Author Topic: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...  (Read 5711 times)

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Allyson

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2013, 01:43:25 AM »
Count me in with the 'normal in my social group' people. I, and most of my friends, would far rather go to a party like this, than be restricted to 'what the host could afford'. It does rely on someone not being offended if their friend can't make it due to cost, but that's never been an issue in my group. Really, the 'birthday' thing is more 'excuse to have a great, fun night out' than 'gathering that's all about ME' in my experience.

There are certain kinds of gatherings that happen that I'm not interested in--I don't really want to go see a movie in the theatre in a big group, for instance. So, I just don't go, and it's never been a problem. I don't think people who do choose this sort of thing are being rude.

peaches

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2013, 01:54:04 AM »
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.

The beauty of hospitality is that it doesn’t impose a means test on your guests. You provide the best hospitality you can afford (whether at home, a restaurant, a public park or whatever) and everyone invited gets to come (if they want to) regardless of their financial situation.

This way of looking at hospitality appeals to me.


Library Dragon

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2013, 01:56:01 AM »
I will confess to "throwing myself" a birthday party. When I was single and in the Army I had two choices:
1. Ignore my birthday, or
2. Invite new friends and acquaitences to celebrate with me.

There was no party throwing allowed in the barracks, so it was, "Hey I'm going to go to X for my birthday. I'd like it if you could join me. I'm buying the first round of drinks."

I live a part of the US where the majority of people haved moved from somewhere else.  No friends or family in the area, only new friends and co-workers.  Throwing yourself a birthday party is seen as a way to make connections and develop the friends that will probably throw the party next year.

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sammycat

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2013, 02:06:36 AM »
If we had to wait to for people to host fully, I don't think anyone would have parties around here.

I agree.  I'm absolutely flumoxed at the idea that adults should have parties thrown for them at other people's expense (parents/spouses excepted). I'd be beyond mortified if someone else spent their hard earned money on paying for a party for me.

SpikeMichigan

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2013, 09:54:29 AM »


 I've never understood the rule about throwing birthday parties either. I feel like its connected to the grander soirees of the past, and doesn't really work with casual get-togethers. Sometimes etiquette rules just fade and become antiquated, IMO.
 
 Granted, here in the UK I'm fairly sure that etiquette doesn't preclude self-hosted parties. I may also be biased from a personal perspective. My friends and I are all in the early-mid 20's range, and honestly, with everyone either busting themselves trying to find work or working low-paid jobs, there is much, much less going out than when we were students. Birthdays are often the only occasions when people really make the effort. I'd hate if some archaic etiquette rule meant that we couldn't organise a social event for that one day. Sure, we could all throw each other birthday parties and it would (theoretically) even out. But isn't that a bit of a pointless exercise?

NyaChan

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2013, 10:55:28 AM »
One reason why I don't mind going out to dinner like this for birthdays is that it lessens my obligation as a guest.  At first my friend group used to collect money and get a gift card for each person but by the end the process was onerous and expensive.  After that, we switched to just buying the birthday person dinner or a drink if we went out.  It makes it easier on me, because if I don't want to go to that dinner or if I can't, I can just take that person out another night and it doesn't stand out at all.  If they were having a hosted party and I skipped, everyone would want to know why and I would feel obligated to go since it is more of an event when we actually do host a party. 

JeseC

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2013, 03:27:36 PM »


 I've never understood the rule about throwing birthday parties either. I feel like its connected to the grander soirees of the past, and doesn't really work with casual get-togethers. Sometimes etiquette rules just fade and become antiquated, IMO.
 
 Granted, here in the UK I'm fairly sure that etiquette doesn't preclude self-hosted parties. I may also be biased from a personal perspective. My friends and I are all in the early-mid 20's range, and honestly, with everyone either busting themselves trying to find work or working low-paid jobs, there is much, much less going out than when we were students. Birthdays are often the only occasions when people really make the effort. I'd hate if some archaic etiquette rule meant that we couldn't organise a social event for that one day. Sure, we could all throw each other birthday parties and it would (theoretically) even out. But isn't that a bit of a pointless exercise?

Yeah - I think the attitude I've seen around here a lot is "hey, it's a good reason to go out and have a few beers and see the friends."  Most people would prefer to chip in a bit for beer than to sit around an overcrowded house with crackers and cheap cheese because that's all the host can afford.

blarg314

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2013, 03:15:27 AM »

I find it depends entirely on social norms in your group.

If your group of friends would normally go out for drinks, or out for a meal together as part of your social life, then arranging to do so on your birthday, at the kind of place you'd normally go to, is totally acceptable, and not an imposition on your friends.

