Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why would total strangers invite themselves to my birthday party?

I created an "event" page on Facebook for my birthday party, invited most of the friends I actually know, which turned out to be about 130, and figured less than 10% would actually show up. I invited people I knew couldn't come, because they live in Switzerland, Israel, or elsewhere out of town; I wanted them to feel included. And I left the event open, so anyone could invite other people, like -- I assumed -- their spouses or significant others.

I was not expecting total strangers to invite themselves to the party.

Remember the baby with Down's Syndrome, with whom I play so enrichingly (at least when her family's at home)? Well, I didn't invite her parents because I don't really know them all that well. But I'm FB friends with the baby's mother, Erica, and a FB friend of Erica's RSVP'd that she might be coming to the party.

I'm kind of baffled. I have no problem with her coming to the party -- I'm going to buy a bunch of donuts, a few boxes of coffee, and hand both out freely. One more person won't make a difference. But why would she want to come to my birthday party if she doesn't know me? And if she really wants to come, why wouldn't she commit instead of saying she's "maybe" attending? It's a thinker.

I'm feeling kind of like a bad daughter, though, because I invited my mother -- I wanted her to see I was celebrating my birthday instead of getting completely depressed about it. I also invited cousins from California and friends in Europe and Israel. But Mom thought I really wanted her there -- and she thought she should bring Jerusha and the kids.

And that just can't happen. Jerusha ruined my birthday party a few years ago, so traumatizing me that I didn't have a party the next year. As I wrote,

Alona thinks my birthday is cursed, since every time we try to celebrate it, it's horrible. Two years ago she organized a "birthday/congrats on getting into The Bad Place" (little did we know) party for me. I made the mistake of inviting Jerusha, who was rude and inappropriate in every possible way. She insisted on giving Alona tons of cash at the end, and then complained to me that she spent $100 on uncooked pancakes. Like it's my fault the kitchen's careless? You don't tell the birthday guest of honor that you didn't enjoy her party!

I must have been pretty mad when I wrote that, because it's not quite coherent. But after that fiasco, I refuse to allow Jerusha anywhere near any birthday party for me. Somehow she'll manage to ruin it. Which I told Mom. And Mom, I guess, no longer felt like going.

I don't know if I would have wanted my mother there, to be honest. It just highlights the fact that I'm single, you know? Like I'm still a kid, and the most important person in my life is my mommy.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Dude, it's a party... people will try to crash any party that's going on.


  2. First of all, buy the first round of doughnuts if you want but otherwise people should be treating you! There is no way you can buy doughnuts for that many people.

    I'd just tell your Mom it's an informal party for folks in the neighborhood and you'd hate to have her and your sis shlep out for something that casual--they would probably be bored anyway.

    Why don't you let your Mom and Sis take you out for a family lunch or dinner at a mutually acceptible venue? Tell them the party is just for friends.

  3. The people you help with the enrichment experience for their disabled child may want to show you that they appreciate what you do for them by celebrating your birthday.

  4. The way I see it! It is a celebration, and any friend has a potential friend that could be someone worth knowing, so I wouldn't ponder so much about things like this. I don't think people are so desperate for a free maybe just maybe...they are coming to share some joy with you, did the thought cross your mind?

  5. Listen, anyone's welcome, as far as I'm concerned. Except Jerusha, and a guy who used to stalk me (he actually RSVP'd to the party and I had to ban him permanently from the event).