding my judgement and making me curmudgeonly about this!

A bit of background: this particular friend has done this for at least seven or eight years now; selecting up to a week’s worth of activities to celebrate her birthday and mass-inviting friends, family and co-workers via Facebook. Activities have ranged from wine tasting to park picnics to movies to group dinners. As well as my memory serves, she’ll sometimes provide some food, as in cupcakes for the park picnic, and make the group reservation, but any entrance fees, tickets, meal checks, bar tabs, etc. are expected to be paid by her “guests.”

The invitation, received the first week of July for a birthday the last week of August, is as follows with identifying details changed:

I’m planning to celebrate my birthday with two days of fun!

On my actual birthday, I’ll be at Scooby’s Bar and Grill after work. Not sure about the time yet, but I’ll let you know (they have happy hour specials until 6 though so arrive as early as you want!).

On the Sunday after my birthday I’ll be participating in the Walk to Save the Micro Orphan Whales. More info to come; you’re welcome to join my fundraising team.

Then we can head over to Le Bougie Bistro to celebrate with food and refreshments. Based on the travel time I estimate we will start brunch around 10am.

On Sunday evening I’ll be attending the Symphony on the Green. We’ll have pizza among other goodies. Link to tickets here.

My thought is, if you’re in your mid-thirties and want to celebrate your birthday with more than your immediate family, you invite friends or whom ever for whatever fits your vision and budget—if that means a formal, gourmet dinner party, buying everyone pitchers of beer and plates of wings at a local bar, or even just cake and a board game in your living room, whatever; but you provide the hospitality and thank these people for being in your life. To me this sounds like “here’s my grand birthday tour, you may be graced by my presence at your convenience.” To that end, she titled the event “Birthday Options” and in the past has even said that she’s planned a full spectrum of events so that everyone can find something that works for them (I ignore the invitation completely but have considered submitting this every year for awhile now).

Of course, she’s already posted links to gift suggestions and this comes just weeks after asking for donations to fund her sketch comedy club’s European “performance (vacation).”  0807-18

By now everyone on the planet should know my thoughts on “invitations” of this nature.  One almost expects young children to be selfish and whine of their need to be suitably feted for their birthday but adults?  Pity the grown adult who must regress back to childish needs for a birthday party.

In this story, the birthday girl (and I use the diminutive intentionally) annually invests a considerable amount of time coordinating, scheduling and planning events surrounding her birthday yet apparently does not apply her considerable skills to bless anyone else.    One hopes that enough friends, family and co-workers decline to attend the birthday events.

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Early And Entitled Trick or Treaters

It was still about 2 weeks to Halloween, but we had some very early trick or treater’s apparently.

We live on a dead end street and have been here about a year. We mostly keep to ourselves but say hello if we take our elderly dog for a walk up the street. There are several families with children who run up and down the street playing at each others homes, but they have always been polite and don’t even get too loud when they are outside. All in all, its a nice, quiet place.

The other evening however we met some strange neighbor children. It was a nice day so we had the windows and doors open (screen door closed and locked) so our cats could enjoy the outdoors from the safety of inside the house. My sister and I were watching TV in the front room when suddenly two young girls appeared on our porch and peered in our screen door. The older was about 13 and the younger maybe 10 at the most.

“Do you have any candy?” The older one asks without so much as a hello. We don’t know these kids and we have maybe seen them before but as I said, we keep to ourselves.

We stare dumbfounded at the pair and my sister stammers that no we do not. The girl points to a bag of M&Ms on the table. Now this bag is obviously open. My sister, having recovered more now, tells the duo that while she did forget about those, we don’t even know the girls, nor their parents or if their mother would even want them to have candy.

The two girls run off and we just stare at each other trying to figure out what just happened, but that’s not even the end! The older girl returns just as quickly and happily announces their mom said its OK.

At this point our dog woke up and, realizing someone is at the door, starts barking. She is mostly blind and near entirely deaf so its hard to get her to stop once she starts so I’m trying to quiet the dog while my sister tells the girls again we don’t even know them nor their mother and are not going to just give them candy. The girl steps off the porch again and calls for her mom to come over to tell us its OK for her to have our candy. Fortunately Mom was too busy and told her to come back to the house and the girl yelled “Never mind!” as she ran home finally for good. We decided the cats had had enough fresh air and closed the door and had a laugh once our dog went back to sleep. We still do not know any of their names. 1020-17

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We’re Flying The Friendly Skies Again!

I flew yesterday, which was the day after you posted the story about the screaming child on the plane. Luckily no kids screamed but I did see rudeness unlike anything I have ever seen.

A lady in her sixties was traveling with her elderly mom. The mom was given pre-boarding status and taken on plane in a wheelchair. The mom had the middle seat and the daughter had the aisle. I boarded in group three and was across from them, so I was able to see/hear the whole conversation that occurred when the lady who had the window seat tried to get into her seat.

The daughter did not want to let the lady in. She was livid that her mom was going to be disturbed. The lady trying to enter the row kept apologizing and saying she wish she didn’t have to do it, but that was her seat and they had been announcing it was a full flight so there was no where to move to and they were going to need to let her in. She stayed very nice, calm and sympathetic the entire time. If it had been me, I would have pointed out that what did she expect to happen when you pre-board and if it was really that big a deal then the daughter should have taken the window seat to ensure this didn’t happen.

The daughter and her mom finally got up so the lady could get in to her seat. At which point the daughter very rudely told the lady to pay attention to their stuff and not step on anything.

When the flight ended, I walked off the plane behind them, as they apparently hadn’t ordered a wheelchair for the end. Which is why they stole someone else’s wheelchair when we reached the ramp. And when the attendant tried to tell the mom to get out the daughter said no and blocked everyone else from moving till the guy relented and called for another wheelchair for the person now stuck on the plane.

But hey, no kids screamed.    1005-18

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I’ve seen the original, longer video of this situation and declined to share it due to the fact that the child’s face is clearly seen. However, this version redacts his face.

In the longer video, the child runs down the airplane aisles and when compelled to stop, these screams issue forth. He cannot sit still in a seat and the longer video shows him standing on and crawling over seats until…once again, he is being asked to stop and the screaming starts. The video game cannot be started and he screams. He appears to be about 4 years old, maybe 5.

I think in this situation it would be justified for the airline staff to remove the family from the flight citing that the child is obviously not in an emotional condition to fly across the Atlantic Ocean for 8 hours. And I do think it is poor parenting to raise children who scream like they are being killed with a 14-inch Klingon danger to the guts when the issue prompting the screaming is really one of entitlement.

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