Author Topic: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...  (Read 5150 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 11:53:23 AM »
We just had a gathering for my birthday, organized primarily by my friend with assistance from my fiance. Fiance paid for me and him, friend made cupcakes to share and bought one round of happy hour drinks, but otherwise everyone paid their own way. This is fairly typical.

The past few birthdays I've been to:
-- Paintball and dinner/drinks. We pitched in to cover the birthday guy's paintball, but he and his wife paid for their own dinner and everyone else paid their way.
-- Party at my house for fiance. I paid for food and alcohol, but several people also brought alcohol to share. This is becoming the most common approach as we reach/pass 30.
-- Drinks out, organized by the birthday boy/girl. All pay their own way, though someone might buy a pitcher or bring cake. This has long been the most common approach.

bah12

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 11:56:23 AM »
I don't see a problem with it.  When I was in my 20's it was normal for my group of friends to arrange a night out for their birthdays.  As long as you know ahead of time the expectations and aren't pressured to go if you decline, then I think it's ok.

Now that I'm in my 30's, we don't do this as much (where everyone pays their way).  My DH normally organizes a night out on my birthday with my two best friends and their SO's.  We pick up the tab for the whole thing.  But that dinner with friends is like his birthday present to me.  Other friends may have their spouses arrange parties in their homes (some are potluck).  If a friend organized a birthday dinner and told us in the invite to expect to pay for our meals, I'd still be ok with it.  As a matter of fact, when I'm invited out to dinne with any friend, even when it's not stated explicitly who will pay for what, I expect to pay my own way....and if I'm treated to a free dinner, then bonus!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2013, 12:23:40 PM »
I find it a little off putting, too. I read it as "Hey everyone, come to the restaurant I picked to celebrate me."  I know that's not the way it's inteneded and it is common and accepted by lots of social circles. But I was raised that you never host/coordinate a party in your own honor just like you never toast your own sucess.   

In my 20's, a friend of the birthday celebrant would have coordinated for everyone to meet  for dinner or a bar. If dinner, the guests would have split the cost of the bday person's meal. If at a bar, then friends would have bought the bday person a few drinks.  The Bday person would not have been the one to decide the location and invite others.

In my 30's & 40's, very few birthday celebrations occured. There was usually a 30th bday party thrown by the person's SO or a good friend and maybe one for a 40th. But most birthdays were celebrated with immediate family or you might have some close friends over for dinner.

*inviteseller

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2013, 11:04:26 PM »
None of my friends or myself has ever thrown ourselves our own birthday party.  I would be put off to get an invitation to spend money on a meal for someone because they thought their birthday needed a big recognition.  In my circle, someone might invite the birthday person to lunch or dinner either at a restaurant or in their home on their own but the only large parties are usually thrown by and paid for by a spouse or relative for a milestone birthday.   

kareng57

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 12:03:51 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.


But, no one "has to" have a birthday party.  I've never had one, as an adult, and never missed it.

JeseC

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 01:04:55 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.


But, no one "has to" have a birthday party.  I've never had one, as an adult, and never missed it.

Yeah, but what you said doesn't just apply to birthday parties.  It applies to any sort of entertaining at all.  And of course it is also still rude to take advantage of others' hospitality and never do anything of your own.  What is a poor grad student to do?

thedudeabides

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2013, 01:55:17 PM »
The way I look at this is that it's a violation of formal etiquette. But is formal etiquette what my group of friends defaults to? Not even remotely. I could fall back on formal etiquette and get offended that my friends were rude enough to do this, but I'd pretty quickly find myself getting offended over everything and not having any fun with my friends. Or I could go with the flow and reserve formal etiquette for a time and place when it's appropriate. Like with my girlfriend's grandparents.

TurtleDove

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2013, 03:41:42 PM »
The way I look at this is that it's a violation of formal etiquette. But is formal etiquette what my group of friends defaults to? Not even remotely. I could fall back on formal etiquette and get offended that my friends were rude enough to do this, but I'd pretty quickly find myself getting offended over everything and not having any fun with my friends. Or I could go with the flow and reserve formal etiquette for a time and place when it's appropriate. Like with my girlfriend's grandparents.

Absolutely.  I think in most situations involving family and friends, insisting on formal etiquette or being offended/looking down on people who don't live up to formal etiquette is a waste of time and can only lead to tension in relationships

Eeep!

