Oh My Goddddddd

People have been posting things that they like that other people don’t, or things that they hate that everyone else seems to love. I’m going to post things that I just don’t understand. Because some things really and truly baffle me.

why people make such huge deals out of their own birthdays

OK, I might be am biased and/or even a bit resentful. My birthday is five days before Christmas, so I’ve gotten used to people not giving a crap about mine. In fact, if a big deal IS made out of my birthday, I resist it because it feels weird. Most of them time, my birthday’s been forgotten, no one showed up to my parties, and there was the one year I was told: “Oh, it’s your birthday? I forgot. Hmm. Well, grab something from under the tree and that can be your birthday present.” My 21st birthday? I was up late by myself at my parent’s apartment watching VH1 and drinking a Tahitian Treat spiked with Bacardi. I KNOW. (Does Tahitian Treat even exist anymore? Did I just totally date myself?) So, when people plan these huge blowout extravaganzas for themselves, or have these week- or month-long celebrations, especially for a birthday that’s not even a milestone, I get confused. I get even more confused when people actually show up to these big blowouts.

I got fed up when I was participating in these birthday celebrations for everyone else and never got any acknowledgement for my birthday. I got mad when a bunch of us planned a surprise party for a roommate who did nothing but sigh and look depressed when we said “surprise” and started loading her up with gifts. I got depressed when this continued year after year, with people saying “we’ll do something for you after Christmas,” but something never happened.

(To be fair, it’s not that way now and hasn’t been for a very long time. People tend to remember my birthday before I remember it these days. Honestly. I wake up like “why are there so many Facebook notifi-Oh.” But it’s not me making the big deal. It’s everyone else. I guess it’s making up for all those years in the past.)

And I’m kind of a hypocrite here. Because I did plan a huge blowout for my 30th birthday AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP.

Cutting the Cake!
see? actual people in the background!

BUT, in my defense, it was a milestone birthday, my ex and I used to throw some pretty awesome parties, and it was my voyage into real adulthood. *gulp* I haven’t had any more big parties like that since–I just don’t want to plan a big thing and have no one show up. That would be heartbreaking.

why, in the name of all that is holy, would anything think they need to own a Hummer or another vehicle of similar size, in a gridlocked city like Chicago

When I was pregnant, I fell into the SUV trap. I wanted one because well, that’s what you DID when you had a baby. You got married, got pregnant, bought a house, then got an SUV or minivan and damned if I was going to be seen driving a minivan. So, Aidan’s dad and I got a cute silver Hyundai Santa Fe. (Once I got my license, though, I went with the Hyundai Accent that I still have to this day).

My First Car
santa fe in the back, accent in the front
this was my house in ohio

I’m small, so I like small cars. I’m comfortable in them, they fit into little parking spots, and can weasel around in traffic. I am also not a road bully, and I find that people who drive the big, black SUVs (including Hummers) are sometimes major road bullies. (Just yesterday, Adam was trying to get into one of the tinier parking lots to get to the bank–there was already a car in front of us, and that car was waiting on someone to get out of a parking space–when a big black SUV came around to the side–out of nowhere–and literally tried to cut in front of us to get into this parking lot. They would have rammed us if we hadn’t moved right away.) Not to mention the gas guzzling! Gas in Chicago costs between $4 and $5 a gallon. WHY would you want to drive something that’s going to set you back more than $100 with every fill up? Not to mention the environmental impact. I don’t get it. But you know, it’s not my money, so to each his/her own I suppose.

why people love going to bars so much

Even when I was young and wild (BAHAHAHAHABAHAHAHA), I didn’t care for going to bars. I liked going to clubs, but not bars. I mean, at a club, I could dance my butt off. Mecca on Thursday, Mecca on Friday, and The Red Zone on Saturday. I danced for hours, and it was awesome. I didn’t need to get drunk, and I was there to dance, not socialize, so I didn’t care that the music was loud. In fact, the louder the better.

I realized my true distaste for bars a few years ago when Adam had to attend a bunch of events that took place in bars and I was tagging along. I was thankful that the no smoking rule was in effect, but instead of cigarette smoke, there was the yeasty smell of beer. (I hate beer.) People were screaming to be heard over not-so-good bands or too loud jukeboxes or TVs blaring whatever sports games were playing that night. I guess I don’t truly get the appeal of watching Southpark in a bar when I can be home watching it in my PJs and drinking a nice glass of cherry juice.

