So, a friend of mine offered to have a little BBQ get-together at their house tonight for my birthday... I was a little reluctant because this kind of thing often ends up with the person inviting friends and family (of theirs) who I don't know. Then, while they are cooking and BBQing and preparing, I am left to entertain all the unknown people. I am not good at this, nor do I enjoy it. Particularly when I am surprised by the whole thing (i.e., not told that strangers were going to be in attendance).
This time, I said, "Who are you inviting? I don't want to be stuck entertaining a bunch of people I don't know/like while you are cooking. I would rather just be prepared. I don't like surprises." No, no. It will just be us (small group of friends) and we can play some games and just eat. No big deal.
Did I mention that this is supposedly for my birthday? In my world, the birthday person's preferences are taken into account for a birthday celebration. Things like inviting people they know, having food they like, having it in a place that the person can appreciate are all parts of how I would celebrate someone's birthday.
If you know me, you know that sitting outside at dusk (mosquitos, temperature, allergies) eating food without a table that has been cooked with smoke pouring out of the cooking apparatus, potentially cold (as BBQ food tends to be) with lots of condiments and BBQ-type foods does not add up to the perfect Jean Birthday celebration.
Now, add to that 9 strangers. Total strangers that I don't know. Never met. And then don't even bother to tell me EVEN AFTER I ASKED. I finally wheedled it out of them and I can tell you honestly that I don't really even want to go. I know I should just be happy that anyone cares that I have a birthday...but at this point, I kinda feel like the birthday thing is done now. This wasn't about me. This is an excuse to have a BBQ and force me into an uncomfortable social situation. I wouldn't want to go if we just called it that, but at least I wouldn't feel so used and then guilty because I'm not feeling grateful.