I’m curious what others think about this— maybe my own feelings about my birthday (which is, I’m grateful to have one and appreciate any kind gestures but don’t want any significant celebration) are clouding my judgement and making me curmudgeonly about this!
A bit of background: this particular friend has done this for at least seven or eight years now; selecting up to a week’s worth of activities to celebrate her birthday and mass-inviting friends, family and co-workers via Facebook. Activities have ranged from wine tasting to park picnics to movies to group dinners. As well as my memory serves, she’ll sometimes provide some food, as in cupcakes for the park picnic, and make the group reservation, but any entrance fees, tickets, meal checks, bar tabs, etc. are expected to be paid by her “guests.”
The invitation, received the first week of July for a birthday the last week of August, is as follows with identifying details changed:
I’m planning to celebrate my birthday with two days of fun!
On my actual birthday, I’ll be at Scooby’s Bar and Grill after work. Not sure about the time yet, but I’ll let you know (they have happy hour specials until 6 though so arrive as early as you want!).
On the Sunday after my birthday I’ll be participating in the Walk to Save the Micro Orphan Whales. More info to come; you’re welcome to join my fundraising team.
Then we can head over to Le Bougie Bistro to celebrate with food and refreshments. Based on the travel time I estimate we will start brunch around 10am.
On Sunday evening I’ll be attending the Symphony on the Green. We’ll have pizza among other goodies. Link to tickets here.
My thought is, if you’re in your mid-thirties and want to celebrate your birthday with more than your immediate family, you invite friends or whom ever for whatever fits your vision and budget—if that means a formal, gourmet dinner party, buying everyone pitchers of beer and plates of wings at a local bar, or even just cake and a board game in your living room, whatever; but you provide the hospitality and thank these people for being in your life. To me this sounds like “here’s my grand birthday tour, you may be graced by my presence at your convenience.” To that end, she titled the event “Birthday Options” and in the past has even said that she’s planned a full spectrum of events so that everyone can find something that works for them (I ignore the invitation completely but have considered submitting this every year for awhile now).
Of course, she’s already posted links to gift suggestions and this comes just weeks after asking for donations to fund her sketch comedy club’s European “performance (vacation).” 0807-18
By now everyone on the planet should know my thoughts on “invitations” of this nature. One almost expects young children to be selfish and whine of their need to be suitably feted for their birthday but adults? Pity the grown adult who must regress back to childish needs for a birthday party.
In this story, the birthday girl (and I use the diminutive intentionally) annually invests a considerable amount of time coordinating, scheduling and planning events surrounding her birthday yet apparently does not apply her considerable skills to bless anyone else. One hopes that enough friends, family and co-workers decline to attend the birthday events.