Author Topic: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)  (Read 78137 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #60 on: August 03, 2007, 09:46:25 AM »
To add: it would appear rude and quite cheap of me to my friends and family, if for my 30th birthday I did not organize anything.
Yes, it'd be seen a little self-centered if I kept throwing huge parties every year. But the mile-stones, if I didn't do anything it would be regarded as weird at best.
Ya know, I also wonder if the concept of "party" is getting lost in cultural translation. When people here throw a "party" for their birthday each year, its really a very lowkey affair. Its making food, buying a cake and inviting your family and close friends over and I'm willing to bet its the same in Germany. Its hardly a 4star catered, glittering, 100s of people milling around in evening gowns gushing about the birthday person affair. I think the largest party I've been to here was about 30 people and THAT was for a child turning 1 year old. THe largest adult party here was about 15 people. The birthday woman's husband, 3 children, 2 SOs, 1 granddaughter, 2 sets of neighbors, 1 couple that has been family friends for years and the birthday person's 80 year old mother. We ate dinner, drank coffee, sang one round of THE most annoying birthday song I've evr heard in any country and chatted. Hardly a "look at meeeeeee" evening from MIL.
Wherever you go.... there you are.

emmeileia

  • Guest
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #61 on: August 03, 2007, 09:56:56 AM »


"My apartment is too small." Rebuttal: No apartment is too small for staging a dinnr party for four or six. People do miraculous things in small spaces by borrowing folding tables and chairs, keeping ice in the bathtub and putting a board over it to use as a bar, and sliding dirty dishes temporarily under the bed because there's no room in the sink!  [/color] (Isn't she great?  *genuflect, genuflect*)

When you host people just for the sake of pleasing them - togive them a good time and make them feel happy and glad- you're reaching out to them and thinking outside, not inside. (Preach it, Letitia!  Whoo hoo!)


ETA: fixing spelling typo

Lol, I just moved into a tiny new apartment with my boyfriend, and I was wondering how on earth to fit my enormous family (My grandparents had 9 kids, plus spouses, my younger cousins, etc, and that is just the paternal side...) but I figure I will just put out some extra chairs and deal with it. It is only for a night...

Just to differentiate, my family throws me 'parties' (well, buys a cake and sings, but really I don't want silly hats and a big affair) but it is family only, friends are not invited which is why I tend to work out my own birthday get togethers with them.
I think partly the etiquette of the situation depends on what is acceptable to your social group. When my friends invited me to their party, it never crossed my mind that it was an etiquette no no, or that I should not pay my own way. I was always just happy they wanted my company on their birthday, and excited to have time to spend with many of my other friends who would be invited.
I also think it depends on how the party is done. If it is an event where the birthday person demands everyone focus on them, talk to them, pay for them, bring them presents, then that is rude. Whereas if it is just a case of "hey, lets all just go out and have fun" and there is no huge focus on the birthday person, it seems alright to me.
This might just be because I am only a recent university grad, and it was understood that we were all too poor to pay for everyone else at the time. It may well change now that I am done, I only did the family thing and then went out with BF for my birthday this year since all my friends are back in their respective hometowns.
Perhaps this is also a case of what is acceptable, ettiquette wise, changing. I am sure if I looked in older etiquette books there would be things that were unacceptable then that are perfectly fine to do now. (One that springs to mind is that gentlemen should stand when a lady does.)


Phinn

  • Guest
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #62 on: August 03, 2007, 10:50:03 AM »
I find this thread very interesting, as until I read the initial post that sparked it, it had never occurred to me that throwing my own birthday party wasn't etiquette-ly correct!  I have done so most years, usually at a bar or restaurant in the manner indicated ("Please come to X on Y date if you're available").  In recent years, however, I have acquired an absolutely lovely and spacious home, eminently suitable for entertaining.

Ehelldame said: "I'm waiting in this thread for someone who has advocated self-hosted birthday parties to step forward and claim they also host birthday parties for other as well."

