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MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I need birthday advice; would you help me please?

Asked by MrMeltedCrayon (2799points) August 24th, 2008

Alright guys, my birthday will be coming up in a few weeks. I’ve already had people asking me what I am going to do for it and whether or not I am going to throw a party. So far, my answer has been “I’m not sure what I’m doing and I really don’t feel like having a party.” And that is actually very true and not an attempt as reverse psychology. If I do anything, I would prefer it to be nice and quiet. However, I think some of my friends are planning on throwing me a surprise party. How can I get it across to them that I don’t want a party without 1.) blatantly admitting that the surprise has been slipped and 2.) looking and sounding like a complete jerk? I do appreciate the fact that they’re willing to put effort like that into helping me celebrate, but it’s just not what I want this year.

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12 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

I think you take the time to speak directly to the alpha dog/ring leader of this group and explain your feelings as succintly and politely as you did here….

You might also consider being out of town for your birthday if you feel that strongly about the “no party” situation.

If neither of these options seems reasonable, you might just have to grit your teeth and smile. And focus on the fact that it could always be worse….

Scrumpulator's avatar

Hookers and Blow

JackAdams's avatar

A friend of mine had a situation like yours in the 1960s, and he came to me and asked what he should do, because he didn’t want anyone fussing over him.

I suggested that he let everyone know that a friend of his had invited him to a mountain cabin the week of his birthday, that he had accepted, and was preparing to leave town.

He did just that, then left to visit a relative in another nearby city.

The plans to surprise him were dropped, and all that resulted were a few nice greeting cards, which was all he wanted, anyway.

August 24, 2008, 9:14 PM EDT

gailcalled's avatar

It seems to me that you can choose the kind of birthday celebration you want, without recourse to lying. You will only be a jerk if you let others decide what is best for you.

It is similar to having a mother-in-law try to pick the name for her first grandchild; the young parents have to take a stand.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

Thanks for the input everyone.

Sadly, going out of town just isn’t an option for me at that time (even though it sounds like an amazing idea). I suppose I’ll just have to suck it up and put my foot down.

marinelife's avatar

Instead of saying what you don’t want, MrMeltedCrayon, focus on what you do want. Sit down and think about it. Do you want a quiet evening at home? Do you want a casual evening with one or two people? Decide!

Then go back to your friends that have inquired and say, “This year what I really want to do on my birthday is to spend the day by myself (or substitute what you want). I don’t want a fuss made over my birthday. I just want it to be another day. Thanks very much for asking.”

What your friends are reacting to is trying to fill the vacuum for you. If you are clear on what you want, they won’t try to plan something else.

I hope you have the birthday celebration that you desire. Happy upcoming bday.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I hadn’t thought about it that way, Marina. Thanks for the advice; great as always.

JackAdams's avatar

Marina’s answer is indeed much better than mine.

August 24, 2008, 9:35 PM EDT

augustlan's avatar

Here’s to your birthday, and spending it just the way you want to.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

Getting old huh? ;)

I feel the same way each year but then end up celebrating it a whole week with different friends.

Maybe that’s what you should do is have dinner with them one group at a time

charliecompany34's avatar

my wife is just like you. she enjoys being celebrated, but not on a grand scale. actually, you dont have to do all that much for her. she is very immaterial and hates spending money on herself, but will spend it on others. your closest S.O. knows you more than anybody. respecting you is the priority. planners should always keep this in mind. if they want to make a b-day statement, your wishes should also be recognized.

Knotmyday's avatar

Another tack would be to tell your inquiring friends that you planned to have a quiet dinner with family. That always seems to deflate the behind-the-scenes preparation.

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