A couple of years ago I was employed with a monthly magazine publisher, which meant that the last third of the month was always exhausting and insane. My birthday falls on the 22nd of the month so that meant that on my birthday I was working frantically, with little advance knowledge of when I’d get home. So when my husband called several times to verify when I’d be home that night I didn’t think anything of it. Finally, the day ended. I couldn’t WAIT to get home, rest, grab some rum over ice, read SDMB, and chill.
So, I arrived home and hubbie had a surprise birthday party going for me (for which, to add to the pain, he had put together a dreadful meal … he bought chicken at a questionable butcher [in Egypt we choose our meat sources carefully] and grilled it in a rush so it was burned outside, raw in the middle).
Faking pleasure at that party was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I managed. Barely.
Until the guests left. Then, I’m somewhat ashamed to say, I kind of lit into hubby. We’d been married 23 years at that point and he knew, or should have known, damn well that I HATE most parties, and I HATE being the center of attention. I managed not to be too evil, but I did explain that the only time he is ever allowed to give me a surprise party is on a birthday ending in 0. Other than that, I probably don’t want a party at all, and if I do have a party, I want to be in on the planning of it (not to mention the food prep). He meekly agreed, but I think he loved me just a smidgen less that night.
A few weeks later I read a similar saga in whatever one of the old Ann Landers/Abigail Van Buren columns has morphed into. Frankly, I expected the advice provider to say “get a life! You should be thrilled to pieces that someone cares enough about you to throw a surprise party for you. Stop whining, bitch.”
To my surprise and gratification, the advice provider sided with the unhappy birthday girl, saying it is WRONG to force people to endure parties in their honor, especially surprise parties. She said that an expression of anger at having one’s wishes disregarded was perfectly understandable.
I felt so vindicated. And Qazzz, no, you were not being an asshole.