Some quick background. I’ll be turning 41 soon. Left a cult that was all I ever knew about three years ago. Was never allowed to celebrate birthdays, neither was my wife. When we got out we threw a big party for my wife’s first birthday and I’m pretty sure I got some great advice here. We rented a place and had people out and it was a great time.
Now, a couple of years later, it’s my turn I guess. Last year I did a pretty big trip for my 40th birthday, but that was just my wife and I taking a tour of New York state and doing everything from hiking the Adirondacks to seeing my brother in Manhattan. She’d like to see me put myself out there and have a party for myself in my own style. It is something I should probably do for myself. It’s not easy coming from where I came from.
Oh, I should also say that we’re shunned completely by everyone we knew prior to leaving, so our friends are mostly people that we clean houses for and people that we’ve met through those people over the past few years, plus people I reconnected with from my past that were shunned now that I’m in their club. So I have friends, but I’m not super close individually with anyone.
Alright, enough about that, though you’re free to ask questions. On to the party.
Something I’m realizing is that for most of my life I’ve never let people see me. Couldn’t do it in the cult because everyone kept up appearances, wasn’t allowed to be friends with the “world” at large because they were evil and would lead me down a bad path. So, knowing myself, caring for myself, and showing who I am to others is very vulnerable and strange on levels.
I’m thinking of just kind of having an open house for my birthday and inviting everyone I know and seeing who comes. No set time, just stop by that day and say hi anytime you like. I’ll provide some barbecue from a local restaurant, some cake for those that want a piece, and when people have time that day they can stop by for something to eat and to say hi. I’d just do a Facebook event and try to get commitments so that I know how much food to buy. I figure that showing people our house is a great way to show people who I am. I’m the one that decorated most of it, and the things that matter to me are there. My wife and I go into other people’s homes and see how they live and it is a vulnerable thing for those people, so I figure I’m flipping the script a bit and letting them see our place.
I’ll also have games out that people can play if they want. It would feel good to me to have people come to my house and have fun, even if they aren’t playing a game with me at the time. We have a pool table, air hockey, lots of games that can be played on any table. People can watch a movie if they want in the basement or watch something in the living room.
If you see obvious flaws above, feel free to let me know.
The place where I don’t know what’s normal is this…people with kids. We usually hang out with people at their houses. Some have chill kids, others have kids that are just a mess. Our house is just my wife and I. No pets, no kids. The sectional in our living room is just a few months old, as is the carpet in our basement. We don’t have a large house, no room to run. We live on a corner lot and we don’t even have a back yard to let kids play in. You can literally stretch out your arms side to side and that’s the width of our back yard. We have two side yards, but one is a garden and the other is kind of a slope by the street. So, we’d like to not have kids over, which is kind of a shame because some of them are so well behaved, but others are just the jumping on furniture and going through your dresser drawers and medicine cabinet types or are so hyper that they’re just uncontrollable at their own houses. Our house isn’t built for that. I do a podcast and I have audio and video equipment set up with wires and things down in the basement and I can’t have kids messing it up. We have lots of little glass knick knacks. It’s a place where a kid would be able to get bored and do some damage.
So, do I just invite people that don’t have kids? Do I invite everyone and specify “no kids” under 16 or something? I don’t want to hurt feelings. Again, our house isn’t huge, so it would also help limit the number of people that come to just have a couple at most show up, not a whole big family. Or maybe I should just do something small and pick a few people and have them over, but the open house concept feels cool.
Any thoughts? Maybe I just need to do something else entirely, but we dropped a lot of money renting a place and doing my wife’s first birthday party. I’m not a guy that wants to be the focal point. My wife was wanting something more like that for once in her life. To me this is just a party that happens to be on my birthday and let’s people a little more into my life. My wife has since done a birthday brunch and she invites all of her girl friends and sees who can make it and they go to a restaurant. I could do something like that, but it limits things more and I’m trying to put myself out there some. This isn’t something I have any real experience with.