Would You Plan a Birthday Party For Yourself?

I’ve never had a birthday party. Oh, maybe when I was a child with my mom and stepfather, siblings and grandparents, we’d have cake and ice cream and I’d open presents.

But I’ve never had a traditional birthday party where friends were invited.

I’ve been thinking I’d like to have a party for myself when I turn the BIG FIVE-OH. Yep, it’s not too many years from now, and if I’m going to have a party, I should probably sock away a little bit of money to do so.

Mr. A thinks I’m totally nuts. He would not want a birthday party for himself, and he’s very much a loner so he wouldn’t really have any friends to invite.  He can’t fathom me wanting to have a birthday party. To celebrate my 50th birthday? Nuts!

I guess I got the idea when a friend last year threw a surprise birthday party for her husband when he turned 40.  His family attended, his mom and stepfather, dad and stepmother, siblings, wife, children, his coworkers and his boss were in on it, our church family attended and friends throughout his life were invited. I even got to meet a really neat lady and her family who had met the guy twenty years earlier when they worked together. There were a lot of people in attendance, I thought it was great fun.

It cost $400 for the food for our wedding and 100 people were invited.  I don’t know if I’d want to invite that many people. I have no idea what it would cost, would I need to cater in food?  Order pizza?  I don’t know!

I guess another reason I think about having a birthday party for myself is I loved my wedding, I loved having all my friends and family there with me to celebrate. I still feel sad that it was over so quickly.  Apparently a church uses the building the next day, so my employer insisted that we had to have the entire place cleaned and back to its normal state by 4pm. And the wedding started promptly at 2pm!!  It’s not like we had booze so probably people wouldn’t have wanted to stay forever partying.  But it was just so rushed. Everything had to be in a big hurry, and I tried to go from table to table and visit, but ran out of time. I was like Cinderella at the ball.

Now Mr. A on the other hand, dearly loves my employer and appreciates that she kept everything moving along. He thinks he nearly died from the entire experience.

That’s the other sad part for me.  Mr. A would attend my birthday party, but he probably wouldn’t enjoy it very much.  He would probably have a horrible time.

I would probably need to have it indoors, as my birthday comes in late May, when it is just too hot already in Arizona to be comfortable.

But wait, I just thought of something… I have a friend who has a little western town that she rents out for birthday parties – she would almost certainly let me use the place for no cost, or for a low fee. Maybe we could have it there, late afternoon and evening, and we could have a campfire. But again, it might be too hot already.

So what do you think about birthday parties for adults?  What about the BIG FIVE-OH?  I certainly don’t feel anywhere near fifty!

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23 comments to Would You Plan a Birthday Party For Yourself?

  • Red

    Ok, lady! Party etiquette says it’s bad to throw a party in your own honor when gifts are expected. That also used to be the case with mothers throwing bridal showers. It was “tacky” because it looked like it was just a way to get gifts for her daughter.

    Nowadays, I don’t think it’s considered *as* tacky, but if you want to do it without any perceived tackiness, I would tell one friend about what you want – or get Mr. A in on it if you can. Then let that person spread the word, send invites, whatever. You SHOULD celebrate your 50th! You’ve been around for half a century at that point. You deserve a party then more than you did as a child. ;) (So much is wasted on the young!) If it comes down to it and you can’t get the hint across to anyone (I personally think Mr. A would be the best person to do it. He could just send a message to one of your good friends explaining that you’ve been talking about wanting a birthday party, but you don’t think it’s right to throw it for yourself. And let me Mr. A say something like, “And I have no idea where to start or I’d do it myself.”), then throw it for yourself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting friends together to celebrate you, but I can also understand why people say it’s rude.

