Saturday, November 19, 2011

In Which I Turn Into A 12 Year Old Girl About My Birthday Party

I'm throwing myself a birthday party.

In a few weeks I'll be turning 35 and though I usually go out to dinner with a few friends or do nothing here with Alex, a long time ago I decided a party would be fun.  Turning 35 is worth celebrating, and I decided I was going to live it up. 

My good friend and neighbor Sue mentioned that she wanted to cater it and decorate for it, and well it seemed like the perfect situation.

Only, I hate parties for me.

Actually, that is absolutely not true.  I LOVE parties for me, I loathe the work of planning and anxiety of people actually showing up that goes along with throwing a party for me.  Since Sue is taking over all the planning, that just leaves me to turn totally junior high about party attendance.

I invited everyone in my yahoo address book and posted it for my Facebook friends too, because honestly I'd love to see all of them.  Some people I haven't seen in years and some I just met a few months ago, but I'd be happy to have everyone.  The more the merrier....but what if it's not more and it's just a lot of hoopla for me, but without the hoopla?

I'm pathetic.

I know a lot of people here in the Austin area, but it's still not where I'm from, I'm an Indiana girl.  I have amazing friends here and know LOTS of wonderful women that I adore spending time with...but it's different than having your best friend from the first grade in town.  It's different if my parents were in town, because I'm reasonably confident they would attend. Here I feel more fragile, less confident about sending out an invitation for the sole purpose of celebrating me.

What if no one shows up except for Sue and me?  And maybe Alex out of fear that I'd cry?  Ugh, I loathe my fear of rejection.

Every time I bring it up to Sue she responds that there are already at least 20 yes responses and even if it were just us it's going to be a beautifully decorated, amazing food, and glorious drink situation in which we can just get totally hammered and listen to dirty hip hop and dance.

She's really smart.

When I was in the fourth grade, my best friend Alissa threw me a surprise party and I will never forget feeling so loved, so celebrated.  I didn't feel like that again until my wedding.   I love that feeling.

The truth is though that I was born in the month of holiday parties and family gatherings and since a majority of the people I know have kids, well that makes any outing a strategic planning session that take a LOT of effort, not to mention babysitting money to attend.  So, I brace for rejection and expect the worst because that's my tendency since I'm so fun.

...there are those 20 yes responses though.

I keep reminding myself that 20 people is nothing to spit at in the slightest.  (Not that I'm looking to spit on any guests of course.) Twenty of the people that I like the most in this town said they want to come, and I'm elated.  I'm honored.

I'm still nervous.

I don't know where this fear comes from because it's ridiculous.  I have had it for as long as I can remember about just about everything from crushes on boys to inviting friends to dinner.  I'm eternally insecure about people wanting me...and it's a thousand times worse out of my hometown advantage.

Maybe I have an over-active ego I'm afraid of crushing like some people have an overactive thyroid?  Maybe I need medication? 

Maybe I had some scaring rejection situation in preschool that I have blocked from my memories which has led me here?

Perhaps I never got over my eternal crush on Adam Peck and his love for my best friend in high school? 

(Probably not, but it's something I probably need to get over at happily married with three kids and 35.)

I know this party will be fun.  I know that I am over the moon happy about the people that are already able to come.  I know that even if everyone cancels at the last minute and I have to drink all the Bees Knees and Champagne Punch with Sue that it will be memorable and fun and all my worry is only an exercise in negativity that I need to quit.  It's like I've never watched Oprah or something.

If you don't mind though, please send frequent reminders that I am a grown woman with lots of friends that needs to buck up and make herself a cocktail or three between now and December 3rd because it's going to be fun, however it turns out, it will be fabulous!


Mel said...

There is nothing as wonderful as being celebrated! You will have a most delightful time with everyone and, no doubt, all of your worries will dissipate once the party is under way. If you want to talk further about your fears and insecurities, feel free to hit me up, I'm a licensed professional:p You are beautiful and fabulous and don't ever tell yourself anything different!

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Your party will be fabulous because you are fabulous, oh and Sue (damn, can I get a sue in my hood?). I think it's normal to feel like that about a party. Or maybe I'm weird too? Hmmm. Any who, I get anxious about stuff like that too. Enjoy! Have a drink for me! I have 32 more weeks without any.

January Dawn said...

Thank you! I feel not so alone now in my feelings of fearing rejection! I'm sure your party is going to rock - especially with some dirty hip hop. You MUST play Pony by Genuwine. For me?....'cause I'm sorry, I can't make it. I live all the way out in Canada but if we lived closer I would totally be there. HAVE FUN!!! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Kimberly said...

I have the same fears of rejection and being liked. I'm a very insecure person. But I'm sure your party is going to be amazing! Your friend Sue sounds amazing. And as another December baby, I know what it's like for a birthday or two or ten to be under-celebrated because of the holidays. Happy early birthday!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Parties are hard for me too. I never learned how to dress pretty and make small talk. I find kids and play with them or stand awkwardly and fail at chatting.Don’t drink. Thank you, says everyone else at the party. It’ll be cool-you’ll see.

Two Normal Moms said...

I get party anxiety, too. I just threw a 50th for Hubs and fretted over inviting people and not getting rsvp's. Then was ridiculously surprised at the ones that said yes! And the party wasn't even for me!

momnextdoor said...

This is the same reason I don't have parties! I also live too far away from my hometown and relatives. I'm glad you are doing this (and not at all surprised that Sue is helping you. I really need a Sue!!! Do you rent her out?) You are going to have a wonderful time and even if no one shows up, just think about the awesome blog post you would get out of that! So it's a win-win! :-)

Jen said...

I feel like Oprah should walk in and shout, "Aha!" I never really thought about it, but I do the same thing. Over the years it's gotten worse as the few events are kept "low-key" so as to avoid disappointment. That way if only two people show up, I don't feel like a loser.

It's actually worked out for the best, though. Less stress and a pared down guest list mean that I can spend time with the people that matter most to me.

So, regardless of the turn out, have fun and hope you have a wonderful birthday!

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

Leslie, You hit the nail on the head for me. I love a good party but I don't like it to be centered around me because I am afraid everyone will be a no show or create excuse after excuse not to come. I know in my heart that some of them would though, just like your 20. I just need to let go, relax and remember that it is all about fun. For now though...I'll just live vicariously through you. DO IT UP, Girl!!!