I do this - friends' birthdays, my birthdays, also Halloween and New Years' parties, summer parties... in short, it's entirely about the hostessing and all that attendant fun, and not about the self-aggrandization of oneself.  I paid for everything party-related on my last birthday 6 weeks ago, boyfriend barbequed, and we even had two cakes because my friends surprised me with one, which was lovely.

I do always specify "BYOB", however - as does everyone I know** - this may cast me into technical eHell, but my friends would rather get together and bring their own libations, than not get together and have no celebration.



**The one time I was invited to a "full bar provided" party was a disaster - the birthday girl got really snippy with people later in the evening for "drinking all the booze" after encouraging them to "go ahead and help yourself!".  Then as people were leaving, she would ask indignantly "Aren't you even going to help me clean up?  I shouldn't have to take care of EVERYTHING on my birthday!"  We don't socialize with her as much anymore...

Ehelldame

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • I'm evil personified to the terminally crass.
    • Etiquette Hell
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #63 on: August 03, 2007, 11:19:55 AM »
There is a website http://www.beatrijs.com/ about modern Dutch etiquette and while I can't pinpoint a specific thing on there that defines who should host a birthday party, if you go to the section on birthday parties, you'll see that every question posed to her starts with "I'm throwing a birthday party (Binnenkort wil ik een verjaardagsfeestje geven)" or some variation of this. As it is perfectly acceptable in Dutch etiquette, you'll see that the author never mentions that part at all.

Not to be too legalistic but what you translated from Dutch and quoted does not automatically support an etiquette position that hosting your own birthday party is acceptable Dutch etiquette.  "I'm throwing a birthday party..."  For whom?  The end of that sentence in every instance could be, "...for my dearest friend Freda," and not, "...for myself."  Come on, you'll have to do better than that!  Dueling etiquette!  ;)
 

Quote
I havent seen anyone claim thats its NOT drawing attention to yourself. However, that doesnt make it RUDE. When you throw a Christmas party, are you not drawing attention to yourself? Does anyone doubt who the host is? Who decorated the house so nicely? Who made that delicious pie? Its an evening OF recognition.


Who is the guest of honor at a Christmas party?  It's not the act of hosting a party that necessarily draws attention to oneself but rather the combination of being both host and guest of honor. 

Quote
However, here, birthdays are also about recognizing your loved ones. You HAVE a birthday because of your parents. You HAVE a good life because of your family and friends. Therefore, when its your birthday, its your turn to thank them. You cook a fabulous meal, you invited them over, you spend a few hours socializing. If you get gifts, its usually somethign small from your close family and entirely not the point. The point is that Congratulations are extended to your family and friends and thanks for you to them.


I can think of other ocassions by which loved ones can be honored, i.e. their own birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's/Father's Days, Thanksgiving Day.


Ehelldame

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • I'm evil personified to the terminally crass.
    • Etiquette Hell
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #64 on: August 03, 2007, 11:29:46 AM »

It would seem to me that the point of view simply is different. A party I'd host on my birthday would not be seen as being all about me but as being my way of treating my friends and family to something nice.  It's not thought as me honoring me, but as me honoring those who've been with me....

Why does this special treatment and honoring of friends and family occur only on your birthday?  It seems more logical to honor friends and family on THEIR special days, i.e. birthday.

Quote
Naturally selfishness is not seen as something positive over here. It just is demonstrated in a different way and many very selfless people would be embarrased if someone else went through all that trouble to organize a party. THAT would feel like taking advantage of others.


It's only taking advantage  of others when there is an expectation of being a party in one's honor.  Sometimes selflessness is demonstrated by a humble gratitude at the effort someone chose to do in order to honor another. 




Quote
To add: it would appear rude and quite cheap of me to my friends and family, if for my 30th birthday I did not organize anything.



Why not try an experiment this year and host small get-togethers of your friends in celebration of their birthdays and then report back to the forum your observations and conclusions? 


