Author Topic: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)  (Read 1797 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2557
I submit the following story, from several years ago, as a discussion point.

It was my first birthday I would be celebrating since beginning to date the man who is now my husband (NH-then age 23). It was my 19th birthday, and he apparently felt obligated to make it special. I want to note that nearly all my birthdays after my eighth had been spent quietly with my family, aside from the 18th, which had been spent throwing water balloons (‘cuz that’s how I roll  8) :D) with my closest friends. Overall, I don’t consider birthdays a big deal once adulthood is reached (except maybe the 21st depending on the individual). I did not think to mention this to him at the time.

I was expecting something quiet with my NH; perhaps visit my parents, but low-stress and an early night. One of my dear high school friends happened to be in town on a school break on the day of my birthday and I made plans to meet up with him for coffee.

When I got home from that I discovered my NH had planned a surprise barbeque dinner party. Great, right? I looked around and realized that, although the guests were people I knew and liked, they were NH’s friends. No family and none of my personal friends. Then a latecomer showed up, and in tow he had a group of people with whom I had attended high school, and whom I did NOT care for in the least. I quietly (in another room) confirmed with my NH that the people of this particular group were gatecrashers who had attached themselves to an invited guest when they heard there was a party. The guest had agreed as he has a worldview that everyone should just get along, and the more, the merrier.
Fortunately, I get along well with most of NH’s circle and was able to mingle throughout dinner and dessert. Also fortunately no one brought gifts, I don’t know how I could have accepted gifts from people I liked but (then) hardly knew!

I felt distinctly uncomfortable with the gatecrashers, but due to the casualness was able to excuse myself to other parts of the house as needed when I felt uncomfortable. My impression was that they had thought this would be a different sort of party (drugs and alcohol--'cuz that's how they rolled  ::), per their own admission prior to this event), and were uncomfortable themselves. They ended up leaving just after the birthday cake.

I feel I succeeded at being gracious and polite, as most of the attendees continue to interact with NH and me. I later spoke to NH and requested no more surprise birthday parties. He agreed, and my birthdays have passed quietly. Holidays like Valentine’s, though, he continues to try to surprise me, but fortunately others are not invited to those occasions.

My questions are:
1-Is it all right to throw a party for someone and not invite that someone’s family or friends, but only one’s own? (For the record, NH had and has a good relationship with my dad, and nothing inappropriate was happening at the party. I do believe his heart was in the right place but at the time I felt...hurt, for lack of a better word.)

2-If a guest of honor hadn’t known or liked the chosen attendees of a surprise party, would it be required that she stay and mingle? Or is it all right for her to stay a few minutes then plead “other plans because I didn’t know about this”? (This did seriously cross my mind at one point, when the crashers showed.)

3-If a guest brings uninvited people who either aren't known or liked by either the host or guest of honor, what is the eHell approved action to be taken? Should it be taken with the crashers, or with the one who invited them?

ETA Paragraph breaks--sorry, it seemed easy to read on my computer screen, but when I looked via my phone I can see how the breaks ran together.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 07:04:34 PM by Jones »

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17334
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 06:41:04 PM »
I think your husband was clueless, not rude.  Sounds like he was very young at the time.  I do agree, he should have invited your friends and family. 

Would it be possible to insert paragraph breaks in your story?  It is difficult to read and I could only read to that first question. 

Isometric

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 717
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 10:03:25 PM »


I agree with sparksals, I think he thought he was doing something nice, but missed the mark a bit. Like the boyfriend I had as a teen who surprised me with movie tickets - to a movie he was dying to see and I loathed.


My questions are:
1-Is it all right to throw a party for someone and not invite that someone’s family or friends, but only one’s own? (For the record, NH had and has a good relationship with my dad, and nothing inappropriate was happening at the party. I do believe his heart was in the right place but at the time I felt...hurt, for lack of a better word.)
It's not really a party for you then, if it's a gathering of his friends. Especially since you wouldn't have been going out that long.