    I like the little western place idea! You could bring stuff to make s’mores! I’m from the south so we don’t do much catering for birthday parties. We usually just have a cookout or go out to eat. But if you want to, why not? It’s your party! You’re only going to turn 50 once! :)

    (p.s. I’m sorry your wedding felt rushed. D is like Mr. A when it comes to big gatherings. He has already told me he’d love to get out of our wedding after no more than two hours. Um, no! :-p)

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Red: Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t expect presents! I’d be embarrassed by that. Even for our wedding we wrote a little note that said we didn’t expect gifts but only the honor of their presence. Good suggestion on seeing if I can find someone else to put it together though. I will think more on it, after all I still have a few years left to decide. :-) Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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    Red Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability, Ah, ok! Well, your friends will know that then! :) I’m still a young’n so I still get asked what I want for my birthday. By the time I’m 24, I’m sure that’ll taper off to no one, and I’ll get glad when it does! Presents embarrass me too. :-p

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  • It’s your day! Plan it and enjoy it!!! I chose to spend my 30th with a small intimate group, others choose to be surrounded by all their friends…whatever you decide….have fun!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Lakita! Thanks for the encouragement. I really go back and forth on whether I want to do such a thing… I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have a plan in the works either way. I could always cancel… thanks again!

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  • I agree with Red: You deserve a party.

    Of course, I’m terrible at planning my own little soirees. But usually I’d just arrange for a couple of friends to come and celebrate with me over a drink or two. That’s what it ended up being, anyway.

    I think the best way to do it is to have two separate events: One with your hubby and sons; one for everyone else. That way, Mr. A can avoid the big one but still celebrate with you. You can do those two the same day or different days.

    And you should NOT have to plan your own party! Not on something big like this. Ask, as a favor/bday gift, for someone you trust to set up something. And you should NOT have to pay for anything. Discounts can be found or whatever, but especially if you don’t want gifts, people can bring some food or chip in for something or something. Potluck can be fun because you get such a variety of foods. (So long as you delegate so that 20 people don’t bring chips and soda.)

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Abigail: Thanks for all the great suggestions. I think it would be fun… I especially like the potluck idea.

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  • Mrs A

    Mrs Credit Card actually plans her birthday party and mine too! sometimes, it’s just a simple dinner with a couple of friends..I wrote how she celebrated her 40th by having a “charity party”..maybe that will be an idea for you?

    http://www.askmrcreditcard.com/creditcardblog/mrs-credit-card-40th-charity-birthday-party-for-alex-lemonade-stand-foundation/

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  • Hmmm. . .I like it. I sometimes think that the best part about our wedding(s) was that it rounded up a lot of people we don’t see often. It was an informal event. My husband intends to have a large, belated 40th birthday picnic on his parent’s agricultural lot in France this year. (wine, barbecue and family as far as the eye can see. . .sounds fun eh?).

    I’d do it–maybe I will do it when I’m 40, or 50. Why not? It’s another good excuse to celebrate. I even had an aunt who organized a ‘surprise’ birthday party for herself, which was kind of odd. . .but she seemed to enjoy it, a lot!

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  • Yes, throw yourself a wonderful party. It’s your 50th (which is special) and your day.

    I had that special birthday last year and dictated exactly what I wanted (certain restaurant, who would go, etc.). It was a small gathering, but the site your friend has opens up a lot of possiblities that wouldn’t be too expensive (weenie roast, s’mores, etc.).

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  • oregonsun

    Gosh, it sounds wonderful to me! I must be married to your husband’s twin. My husband is a loner too. He does not like ANY get-togethers for any reason. Sigh…maybe if he would be just too miserable (mine would be) you could just do it yourself without him being obligated to attend.

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  • Honey, you just go right ahead and plan that party. Do not be concerned with what the Mr. has to say. We are all different. Just do this for you because you love your friends and they will be delighted to come.

    In fact, have them bring something. That will make them feel more a part of it. Now, you have fun.

    Oh, and one thing is for sure. Every birthday is special. That was the day you came into this world for so many people to love.

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  • Nan

    Mrs. Accountability –
    I’m turning 50 this year as well and want to throw a bash. I am single and really want to get together with friends, family and have a good time. I’m a little nervous, but I’m going to do it!!! Planning has already started… I’m going to include in a very casual invite that there are to be NO Gifts, Just their Presence! Celebrating our special day is for ourselves, yes, but social people want to share that celebration with others. Go for it!

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  • I’m planning on throwing an informal joint 30th birthday/housewarming shindig myself. So that’s two parties in one where one expects gifts so the “your presence is gift enough” liner will have to be 20 font, bold and italicized. The plan is an outdoor bbq of sorts with the potluck element involved. Hopefully I can rope a friend into bartending. : )

    So yes. Perfectly appropriate.

