22 October 2008

The Dreaded Birthday Dinner.

Via Jezebel, of course.

This subject has been on my mind because not only do I have my own milestone-ish birthday on the horizon, I recently was discussing the dreaded birthday dinner because some friends had been invited to one and I thought maybe I'd dodged the bullet. Turns out, I just didn't check my Yahoo e-mail. The invite was there. I turned it down because, well, I don't really care for the person and I didn't want to spend a shit-ton of money on someone I don't like. I didn't feel bad and I'm not sure I even bothered to make up an excuse. If I did, it was "other plans."

The birthday dinner we declined was exactly the type of birthday dinner everyone hates. Under normal circumstances, The Birthday Boy (and sadly, his partner has succumbed to these evil ways) is always guilty of not paying his fair share of the bill. It's only going to get worse when he's the Man of the Hour. Mike said that when he and Sweetness went to the same birthday dinner last year, they ended up paying an extra $60. You all have those friends, don't you? Everyone does, right?

Save for a few, isolated cases, people always get screwed at these things. Not everyone gets screwed, mind you. But the people who aren't getting screwed are screwing everyone else.

Look, I like celebrating my birthday. Perhaps a bit too much. But what the fuck ever. It's my birthday, dammit. However, I don't expect people to pay for me and I don't expect presents. Though, I'm retarded and often forget the "no gifts please" part of the invite ... but the people who are going to get you presents will ignore that shit anyway. I know I do. All a part of the dance, I suppose. I just want to hang out and get drunk with my friends. Why is that so wrong?

I can't remember the last time I had an actual birthday dinner -- maybe four or five years ago? When I turned 30? There has been dinner eating before the birthday drinking on several occasions, but that's of the "If you want to come early and eat dinner, Blondie and I will be there at 7:00" variety. No pressure, you know? And if people can't afford it, shit. I understand that. I've turned down many an event over the years because of brokeness.

This past year my birthday consisted of a movie night for the close friends and a happy hour for everyone. I think it worked out well. I'd intended to have a party at my house last year, but Sweetness wanted to have a movie night the same evening, so we combined the two into one. Score! Quite frankly, it was one of my better birthdays.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe I am one of those horrible birthday tyrants. God, I hope not.

I think this year I might do the party. I've had that bacon-themed party idea tucked in my back pocket for nearly a year now. It's about time I do something with it. And a house party is infinitely more affordable for everyone. Lord knows we all need that now. And I know I won't have to do everything myself, because my friends are of the helpful variety. The first thing out of several mouths is always, "What can I bring?"

Dammit. All this party talk has me itching to have one. In addition to the bacon-themed party, I was struck by another idea last night: trashy/retro/classic potluck. Think tator tot hotdish or deviled eggs or Swedish meatballs. Stuff your parents would serve at their parties when you were a kid. Stuff you'd see in a Lutheran church basement or at a post-funeral luncheon. We drink cheap beer and jug wine. Too much?

Clearly I've been in broke hibernation mode for too long. I need to entertain! At least Thursday Night Football starts in a couple of weeks. That's an excuse for a weeknight mini-party. I love being the only one in the group with NFL Network.


abbersnail said...

I genuinely resent other people's birthday dinners. Not close friends, mind you, but fringe-friends - definitely. I have this large group of fringe-friends, and they all have multi-evening birthday soirees, and it's always exactly like what you're saying. PLUS they get all offended if you decline the invite.

Suffice it to say, I frequently offend them.

Jess said...

Yeah, the problems always come up with fringe friends.

And those odd times the fringe friends don't cause problems? They seem to find their way into the close friends circle in pretty short order. At least that's what I find to be the case.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I stopped doing the fringe friends birthday dinners several years back. It was always the same, people picking apart the bill, but not willing to figure out what people owed. Instead, you have 15 people individually going through the bill and most people forgetting to add tax and tip into the amount they owe.

Now, I go with a small group of close friends or have multiple one-on-one dinners where I really get to catch up with them.

For the fringe friend events, I always catch up with them later at a bar and buy them a drink. I get to celebrate their birthday without the drama.

I love the flashback party theme - it could be everything from a crock pot!

Cosmos said...

The retro party sounds fun! Remember Pigs in a Blanket? The weenies stuffed with cheese wrapped in a canned crescent roll thingies.

There was an article in the NYT about them at cocktail parties last winter. Try them with little wieners, they'd be cute, fun and simple to make!

Jess said...

Oh my God! I was thinking about pigs in a blanket the whole time and then I spaced when listing out the examples.

Sounds like you've got shit figured out, LMB. I tend to avoid sticky situations entirely if at all possible. Especially for fringe friends I don't exactly know why I hang out with.

Most of my parties involve a crock pot at some point as it is. I love the idea of a table full of crock pots. That's almost a theme unto itself.

Jen said...

Hmmm..February roadtrip?!

Also, I think I have figured out who the birthday boy is from all the clues. Of course, I could have no damn idea what I'm talking about, too.

Jess said...

Yes to the roadtrip and yes, I believe you know exactly who I'm talking about.

Becca said...

wow so many things to comment on! I'm not sure where to start.

I love the idea of a crockpot party.

I know the perfect place for a Feb road trip. Texas.. why wouldn't you want to come visit some strange girl you've never met who just comments on your blog.

I feel the same way about bachlorette parties. Some people always end up paying way more than others.

Emily said...

I've always felt that things should be the opposite way - when it's my birthday, I tend to want to throw a party and supply the drinks.

Even when I'm broke, I'll do the "I'll supply mixers and snacks, bring your own booze" thing.

Next thing you know people will be starting birthday registries. Ugh.

Jess said...

I would be willing to bet that there are people now who have birthday registries.

Maybe it's getting older or it's because I'm getting to be a better hostess, but I would rather have a party here than drag all my friends out for dinner, too.

Bachelorette parties are an entirely different animal, but yeah, there's the whole paying more than you probably should. Especially if you're the maid of honor. EXCEPTION: The Classy Broad's Bachelorette Party. That shit fucking rocked.

Muffy Willowbrook said...

I love the idea of a bacon themed party.

And - you don't like Kevin Love? I haven't seen him in action yet, but he looks pretty hot in the skyways, at least.

Jess said...

Mark your calendar for just before your own birthday, sister.

Hate the Kevin Love. He looks like ass in action. I am unimpressed.

Emily said...

Oh, and if you DO have a bacon-themed party, you should probably have a bacon cake. I found these today:


Jess said...

Must. Have. Bacon. Cake.