2-If a guest of honor hadn’t known or liked the chosen attendees of a surprise party, would it be required that she stay and mingle? Or is it all right for her to stay a few minutes then plead “other plans because I didn’t know about this”? (This did seriously cross my mind at one point, when the crashers showed.)
I would probably stay, only because I'd feel rude leaving all these people in the lurch. Even though they weren't your friends, they did turn up (not counting the crashers)

3-If a guest brings uninvited people who either aren't known or liked by either the host or guest of honor, what is the eHell approved action to be taken? Should it be taken with the crashers, or with the one who invited them?
I had this at my 21st, I just kind of ignored them because I didn't want them to ruin my party by making a scene! Although they weren't after alcohol or anything, just some girls who had been nasty to me in the past.

ETA Paragraph breaks--sorry, it seemed easy to read on my computer screen, but when I looked via my phone I can see how the breaks ran together.

O'Dell

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4372
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 10:44:36 PM »
1-Is it all right to throw a party for someone and not invite that someone’s family or friends, but only one’s own? (For the record, NH had and has a good relationship with my dad, and nothing inappropriate was happening at the party. I do believe his heart was in the right place but at the time I felt...hurt, for lack of a better word.) Not okay.  I'm sure he was just clueless at the time, but it was basically him partying with his friends and family with your b-day as an excuse. Maybe not what he intended, but that's what it was in practice.

2-If a guest of honor hadn’t known or liked the chosen attendees of a surprise party, would it be required that she stay and mingle? Or is it all right for her to stay a few minutes then plead “other plans because I didn’t know about this”? (This did seriously cross my mind at one point, when the crashers showed.) If at all possible, the guest of honor should stay, IMO. I'm seeing leaving as sorta' like rejecting a present...you don't do that unless the gift, or in this case the party, is really inappropriate.

3-If a guest brings uninvited people who either aren't known or liked by either the host or guest of honor, what is the eHell approved action to be taken? Should it be taken with the crashers, or with the one who invited them? The host should take care of this. If you objected to them being there, NH should have asked them to leave. Probably better to talk to the person that was invited but brought the crashers, but talking to all of them if need be. Another thing that was probably just cluelessness on NH's part.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17531
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 03:28:32 AM »

My questions are:
1-Is it all right to throw a party for someone and not invite that someone’s family or friends, but only one’s own? (For the record, NH had and has a good relationship with my dad, and nothing inappropriate was happening at the party. I do believe his heart was in the right place but at the time I felt...hurt, for lack of a better word.)

I vote for clueless or perhaps a different birthday style. possibly in his circles one didn't invite parents to a birthday party. i don't know why he didn't invite *your* friends.

2-If a guest of honor hadn’t known or liked the chosen attendees of a surprise party, would it be required that she stay and mingle? Or is it all right for her to stay a few minutes then plead “other plans because I didn’t know about this”? (This did seriously cross my mind at one point, when the crashers showed.)
I think you should stay - unless something was going on that was really inappropriate (drugs, too much drinking etc) then you should be there. whether it was exactly to your taste or not - he *did* make an effort to do something nice for you (which is what many of us wish for...)

3-If a guest brings uninvited people who either aren't known or liked by either the host or guest of honor, what is the eHell approved action to be taken? Should it be taken with the crashers, or with the one who invited them?
the host should have asked them to leave. did you tell him to?



            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5798
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 06:14:27 AM »
1- I can understand having a friends only party, sans family, depending on what was planned. Depending on the party, it could be awkward and your family might have felt out of place in a 20-something events and your friends could have felt inhibited in front of your parents, who represent the previous generation. But, regardless, the focus should have been on people you enjoy.

2- This is one reason why I hate surprise party. I really think that, barring major reasons (like drugs, excessive alcohol, dangerous behaviour, etc), the guest of honour should stay. Not so much because of the party host (who brought it on himself) but because of the other guests, who are there to honour you.

3- They shouldn't have been let in to start with and turned away from the door.

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17334
Re: Surprise Birthday--betcha didn't see it coming! (Kind of lengthy)
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 11:40:45 AM »
Thank you!