Ehelldame

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2764
  • I'm evil personified to the terminally crass.
    • Etiquette Hell
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #65 on: August 03, 2007, 11:31:47 AM »
To add: it would appear rude and quite cheap of me to my friends and family, if for my 30th birthday I did not organize anything.
Yes, it'd be seen a little self-centered if I kept throwing huge parties every year. But the mile-stones, if I didn't do anything it would be regarded as weird at best.
Ya know, I also wonder if the concept of "party" is getting lost in cultural translation. When people here throw a "party" for their birthday each year, its really a very lowkey affair. Its making food, buying a cake and inviting your family and close friends over and I'm willing to bet its the same in Germany. Its hardly a 4star catered, glittering, 100s of people milling around in evening gowns gushing about the birthday person affair. I think the largest party I've been to here was about 30 people and THAT was for a child turning 1 year old. THe largest adult party here was about 15 people. The birthday woman's husband, 3 children, 2 SOs, 1 granddaughter, 2 sets of neighbors, 1 couple that has been family friends for years and the birthday person's 80 year old mother. We ate dinner, drank coffee, sang one round of THE most annoying birthday song I've evr heard in any country and chatted. Hardly a "look at meeeeeee" evening from MIL.

"Party" in US etiquette "speak" can be as few as four people.  As in hosting a "dinner party" consisting of four guests. 

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #66 on: August 03, 2007, 11:39:17 AM »
There is a website http://www.beatrijs.com/ about modern Dutch etiquette and while I can't pinpoint a specific thing on there that defines who should host a birthday party, if you go to the section on birthday parties, you'll see that every question posed to her starts with "I'm throwing a birthday party (Binnenkort wil ik een verjaardagsfeestje geven)" or some variation of this. As it is perfectly acceptable in Dutch etiquette, you'll see that the author never mentions that part at all.

Not to be too legalistic but what you translated from Dutch and quoted does not automatically support an etiquette position that hosting your own birthday party is acceptable Dutch etiquette.  "I'm throwing a birthday party..."  For whom?  The end of that sentence in every instance could be, "...for my dearest friend Freda," and not, "...for myself."  Come on, you'll have to do better than that!  Dueling etiquette!  ;)
 
But its not. If you care to translate the pages, you'll see that too be true. Do you really want me to translate countless questions and answers?

And honestly, at the end of the day, you'll just tear apart any evidence that IS provided and still fail to answer the base question. ARE you saying that any etiquette rule that is not the same as America is wrong? Is the way they eat, the way they greet each other, the way they answer the phone, the way they tip (just a few things off the top of my head that are different than in the states) rude because America says so? Or are they allowed to eat the way they think is polite, just not celebrate their birthdays the way they think is polite and they MIGHT be able to spend the holidays the way they think is polite, but that depends on what country it is and they'll have to submit their request in writing at least 3 weeks before said holiday? Would a hostess in Japan be rude for asking her guest to remove their shoes because that's not how its done in America? Its NOT America and nothing will convince me that entire world must live by the rules that ONE country decides upon.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 11:48:15 AM by Shores »
Wherever you go.... there you are.

jassou

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 330
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #67 on: August 03, 2007, 12:21:03 PM »
Just to answer EhellDame's question on what is on the beatrijs site concerning birthday parties:

All the questions on the Beatrijs site were questions such as "I am hosting my birthday party this week and i was wondering whether.... (...I have to send invites/ I can plan it on mothers' day and what not)"
All the answers given were answers to the question "sure, having it on mothers' day doesn't matter", "Yes, you need to specifically invite people rather that have the word spread and wait for people to show up", roughly translated. Not once in the four questions does she say "you know, you shouldn't really be hosting it yourself".

I cannot say if this is Traditional Dutch Etiquette, as opposed to what 15 million people just do in their daily life, but the writer has a column in a daily national newspaper, for what it's worth.

Now, as far as I'm concerned this is all besides the point: I know snarky comments can be funny, but even you have to admit this is the snarkiest you've ever done on your site, I just thought it crossed a tiny line.

