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Unwanted birthday dinner

Let's say it is your birthday, and your family wants to know when/where you'll come-in to go to dinner--yet they have been complaining a lot about money. Now you could just bring them dinner or pay for the entire dinner (I have no problem doing that), but you know they won't allow that and dinner for five or six will get expensive. On top of that, you would need to drive to them--at least an hour each way, plus traffic--so you explain that "No, thank you. I don't need to celebrate this year." In terms of financing the dinner and the exhausting travel, I just think it sounds easier to not celebrate. They have argued that this is selfish. Am I selfish to not want the dinner?

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    1. I think you are very considerate and understandably frustrated. In this situation, I would probably ask if the birthday dinner could be at the home of the family members who are pushing for it (or go and fetch/return them if necessary and do it at my place instead). Then I would turn up with a crockpot full of pulled pork or chicken, some cole slaw, buns, and sauce. I myself would probably lie and say I found a new recipe that I've been wanting to try. Easy, cheap, family could contribute chips, cake and ice cream, quick, easy, cheap. Happy Birthday!

      1. I think they are the selfish ones in this case... they're making your birthday all about them.

        1. I wouldn't call it selfish, but I can see how they would want to spend time with you, maybe its more about being together than the actual dinner. Possibly you could meet halfway at a pizza place or something, just keep it easy and fun!
          I feel the same way every Valentine's Day, I do not want to go out to dinner, but men feel like they must take women out. And when the man is tight on cash it just makes everything awkward. I would be so much happier with a pizza and bottle of wine!

          6 Replies
          1. re: WhatsEatingYou

            We have done romantic dinner at home for V-day for six years. Worst day to eat out except perhaps Mother's Day!

            1. re: WhatsEatingYou

              Valentine's Day, I do not want to go out to dinner, but men feel like they must take women out

              Men don't want to go out on Valentine's Day. They feel that the women expect it. If you told you guy that the last thing you wanted to do was go out on that day, I would expect you would make him very happy. Tell him next time you want to stay home and he should bring pizza and wine. I don't expect you will get any complaints.

              1. re: Bkeats

                DH and I don't go out on V-Day anymore either. That is the day HE cooks for ME! That's my gift I asked for and I love it (I also don't want a dozen roses either). But he will pick up a special dessert.

                1. re: Bkeats

                  Pizza and wine for dinner. S'mores and cava for dessert. Perfect in-home valentine's day dinner.

                2. re: WhatsEatingYou

                  Oh what a good idea re the pizza place! Pick a town in between or whatever - research it on chowhound and yelp then tell them you have been dying to try the place because you saw it on the boards. Easy Peasy.

                  1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                    What'seatingyou, after working many holidays in restaurants, I will not go out to eat on holidays again. The kitchens are for the most part a zoo, the help would rather be home with their families, and the food is never as good. It is more fun to plan a simple romantic dinner at home and go out on non-holidays. And I keep in mind that Mondays & Tuesdays are the days that much of the higher-up kitchen staff is off.

                  2. Want to tell a little white lie? Purchase a gift certificate to an easily accessible restaurant and tell your family you won it or were gifted it, and your birthday wish is to treat them. Let them buy dessert.