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  • sissy

    i’m turning 50 in 7 days…i wanted a party, but no one would really take the hint… i have no place to have it and the family are not the type to have fun at those things..they would think its silly, as they thought my sister in laws was silly when she gave herself a 40th ! its depressing. i wish i had the nerve to say the heck with it and just do it …but i’m too chicken. i always wanted a disco party, but i’m surrounded by non dancers HA HA … just my luck… i will probably go to a stupid local resturaunt like we always do every week and hate it… guess ill just have a secret pity party.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @sissy, I hope you have your party. Even if your family doesn’t want to, maybe your friends would? No pity parties! Just a fun birthday disco party! Sounds like a ton of fun to me!

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  • Forever Young

    I’m turning 60 this year and I’m giving myself a party. I started thinking about it a year or so ago. For my 59th birthday I gave myself roller skating lessons. I’m planning on renting the rink for 2 hours and having a skating party. Anyone the ambulance doesn’t haul away will then join me for dinner and cake. No presents, come to skate or just watch, have fun with the disco lights and vintage music, act like a kid! I have saved some money so that I can bring this to life, and YOU should have whatever you want for this very special day. Your friends will probably talk about it forever. Have fun!

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi @Forever Young, oh boy… roller skating? Oh does that bring back some memories… I didn’t learn to skate until I was probably nine and I was such a sissy! I could barely stay upright while my younger siblings were skating circles around me. We lived on a YMCA property (my stepfather was the janitor/attendant for the property) and there was a big basketball court and my siblings had so much fun zooming around and around the court. I would be scared to get on roller skates at my age now. LOL!! I hope your birthday party is fun for everyone and I truly hope no one has to leave in an ambulance! LOL! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  • Casey

    Did you have your party? How was it? I am turning fifty next year and I am going to plan my own party

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi @Casey, I am also turning 50 next year! I started a savings account when I wrote the post and am putting away $20 every month so that I’ll have a few hundred dollars for my party. I’m leaning toward a pot luck. Do you have any plans yet?

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  • Casey

    Mrs A.

    I am leaning towards having my party at our local Rod and Gun Club. They have an onsite kitchen and a rustic dining area with sitting for at least fifty complete with a rock fireplace. It is by no means a fancy place more of 1970s rustic feel. I believe you can make anything pretty with a few table cloths, cheap/free flowers, and wine n friends. I am a foodie so I would love to have a plated gourmet dinner. My son works at a top local restaurant so I am hoping to leverage off of some of his contacts. I am very excited.

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  • Sharon

    I will be turning 50 in December and I can’t tell you how many folks have asked if I’m going to be depressed. When I say that I’m looking forward to it they look at me like I have horns growing out of my head. And then when they find out I’m planning my own party, well, you know. I’ve never had a birthday party. We did not have cake and celebrations when I was growing up. And most of my family have passed away before they’ve turned 50 so heck yeah I will be celebrating my 50th and I’m going to do it my way. I am inviting only folks that really have made a difference in my life and not really worrying about stepping on toes. I have set my list at 50 guests. It’s going to be a 60s and 70s themed costume party. We will have spagetti, salad, green beans and cup cakes. Spagetti is cheap and most folks like it. I have a lodge that belongs to the church rented and someone to do my cooking. My best friend is making a smiley face cake and cupcakes. Karoke. Games that were popular in the time period I grew up in like: twister, trouble, monopoly, scrabble, rubix cube, simon etc. My art teacher painted little flowers and each person will put their name on a flower (there will be 50 flowers) and she will paint a vase and place them in a collage for my souvenir. I’m making magnets out of tiles for party favors for my guest. Since it is in December I sent out Save the Date post cards in September. Oh, and for decoration…I am using the chimney/globes from a 70s light fixture as candle holders for my table. Doing some Tie Dye and Tissue Flowers. That’s all I’ve thought of so far. I think it is great you want to celebrate your 50th.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Sharon, thanks for sharing your party ideas! I really like the idea for playing games from that time period, and the Save the Date cards! I hope you have a WONDERFUL party and Happy 50th Birthday to you!! :-) Mrs. A

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