ETA: I don't mean to sound huffy or insulted, i'm not. I was just surprised.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 12:25:45 PM by jassou »

Shores

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7668
  • F.O.E.
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #68 on: August 03, 2007, 12:38:16 PM »
Just to answer EhellDame's question on what is on the beatrijs site concerning birthday parties:

All the questions on the Beatrijs site were questions such as "I am hosting my birthday party this week and i was wondering whether.... (...I have to send invites/ I can plan it on mothers' day and what not)"
All the answers given were answers to the question "sure, having it on mothers' day doesn't matter", "Yes, you need to specifically invite people rather that have the word spread and wait for people to show up", roughly translated. Not once in the four questions does she say "you know, you shouldn't really be hosting it yourself".

I cannot say if this is Traditional Dutch Etiquette, as opposed to what 15 million people just do in their daily life, but the writer has a column in a daily national newspaper, for what it's worth.

Now, as far as I'm concerned this is all besides the point: I know snarky comments can be funny, but even you have to admit this is the snarkiest you've ever done on your site, I just thought it crossed a tiny line.

ETA: I don't mean to sound huffy or insulted, i'm not. I was just surprised.
Thanks, Jassou. It would have taken me quite a while to translate those myself. :P My Dutch is getting there, but I'm far from fluent.
Wherever you go.... there you are.

ganjin

  • Guest
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #69 on: August 03, 2007, 12:45:10 PM »
We have parties in honor of other people all the time---two coming up are a Lawn Tea in honor of our dear Neighbor's eightieth birthday, and a celebration with a friend whose book will be out in October.

I love the planning and the polishing and the cooking and arranging of whatever good things are appropriate to the occasion.   The gathering and the conversation, lingering in the candlelight for just one more teaspoon of dessert, a languid sip of wine, another story of our lovely friend Eleanora's Himalaya trek---it's all a part of our own entertaining quilt, sewn piece-by-piece over the years, with colors and flavors contributed by guests and family and moments to savor.

Sometimes I think every party's for me---the enjoyment I have from the doing, the arranging, the looking at the scenes of pretty and of comfortable enjoyment that can be created with a taste, a flower, a warm welcome.

Nobody EVER brings a dish, contributes to the budget, does the dishes---those concepts are as foreign as Madagascar.  They know they'll walk in my door, stroll onto my lawn, take their ease and enjoy---and that's as rewarding as anything I can think of.  

There's a lovely passage in Edna Ferber's So Big, in which the main character tells her son that there are two kinds of people in the world---Wheat and Emeralds.    The Wheat look after people's needs, grow their food, tend the sick, contribute things needful to sustaining life and comfort.

Emeralds create lovely things, spill forth music, paint a sunset or a flower, for the senses to enjoy and receive nourishment, or just bring joy simply by their being the people that they are.

I've always been a Wheat, I think, but sometimes, perhaps, the glint of an emerald or two emerges.   I hope so.

LAT

  • Guest
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #70 on: August 03, 2007, 01:00:07 PM »
Isn't it a bit entitled to expect one's friends to take the time to organize your birthday party?  Instead, you invite them for a meal and cake, they bring presents of the type that are normal in your social circle, everyone wins.

I don't know what kind of birthday parties everyone else throws, but for us, except for the short present-opening period, there is no real "focus" to the party.  We play board games or cards and eat and certainly don't make a point of fawning on the person.  A birthday party is a good reason for friends to get together and socialize, not a three-hour worship of the person having the birthday!

kingsrings

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9708
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #71 on: August 03, 2007, 01:31:42 PM »
Yes, it is entitled to expect one's friends to throw you a birthday party. They should do it out of their own heart and because they want to, not because you are pressuring, asking, or expecting them to do so. The idea comes from them, not from you.

And no one is asking for a three-hour worship of the birthday person. What is so wrong with the idea of friends doing something nice for one another and throwing them a birthday party or taking them out for a restaurant meal? Is it really that hard? That is the crux of the issue. Like EHell dame says, if you have the time and money to do throw your own birthday party, then you have the time and money to do the same for your friend's birthdays.