However, I did learn a trick in December. I overcame my hatred of bars to meet a bunch of co-workers at a bar one evening. I realized that the drunker I got, the more fun I had!

Silent Night...Not So Much
i’m smiling because i’m drunk!
oh, and because i like all those people.

So maybe that’s the trick to enjoying oneself in bars? Or maybe that’s just me. All I know is that if I’m a bar in the future and having a craptastic time, that all I need are a couple amaretto sours, maybe a shot or two of tequila and Bailey’s, and a fuzzy navel to have a rockin’ good time. *big cheesy grin*

why everyone’s so obsessed with beer

Piggy backing off the last one, I don’t understand why everyone loves beer so much. Beer is NASTY. I’m talking screw-up-your-face-and-almost-ugly-cry nasty. Not to mention the aftertaste. Blech! I remember in college, trying to force down a can of Coors Light (which was actually better than any other I’d tried) and thinking “Oh God, why can’t they have WINE COOLERS or something?” I was told “It’s an acquired taste.”

Y’all. I am a lazy mofo. And if I have to “acquire a taste” to get drunk? I’m just going to skip getting drunk. (Also getting busted by the RA holding a can of beer I DIDN’T EVEN LIKE made it suck that much more.)

Then I was told, “Beer is cheap.”

OH. OK. Now it made sense. I was happy when I finally turned 21 and was able to purchase my own cheap bottles of Boone’s Farm or Arbor Mist. (They were right. Wine coolers were expensive.)

the new trend in parties

When I throw parties or have get togethers, I try to treat my guests well. If people are going to travel all the way out to hang with me and my family, then I’m going to make it worth their while. Reference the above photo of me cutting the cake at my 30th birthday party. That was just the crudite and cheese/cracker portion of the food we provided. There was also lunch meat, breads, chicken… all sorts of foods and beverages. Basically, if you leave any party I throw hungry, it’s your own dang fault. The past few New Year’s Eves, Adam and I had little get togethers. We had food out for people to enjoy at all of them.

It used to be that anytime someone threw a party, there was going to be something to eat there. Maybe they’d have asked us to bring sides or desserts, but they always provided something big, whether it be the biggest pizzas on this natural earth, or grilling the hot dogs, chicken, and hamburgers, or even providing all the booze, (not to mention offering their space and video game systems and fire pits and whatnot), but we could expect to be fed with no strings attached.

But NOW there’s this trend of people throwing parties and expecting their guests to provide ALL THE FOOD (except for a few things here and there). And I don’t get that. I’m inviting you to my home to celebrate something with me, so I want to make you happy that you came. I want your company and your smile and your hugs, I don’t want you stressing over what you need to bring. I’ve been getting invites to things that not only suggest guests BYOB, but that we also bring meat, sides, snacks, desserts, and even seating. OK, I get that the economy sucks and it’s hard to fund epic catered events–but I’d never ask my guests to bring food to something like a shower, and I’d certainly not ask them to bring what basically amounts to the entire meal!

Often, if we have a get together, people will ask what can they bring. I tell them to PLEASE not feel obligated, but if they want, dessert is always welcome! If they have their heart set on bringing something to share, I’m not going to turn it down. For our New Year’s celebration, Jen brought over a pot of Provencal soup she’d made. We didn’t ask her to bring it, though. She offered. I wouldn’t have thought less of her if she hadn’t brought a thing. I was just happy to have her here. (Note: It seems to be a custom to bring a bottle of wine or something when you come to someone’s home, and I admit that I’ve been woefully ignorant of that tradition until recently.)

I figure unless the guests have decided collectively that the event is going to be a potluck, it’s not cool to send someone an invite to a party with the stipulation that they provide so much. I mean, depending on the type of party, I’m OK with having people bring side dishes or beverages, but I’m still skeptical of asking people to do even that.

My take is that if you can’t afford or don’t want to buy food for a party, either don’t have one, or have it at a time that meals normally aren’t served so that guests won’t be expecting to eat. Cause I have skipped out on some parties because although I wanted to see the people there, I didn’t feel like cooking or trying to come up with something clever to take, or I didn’t have the money to buy something to take. It was easier for me to stay home.

This is not to say that those parties are WRONG. They seem very popular, in fact. It’s just different from what I am used to.

So, there you have it, folks. Things I just don’t understand. What makes you go WTF?

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