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 04:00:48 PM »
The way I look at this is that it's a violation of formal etiquette. But is formal etiquette what my group of friends defaults to? Not even remotely. I could fall back on formal etiquette and get offended that my friends were rude enough to do this, but I'd pretty quickly find myself getting offended over everything and not having any fun with my friends. Or I could go with the flow and reserve formal etiquette for a time and place when it's appropriate. Like with my girlfriend's grandparents.

Absolutely.  I think in most situations involving family and friends, insisting on formal etiquette or being offended/looking down on people who don't live up to formal etiquette is a waste of time and can only lead to tension in relationships.

This is my opinion too.  :)
Personally, since we are currently blessed enough to be in a position to be able to afford it, we do like to pick up the tab for any birthday events we have. However, in my experience, people really don't expect it. In fact, for my birthday this year we went out to ice cream.  Every single person was surprised when they went to pay and we said it was taken care of.  So I don't think anyone in our family/friends circle would be at all appalled by such a birthday arrangement.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Curious Cat

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2013, 06:42:23 PM »
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.

I actually love that she included what the price would be.  The only annoyance I ever feel at this sort of invite is if I have to track down a link to the restaurant to find out what the prices are. 

My friends and I are all in the late 20s - early 30s and I have never been to a restaurant birthday dinner when I didn't expect to [pay for my own meal.

peaches

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2013, 10:46:00 PM »
What you call formal etiquette I call consideration for others.

It's inconsiderate - and taking advantage - to order up the birthday party you desire and then ask your friends to pay for it.

Etiquette is based on consideration for others, genuine hospitality (which involves giving, not taking), not giving offense or hurting others unnecessarily.

The party described in the OP violates etiquette (to me) because there's no hospitality in it. The birthday person isn't giving a party. They're making arrangements, and the guests get to pick up the tab.

Surianne

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2013, 10:48:28 PM »
Totally normal in my circle, and I'm in my 30s and have been to these types of birthday celebrations for friends in their 20s and friends in their 60s, so it's not even a poor college student thing.  It's just an excuse to hang out and have fun.   

What you call formal etiquette I call consideration for others.

It's inconsiderate - and taking advantage - to order up the birthday party you desire and then ask your friends to pay for it.

Etiquette is based on consideration for others, genuine hospitality (which involves giving, not taking), not giving offense or hurting others unnecessarily.

The party described in the OP violates etiquette (to me) because there's no hospitality in it. The birthday person isn't giving a party. They're making arrangements, and the guests get to pick up the tab.

I find it interesting that you mention giving offense and hurting others.  How is it hurting others to say up front "Hey, anyone want to come out for my birthday?  Cost will be around $X."  Anyone who would be hurt by this because they can't afford it, can turn it down.  Anyone who would have fun with it can say yes. 

peaches

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2013, 10:56:57 PM »
All of the aspects of etiquette in my definition, and it's just my definition, don't apply to every situation. I was describing etiquette broadly, as I see it.

In the OP's situation, the part that I believe violates etiquette is "giving" a party without providing anything.

I wouldn't give a birthday party for myself, and provide nothing.

But that's just my take on this. We're here to discuss our varying views on etiquette, and they do vary, sometimes a lot!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 11:04:47 PM by peaches »

Surianne

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2013, 11:41:11 PM »
When it comes to casual events where everyone pays for themselves, I see the "giving" as the effort spent organizing -- calling or emailing everyone to come out, deciding on the date, time, and venue, researching the costs so everyone knows up front, etc. 




CakeEater

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2013, 01:40:51 AM »
All of the aspects of etiquette in my definition, and it's just my definition, don't apply to every situation. I was describing etiquette broadly, as I see it.

In the OP's situation, the part that I believe violates etiquette is "giving" a party without providing anything.

I wouldn't give a birthday party for myself, and provide nothing.

But that's just my take on this. We're here to discuss our varying views on etiquette, and they do vary, sometimes a lot!

But as far as I see it, the birthday girl isn't claiming to be giving a party. She'd like to see people on her birthday and is organising a get-together, not hosting a party.

I'm another who sees throwing your own birthday party as completely fine. Of course no-one has to have a party, but they're supposed to be fun, not something people have to have or not.

I went to a 40th party recently which was pay-your-own-way, but where the birthday girl had chosen a place with good food at reasonable prices, that was kid-friendly, had room for all the guests to be comfortable, and gave her time to chat with people, rather than rushing around making food at home. We were happy to go, eat out, have a fun night and celebrate with her. If we had to wait to for people to host fully, I don't think anyone would have parties around here.

Plus no-one gives gifts to adult friends for their birthdays that I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 01:43:12 AM by CakeEater »