Akarui Kibuno

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2646
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2007, 01:37:58 PM »
EHellDame, just to clarify, when I had that party of mine last year, the focus wasn't on me. I invited people not to HONOR me, but to SPEND TIME with me and the other people at the party (and have fun, and chat, and eat barbecue). I don't care for honor, blegh. My friends liking me is the best honor I can hope for!

My friend Vincent who didn't know my friend Sandra's family got into a waterfight with Sandra's boyfriend and they were running around laughing. It was all nice.

And I have had parties for others. And will not hesitate to do so again. I had something for my friend Valère on his birthday once, I had something for my friend Vincent also, for Mr Kibbs too. And I plan to do something big next year for my sisters since my financial situation hasn't been big this year (and I have four sisters, soo...) . Sometimes it's not easy to organize parties for many people because of coordination of schedules, but when I can do something, I do it :) .

My parties have been very low-key too, because I'm not much of a formal person. And my friends are fine with that.

I didn't want to attack you by the way. My post may seem bitter, but that's because when I saw the words "greedy suckers" I wonder what made you say such words. Greedy to me is when one talks about the gifts in the invitation, or when one talks nonstop about what gifts he/she wants. Sometimes, when asked, I would tell.

For example, I wanted the last Harry Potter book. Then I figured... "why would anyone buy this for me ? it's not fair, people don't have to buy me things I want. If I really want an item, I can save and buy it myself" . Which I did. And Vincent scolded me for that cause he had wanted to give that to me as a gift :) ... I told him not to worry, being his friend was a gift enough.

:)

My FB rants blog (English) - My personal site (French)
A click on one of the ads every so often would help a lot if possible. Thank you <3 .

jimithing

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 19737
  • Life Is Too Short to Wear a Bad Outfit!
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #73 on: August 03, 2007, 01:41:01 PM »
Yes, it is entitled to expect one's friends to throw you a birthday party. They should do it out of their own heart and because they want to, not because you are pressuring, asking, or expecting them to do so. The idea comes from them, not from you.

And no one is asking for a three-hour worship of the birthday person. What is so wrong with the idea of friends doing something nice for one another and throwing them a birthday party or taking them out for a restaurant meal? Is it really that hard? That is the crux of the issue. Like EHell dame says, if you have the time and money to do throw your own birthday party, then you have the time and money to do the same for your friend's birthdays.

POD!  Kingsrings, you and I have been on the same page from page one!  I said this in a previous post that I just don't understand why people feel that they have to throw a party for themselves because if they don't, no one else will.  Why do you have to have a party at all?  I like eHelldame's suggestion of throwing a party where you don't tell anyone it's your birthday.  I also think that it's different for a spouse to throw a party.  I do that for my DH all the time, and I don't think that is rude or out of line.  He doesn't tell me to do it, and it is someone else taking the reigns.

If my friends choose not to throw me a party, then so be it.  That doesn't mean that I deserve to still have a party in my honor, and by golly, I'm going to give it to myself.  Birthdays are about you and gift giving is implicit when it comes to birthdays.  That is our norm here.  So, no matter how many times you say, "Don't bring gifts.", people will because it's expected.  That's the problem that I have with throwing your own birthday party.  Is that it is to celebrate you and to honor you. 

I have only been to one b-day party that was thrown for someone where it was said that no gifts were expected.  Well, guess what.  People brought gifts anyway because that's what we do in the US.  I have been invited to parties thrown by the guest of honor where they have still needled me to bring a gift, for them!  That puts me out immediately, and I tend not to go to big party celebrations.  Dinner is fine. But a gala is a different story.

LAT

  • Guest
Re: Rude Everyone on Birthdays (From the New Update)
« Reply #74 on: August 03, 2007, 01:49:31 PM »
Yes, it is entitled to expect one's friends to throw you a birthday party. They should do it out of their own heart and because they want to, not because you are pressuring, asking, or expecting them to do so. The idea comes from them, not from you.

I'm amazed that this actually works!  Do all your friends get together to throw everyone's party and they participate equally?  Or does it end up being one "organizer" who makes sure everyone's party is done?  Or are there only parties for the most popular people?  Does everyone get a party?  How do you suppose the people who don't get a party feel?