Author Topic: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...  (Read 5940 times)

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pickles50

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Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« on: April 02, 2013, 06:47:40 PM »
Looking for some feedback, if this subject has been discussed before my appologies.

I get an invite to a friends birthday party delivered to me via social networking site Monday for this coming Saturday. The birthday girl is arranging this herself. The get together will be held at a local restaurant she says budget $30 for food (bought by pound so accurate number) and don't forget money for beer, everyone is to meet at restaurant at a certain time, they do not honour reservations.

These kind of arrangements are always offputting for me, is this in good taste? I understand it is her birthday and she wants to celebrate but is it really okay to invite people to a get together and then remind people to bring $30-50 per person. I'm not implying she should pay but if you want these kinds of get togethers a better arrangement can be found.

Maybe I am too formal....

Thoughts? feedback?

NyaChan

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »
I think this sort of party's level of rudeness is determined by the norms of a social group.  For example, in my student social group, none of us are in a position financially to host a party at a restaurant for more than a couple people.  It is very common for us to choose to meet at a restaurant and have dinner where everyone pays their own way + pitches in for the birthday person's food.  That said, usually it isn't the birthday person who arranges things - normally one of us steps in to figure out what the Birthday Person wants and then makes the arrangements and invites the rest of us. 

I think that this particular invitation would be less icky if another friend had extended it on the Birthday Girl's behalf. 

katycoo

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 07:29:37 PM »
In my circle, all of this is fine.  You know upfront that dinner will be $30 plus drinks.  If you can't or don't want to go based on this info, you can decline.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 07:53:33 PM »
In my circle, all of this is fine.  You know upfront that dinner will be $30 plus drinks.  If you can't or don't want to go based on this info, you can decline.

Agreed.  In my circle (London, UK) this is pretty normal.  People arrange something and let others know.  They can come or not.  I should say that in my circle nobody hosts things for other peoples' birthdays apart from parents for young children.  It just isn't common custom and practice.    You organise what you like and invite your friends.    I should say that nobody I know would expect a present from the people attending.   

In the past when this has been discussed there have been significant regional variations as to how acceptable this is.  It seems to be heavily regional and culturally influenced. 
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WillyNilly

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 08:08:05 PM »
In my circles, this was the norm in our 20's. Now, in our 30's and 40's not so much anymore.

Its still perfectly normal to organize our own birthday party (or a spouse/SO does it for you) but we now have homes we can entertain in and we provide everything for our guests. But when we were younger, the 'at a restaurant, everyone pays their own way (and kicks in a bit for the birthday person)' was the norm.

As for listing the price, while I can see how it might be seen as tacky, I think its a lot better then not letting people know the approximate cost of the evening (or worse making them wonder if its being hosted), so I think its forgivable.

sammycat

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 09:18:19 PM »
In my circle, all of this is fine.  You know upfront that dinner will be $30 plus drinks.  If you can't or don't want to go based on this info, you can decline.

Agreed.  In my circle (London, UK) this is pretty normal.  People arrange something and let others know.  They can come or not.  I should say that in my circle nobody hosts things for other peoples' birthdays apart from parents for young children.  It just isn't common custom and practice.    You organise what you like and invite your friends.    I should say that nobody I know would expect a present from the people attending.   

In the past when this has been discussed there have been significant regional variations as to how acceptable this is.  It seems to be heavily regional and culturally influenced.

The OP's scenario seems perfectly normal to me too. I can probably count on 3 fingers the number of times I've been to a restaurant party where one person has picked up the entire bill, and 2 of those were for a 21st, where the restaurant gathering was simply an alternative to the standard home party.

LadyR

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 09:26:58 PM »
In my circles, this was the norm in our 20's. Now, in our 30's and 40's not so much anymore.

Its still perfectly normal to organize our own birthday party (or a spouse/SO does it for you) but we now have homes we can entertain in and we provide everything for our guests. But when we were younger, the 'at a restaurant, everyone pays their own way (and kicks in a bit for the birthday person)' was the norm.

As for listing the price, while I can see how it might be seen as tacky, I think its a lot better then not letting people know the approximate cost of the evening (or worse making them wonder if its being hosted), so I think its forgivable.

This is my experience too. It used to be meet at a resatuarant, everyone paid their own way, now its house parties, but generally you organize your own.

I think listing the price is smart too, so people have an idea how much to budget. For my bachelorette dinner, my MOH e-mailed the restaurant menu to everyone as a heads up, as it was a slightly higer price range than we normally do.


Raintree

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 09:29:19 PM »
Arranging a get-together at a restaurant where everyone pays their own way is normal in my circles. Everyone is just glad that someone else initiated a gathering. Usually though, if it's in honour of someone's birthday, it's not the birthday person who does the arranging.

One friend of mine got around this in what I thought was a good way. She wanted to do something on her birthday without actually saying, "Hey, it's my birthday!" So she simply organized a restaurant/pub dinner, the usual kind where everyone pays for themselves. She just didn't SAY it was her birthday. Halfway through though, someone looked at Facebook on their smartphone, saw that it was her birthday, and we all wished her a happy birthday. She never said that was the reason for the dinner, but I suspect it was. I thought it was classy of her not to make a big deal of it being her birthday.

MariaE

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 04:46:50 AM »
Perfectly normal in my circle as well (Denmark - people in their mid-late 30s).

However, even if it's in honour of somebody's birthday, there'd be no expectation of gifts, so it's not a matter of paying your own way AND paying for the GOH AND giving her a gift as well. Everybody pays their own way - including birthday girl - and that's it.
 
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 06:27:36 AM »
It's normal in my circle too. However, I do think it's rude when the birthday person expects gifts on top of everyone paying for their own meals (and chipping in to cover the birthday person's). Most invitations come with the caveat "no gifts please".

sammycat

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 06:33:48 AM »
Everybody pays their own way - including birthday girl - and that's it.

This has always been my experience too -  I can't think of a single time when the birthday person has not paid for their own meal, and I'd be horrified if the rest of the guests chipped in for mine on my birthday.

Shortylicious

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 06:49:50 AM »
I'm conservative and formal too Pickles, so I'd find this kind of invite off-putting. BUT I find that this is how it is done more and more these days. I have some younger family members (in-laws) who throw these kind of parties all the time and I just have to bite my tongue and go along. 

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 11:10:02 AM »
This is normal in my circle, too.  I like that everything is upfront, and you can decide whether to go or not based on the information.

peaches

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 11:25:10 AM »
It isn't normal in my circle of friends or my experience.

Usually, a friend or relative or spouse gives a party for the birthday person, either at their home or at a restaurant, and foots the bill.

I've been to birthday lunches with workplace friends where everyone paid their own way plus chipped in to cover the meal for the person having the birthday. They weren't organized by the person being honored.

I'm old-fashioned, I suppose, and believe you entertain in a manner and on a scale you can afford.

JeseC

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 11:38:44 AM »
It isn't normal in my circle of friends or my experience.

Usually, a friend or relative or spouse gives a party for the birthday person, either at their home or at a restaurant, and foots the bill.

I've been to birthday lunches with workplace friends where everyone paid their own way plus chipped in to cover the meal for the person having the birthday. They weren't organized by the person being honored.

I'm old-fashioned, I suppose, and believe you entertain in a manner and on a scale you can afford.

I think a lot of that's changing out of necessity of economy.  If you're like me my first year of grad school...you're in a room that barely fits one person and just enough money to feed and house and clothe yourself.  There is no such thing as "entertaining on a scale you can afford" if you want to be able to entertain at all.  And you might spend 5-10 years of your young adult life that way.