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Author Topic: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)  (Read 126333 times)

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Ashley Y

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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #240 on: May 27, 2008, 10:38:28 PM »
Hello, I joined after reading the original post. I feel I must correct what I believe is a mischaracterisation of Ms. Martin's position.

Certainly Martin is suspicious of the idea in general terms, nevertheless, she claims that it is acceptable to throw a birthday party for oneself, under certain provisions (Judith Martin, Miss Manners Guide for the Turn of the Millennium, pp.466-467):

"The alternative need not be toasting yourself in the bathroom mirror. Miss Manners will explain how it is still possible to mark the occasion with a party that will please your guests"

On the question of the source of the trouble, presents vs. the concept of honoring oneself:

"The sticking point for other guests is the idea of presents. ... If you eliminate that issue, people will be only too glad to honor you and yours."

But how?

"This is best done by a sort of reverse surprise party: You surprise the guests by telling them only at the party itself that this is your birthday, your parents' anniversary, or whatever."

I recommend reading the full section.


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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #241 on: May 29, 2008, 12:19:17 PM »
Cannabilism was a treasured tradition as recently as the 1980's in areas of Papua New Guinea. (A diblitating brain disease was tracked to the women of tribes digging up buried bodies and eating the human flesh because it is "very sweet tasting".) 

So, if I invite guests over for my own birthday, and expect them to be the main course, that would be considered rude?  ;)

I'm of the mind that I don't see why adults *need* a birthday party every year. I can't remember who was president the last time my birthday was celebrated with a party. The last one I threw for my DH was a 40th birthday party that doubled as a housewarming, with 'no gifts please!' on the invite. I truly don't even care if I get anything on my birthday. If DH makes dinner and does the dishes - that rocks my world! The kids usually want to get us presents, but then they want to buy us Legos to 'share' with us, and we're on to them.  :)

I don't know of a single adult friend who has had a birthday party in years. And it's not like we are all antisocial monks in cells - we just don't really feel the need to go crazy about birthdays.


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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #242 on: May 29, 2008, 09:52:29 PM »
Agree with bms. For a while there I had several friends who insisted on throwing a birthday party for themselves every single year. It got a little tiring, and I started skipping out on them. Thankfully they stopped, maybe they wised up and got the hint.


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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #243 on: May 30, 2008, 05:40:34 PM »
Miss Manners says (in Miss Manners' Guide for the Turn-of-the-Millennium, page 466):

"Parties for oneself or members of the family are always permissible when they are confined to a group in which each person is honored in turn."

(her suggestion on how to deal w/ the present idea is to not tell people the party is for your birthday until they are actually there)

I don't know that I'd throw an actual event that I'd label a "party" for myself.

But I have said to my 4 closest friends, "I'm turning 25, and I want to celebrate. Would you like to come w/ me to dinner and a comedy club? We'll all pay for ourselves." (and then had to argue a little bit about paying for my own) Maybe that's rude, but I don't know--it didn't feel like it. (maybe I'm stunted)

I could see myself hosting a dinner or brunch to celebrate my birthday--I'd be making the food, etc.

*Maybe* I'd invite people over for drinks for my bday, if I was a cocktail-party-throwing person.

If you can host your own anniversary party (and you can), why can't you host your own birthday party?

Interestingly, my edition of Emily Post says "spouses, children, and sometmes close friends may want to celebrate a "big" birthday..of the birthday person. ..the host or hostess [should] ask for the attention of the guests and propose a toast or salute to the guest of honor"

No mention of parties thrown by the birthday person.

But other than my 40th, I can't imagine my husband, or my kids, hosting anything on my behalf. My  MIL does--but it's dinner w/ family, not any sort of time spent w/ friends.

2 tone shoes

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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #244 on: February 05, 2010, 01:21:50 AM »
I know this post is pretty old but I wanted to put in my two-cents. I am fairly young (early 20's) and for a while I have hosted my own birthday party. I don't do it because I want gifts, I do it because I want to celebrate life with my friends. I invite my close friends and allow them to bring other acquaintances to make it a fun party. We watch movies and play games and hang out and I make kebabs and cake. Some years one or two of my very close friends will bring a present other years they don't. I always thank them for the gifts but I never expect to get anything. That isn't the point and everyone knows that. For the most part it is just a party where people say happy birthday to me and that is the closest it gets to being a birthday party. They know it is a "birthday party" but they also know (and I never have to outright say it) that its more about hanging out than gifts.

That is the difference. If you host a party for yourself for gifts it is wrong. But, there are ways to have a party on your birthday that isn't a gift grab. As long as people know that gifts aren't expected and it is just a time to celebrate it should be okay. My birthday is the excuse to hold the party not the reason for it.


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Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #245 on: February 05, 2010, 03:26:33 PM »
I have been dealing with a lot of crabby people lately, so maybe I am biased.  But so many of the posts in this thread sound so angry!
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

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