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Man, oh Man! I’m reading a lot about parties lately. Parties and celebrations and gifts and reasons for being joyous. Immediately following each article about a happy occasion is a barrage of comments saying how ridiculous celebrating it is. How no one cares, how selfish these happy party throwers are, how burdened by invitations everyone is and have I mentioned how NO ONE CARES?!?!? I guess I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t throw parties for every occasion in my life, but I also don’t mind being invited to other peoples’ celebrations. If anything, it makes me feel loved for being included, and if I can’t (or don’t want) to go, I don’t. I would never expect everyone I care about to make it to every major or minor event I plan because people have lives; jobs, kids, pets, or they want to wear pajamas all day and watch movies. So, after reading a bunch of strangers’ pet peeves concerning parties, I started examining my own ideas on celebration. This is what I came up with.

Graduation Parties:

Kindergarten, Elementary and Junior High.

THROW A PARTY: NO

ATTEND A PARTY: NO

High School and College.

THROW A PARTY: YES

ATTEND A PARTY: YES

Birthday Parties:

1st, 5th, 10th, 16th:

THROW A PARTY: YES

ATTEND A PARTY: YES

All other ages:

THROW A PARTY: NO

ATTEND A PARTY: SURE! (If I’m not wearing pajamas and watching movies that day.)

Coming of Age/Religious:

Quincenera or Bar/Bat Mitzvah:

THROW A PARTY: NO. I am not Hispanic or Jewish so it just wouldn’t be appropriate.

ATTEND A PARTY: ABSOLUTELY!

Baptism and First Communion:

THROW A PARTY: No. Our family does not follow a specific religion, so we wouldn’t participate in either of these.

ATTEND A PARTY: Probably not. It would have to be a very close friend or family member.

Nuptuals:

Engagement:

THROW A PARTY: We did not.

ATTEND A PARTY: YES! Why not have drinks and food an celebrate love?

Shower, Bachelor/ette, Wedding, Anniversary:

THROW A PARTY: YES!

ATTEND A PARTY: YES!

House Warming:

THROW A PARTY: PROBABLY. If we ever buy our dream house.

ATTEND A PARTY: YES! It is exciting to see someone’s new home!

Anniversary:

THROW A PARTY: Maybe for big ones, like 10, 20 etc.

ATTEND A PARTY: Sure! Marriage is hard and should be celebrated.

Children:

Baby Shower:

THROW A PARTY: YES!

ATTEND A PARTY: YES! I love the games, shopping for baby stuff and all the pregnancy talk.

Gender Reveal:

THROW A PARTY: NO. I’m just too lazy to throw a whole party for this.

ATTEND A PARTY: YES!

Baby Blessing/Meeting:

THROW A PARTY: YES!

ATTEND A PARTY: YES! We plan to have one after #2 is here.

So, there’s my table of celebration. Now, just because some of these parties aren’t my cup of tea, doesn’t mean I take any issue with other people having them or being invited to them. I know people who have huge birthday parties for their child every single year. That is awesome! If they can plan it and pay for it and deal with the stress, that is amazing. I might not make it to all of them, but if we have nothing else going on and I feel like some cake, I’ll grab a gift and come on over. I do not handle party-planning stress well enough to do it every year, so I believe in the Milestone Birthday parties. 1,5,10,16. Any others will be immediate family only and possibly a few friends for a sleepover or something. The biggest issue people seem to have is with baby showers and gender reveals. Some of my friends follow the “One and Done” rule, one shower only for the first baby no matter what. Other friends feel every baby deserves a celebration, no matter what. Still others feel a subsequent shower is only appropriate if it has been a number of years between children (acceptable numbers vary) or if the child is a different sex. I will probably not have a shower for my second unless someone surprises me with one, but will invite friends and family to a Baby Meet and Greet after he’s here, maybe a few months down the road. That being said, I would absolutely go to a shower for a second, third or tenth baby. I certainly wouldn’t be offended or angry about being invited to one.

I am left wondering why people get so out of joint when other people celebrate happy occasions. How can happiness and excitement over something piss you off so much? No one is going to force you to attend a party. If you feel it is inappropriate, JUST DON’T GO! Stay home and celebrate being un-celebratory. Everyday life can be stressful, depressing, maddening and dull. Why poo-poo FUN!?!?! I have to wonder if a little of the negative behavior stems from jealousy. Maybe not enough people came to Bitter Betty’s last party and she is resentful of the cars parked three streets over just for this “ridiculous” gender reveal. Maybe Negative Nancy couldn’t make hand painted banners and Pinterest worthy party favors for her daughter’s birthday, so she has to rag on the Mom who happens to have enough time and energy to do it for her daughter’s soiree. I know there are other BIG issues as well, the recently divorced are probably not thrilled at engagement parties, people struggling with infertility find baby showers torturous. Guess what? You do not have to attend. If you feel that you’ll spend the three days after a party crying in your shower, and posting angry Memes on Facebook, do yourself (and everyone else) a favor and skip it. I just don’t think making other people feel guilty for being happy is the answer here. One final thought, how would you feel if the invitations stopped coming all together? Complain enough and they just might. You may be annoyed with your friend having her third baby shower, but if you were not invited and heard about it later, saw the pictures, and missed out on the memories, I bet that would hurt more.

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