It becomes rude when this is not normal in your social group - say you're mainly parents of small children, and you tend to socialize at each other's homes, or at a playground while the kids play.  It's also an imposition if the place you've chosen is more expensive than the places you normally go out - if your normal socializing is at the local pub or low end restaurants, arranging a pay your own way meal at a fancy restaurant is out of line unless you're treating. And it can be out of line if you're inviting people you wouldn't normally socialize with to subsidize your birthday do.

And it is a good idea to keep it low key. "Hey, let's go out for dinner on my birthday" is very different from throwing a huge shindig centred on yourself at other people's expense.

For younger people with no kids and very small apartments, the social model is very often going out together - to a pub, to a restaurant, to a club - with everyone paying their own way. As others have said, the model of having one person treat everyone and taking turns is problematic, and ironically, the less financially established you are, the more of a burden it is.  Someone who owns a house can entertain their friends much more cheaply than someone who rents a one room apartment with no kitchen.   The former can have a bunch of people over and make home-cooked food, providing drinks within their budget. The latter - well, you can have one person at a time over throughout the year, if you bring in take-out and they don't mind sitting on the bed to eat. Taking people out can be hard to control, financially - you need to find somewhere that's both cheap, and where you can control what people order.

*inviteseller

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2013, 09:36:59 PM »
To me, if you are throwing a party for anyone, including yourself, you are the host/hostess so you make all the plans, send out the invitations, then you pay for it.  It may be the norm in some circles, but it still does not make it a proper party.  My birthday is Monday...I will get some calls and a few cards and that is fine.  I personally think it is tacky if I were to send out invitations to my friends and family to pay homage to me on their dime just because I felt I needed a birthday celebration.  I do know some people put more of an emphasis on birthdays than others, but everyone I know, once they passed their rite of passage 21st, the only parties were milestone parties hosted and paid for by someone other than the invited guests. 

WillyNilly

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2013, 09:46:47 PM »
^ You are right, these types of dinners aren't parties, they are celebrations. Often people will casually refer to them as parties but I don't think anyone really thinks of them as such.

A party is hosted. This is simply organized. The similarity is they are both a celebration. And people are in a habit of calling birthday celebrations "parties" (also fueled by restaurant's staff usage of "party", such as when you arrive the restaurant asks "how many in you party?") So the word "party" comes to mind, even though the dinner isn't actually a party and IME people don't really consider them the same way.

Surianne

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2013, 10:33:48 PM »
I agree, whether it's called a party or not, this kind of birthday dinner/drinks isn't a hosted event, and there's nothing that implies (to me) that the birthday person is trying to represent it as a hosted event.  S/he's organizing a group of friends to go out.  The information is all given up front so anyone who prefers a hosted event can simply decline.  Nothing rude here.

MariaE

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2013, 02:18:02 AM »
Completely agree with WillyNilly and Surianne. Well put :)
 
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Roe

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2013, 09:21:07 AM »
I agree, whether it's called a party or not, this kind of birthday dinner/drinks isn't a hosted event, and there's nothing that implies (to me) that the birthday person is trying to represent it as a hosted event.  S/he's organizing a group of friends to go out.  The information is all given up front so anyone who prefers a hosted event can simply decline.  Nothing rude here.

I don't find it rude unless the birthday person expects gifts.

AnnaJ

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2013, 11:38:48 AM »
I have a birthday coming up and would like to spend it with some friends - I don't want a party.

For the past few years I've told friends that I'm going to X restaurant for dinner and would love it if they could come and help me celebrate...no gifts, a funny card if they find one they like.  We all have a nice dinner, a few drinks and some laughs.

Margo

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Re: Self thrown birthday parties of sort...
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2013, 08:30:47 AM »
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.

To me, it doesn't violate etiquette becausethe birthday person is simply faciliatating / arrangeing a get-together. The impulse happens to be a birthday but it appears to be an opportunity for a bunch of friends to get together and have a good time. Eveone knows aheead of time where it is, wheth the costs is, and that eveyone is paying their own way, so there is no preetnece of it being a 'hosted' event.

I think there is benefit to the participants in having someone make the effort to make arrangemetns, circulate details etc.

It's not a formal dinner party with a host, but it isn't pretending to be.

To me, it would be highly unusual to have a group event at a restaurant where the 'host' paid for everyone (the last one I can think of was my great aunt and uncle's Golden Wedding anniversary,and that was at least 15 years ago). I would far rather have a nive meal, pay for it myself, and get to spend time with friendss than end up either in a really chaep place or with no socialising at all, becuase hosting and paying for a group is out of the budget of most people I know.

To me, giving the details up front in the invitation does away with any etiquette violation as you are being clear about exactly what the invite is for, and can accept or decline on that basis. I would not assume that any gift was expected, although I might give a gift if the birthday girl was a close friend,someone who I would normally give a birthday gift to, and would probably give a card as if this is someone I'm close enough to go out to dinner with, it's someone I'd send or give a birthday card to in any event.