My question to the blogosphere is… ‘Is it ever okay to ask someone to pay to attend your own birthday gathering?
This was brought to my attention recently. My friend and her family were invited to her husbands’ extended family birthday gathering. It all sounded good until she read that it was going to cost her family (two adults and two children) at least $150 to attend.
She was shocked as she re-read the invitation and then called me to ask my opinion.
‘You’re asking the wrong person’, I said. ‘You know I how feel about these things.’
We had had this conversation many times over the years, but she was rather rattled by this invitation.
‘Why?’ I figured probing was the answer.
“They make such a big deal over how much they spend on things and then they ask US to pay to attend their party. I think it’s a bit rich. Excuse the pun.”
My response was simple, “Well don’t go.”
“But won’t it look rude?”
The silence that preceded that remark, answered the question. I didn’t need to say a thing.
Generally, people understand the situation. If they are close enough to the person, then they would be happy to spend the money. The other things that got to my friend were: the birthday was not a significant one, you know, like turning 21 or 50 or 100. It was an ‘insignificant’ birthday age. The other thing that my friend was grappling with was the fact that in order to celebrate the birthday, not only did they have to fork out $150, but they had to drive at least an hour and a half to get to the event.
I asked her if the venue and menu would be worth it. ‘Hmmm, the venue would be fine, but the menu was limited.’
I’m sorry. In all fairness, I am backing my friend on this one. The insignificant age; the fact that they had to pay to attend; the distance to travel; bragging about their expensive things and the limited menu.
This gets a thumbs down.
Find Gillian in a busy cafe or street, scoping the prospect of characters in her latest book.
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