I know that charging cash for the “honor” of attending a party that you’re throwing is in bad taste, but what about if the “admission fee” isn’t money? A friend of mine, B, who is a good friend of my husband, is turning 40 soon. She is single, and she is by far the most extroverted of all of my friends, so she wanted to throw a big, fun bash for herself and invite all her friends. So far, I see nothing wrong with that. However, she’s requiring that all the guests collaborate and “create something” for the party. Her suggestions included a music video, a song, a game, a dance, or a puzzle. Seriously, it takes hours to do any of those things well. I know her through puzzles, and I’ve written some myself for puzzle events, and it takes me at least hours and better yet days to have a good idea, refine it, test it, and lay it out in a visually appealing way. I approached her earlier saying that I was concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to make a good puzzle for her and would therefore have to skip the party, and she said something along the lines of, “Well, I guess I won’t be seeing you, then.”
So, I guess I’m not going to the party. (My husband will be, though- he’s creating something.) Is requiring your guests to “create something” like this even polite? It seems to me that you’re just creating a lot of stress for your guests beforehand, and personally I would never want to do that for any party I was hosting. Thanks for your input. 0726-13
For heaven’s sake, guests are not trained pets required to perform on command. Your instincts are correct that while the price of admission to an event that honors her is not money, it is still something that requires time to create. When one exerts time and sweat equity, it is usually traded for money…that is how people earn money. A lot of people have no concept of “time budgets” or “labor budgets”, i.e. that the time they expect people to volunteer for them comes at a price. Time is not free. What B is expecting is that people give her the gift of time and labor as tribute to her milestone birthday.
And while you intuitively know something is amiss with her attitude, you can’t quite put a finger on it. What B has done is elevate the receipt of other’s creative talents to be of greater priority than having people there that at all. Her dismissive response to your RSVP said it all. Do you really want to be friends with someone who values gifts above people?
If I were you, I would ignore the demand for creative “gifts” and go anyway. I don’t facilitate petty, self indulgent behavior and I seriously doubt you’ll get frisked at the door or escorted to leave. Point to your husband and say, “I’m with him.”
To reiterate the Ehell position on self hosted birthdays, only acceptable if birthday person hosts graciously providing all the food and entertainment and *GIVES* gifts to guests. Anything else is pure greed, self aggrandizement and ego stroking.