Would you throw a party for yourself?

A couple of years ago, a girl that I was seeing received a promotion at work, and decided to throw herself a party. She booked a large room in a bar and sent out invitations. I found it very odd, and this was actually one of the many reasons that I stopped seeing her. Since then, I’ve been to 2 birthday parties that people threw for themselves, and last night I went to a going away party that a former colleague threw for himself. I suppose that there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but it seems that this is more common now than in the past.

For the purpose of this poll, we should exclude events that you’re “supposed” to throw for yourself, such as a wedding reception.

Why not? Something big happens in your life, and you want to celebrate it. You can either sit around hoping that someone else cares enough to go to the trouble and expense of hosting a party for you (and wind up disappointed most of the time), or you can throw one yourself.

The one caveat is that if you’re throwing the party, you’re the host. You can’t have a party where others must pay their own way, or worse, where they’re expected to give you gifts. Hosting your own baby shower is a no-no, as is “inviting” everyone to a birthday dinner at an expensive restaurant, and then making them pay for both their own meal and yours. There are grey areas, though. If your ex made it clear in the invitation that all she was providing was the venue (and the reason) for everyone to get together, and as long as people were welcome to show up and say “hello” without being obligated to buy a drink, then I don’t see a problem.

Agreed. I would throw a party for myself, but not one where you’d have to pay or bring me a present.

Are you kidding? I’ve thrown lots of parties. Some had a reason (birthdays mostly), some had no reason. I don’t see what’s so odd about it.

Sure, if i have a big surprise or it’s an 18/21’st. I’ve thrown HUGE parties for myself where i’'ve revealed the surprise as either being “i’m moving overseas!” or “This apartment is mine!”.

I’ve had parties for no other reason that I feel like having a party. To me it’s just a normal part of socialising and one that I grew up with.

I’ve had many parties just to have a party. Never thought of it as a party for myself, though.

A coworker of mine threw herself a party to celebrate her 10th anniversary of working here. It was a lot of fun - she made it an ice cream social.

I’ll probably do something similar on my 10th. I see nothing wrong with it.

Why take a chance someone else will throw a party for you? And it will probably be the right kind of party to boot.

Another vote for why the heck not? As long as I am paying/providing food/what-not, it’s just a reason for everyone to get together.

What is the difference between me throwing a dinner party and inviting everyone to my home, and me throwing a birthday party (but insisting gifts are not required, just well wishes) and inviting everyone to my home?

If I didn’t give me a birthday party, I’d never get one. But I don’t tell people it’s my birthday.

Now I’m really curious to hear from the OP or the 12 “No”-voters: what’s the issue, in your view?

I’ve invited friends out for my birthday dinner for the past several years now; it’s always Mexican food (my favorite) and no, I don’t pay for their dinner/drinks. I don’t have any friends who are so broke they can’t afford a $20 dinner, but if I did I would certainly pay their share.

The invitation is always “Hey, I’m going out to dinner for my birthday! If you’d like to come, just let me know ahead of time so I can make the reservation!”

Does that count as “throwing a party for myself?” If it does, I guess I’m guilty as charged.

I’m OK with that. One of my best friends threw herself a birthday party last year; she and her husband had a big BBQ and lots of booze, and from 6 p.m. to the wee small hours of the morning, anybody and everybody was welcome to come over, have drinks and food, and celebrate with her.

What’s wrong with that? I thought it was perfect. Some people brought gifts, and some people didn’t. Some people brought booze, and some people didn’t. Either way, she was celebrating her birthday with everybody she loves, and I can’t see anything wrong with it. Was she supposed to wait for someone else to do it? Why on earth couldn’t she be the planner/hostess of her own birthday party?

My mother insists that for wedding/baby showers, even relatives are not allowed to throw the shower. She says it MUST be friends unrelated to the bride/mother-to-be. Otherwise, apparently, it looks like the family is trolling for gifts.


Wedding/baby showers ARE trolling for gifts. That’s the whole point. It’s a “shower” of GIFTS.

She’s been invited to several showers thrown by the mother of the bride/future mom and she’s been horrified.

I can’t work up that kind of outrage. It’s a happy occasion meant to celebrate the happiness of the bride/mom-to-be and worrying about whether Mom or a BFF is hosting it seems a bit petty to me.

Maybe this is a generational thing? I’m 31; my mother is 55. I don’t know anybody my age or younger who has a problem with a party of any kind, regardless of who’s throwing it.

I voted no.

I have thrown parties for the sake of throwing parties, or for other occasions, but to invite people to a party for my sake? I would not do it because it smacks of arrogance and self-importance. If there was a legitimate reason for a celebration on my behalf then I would expect that it would be arranged by someone else.

I think the OP should have clarified between throwing parties for “throwing parties sake” and throwing parties where “honoring yourself” is the purpose.

I regularly host parties for getting my friends together. But I would never throw a party to honor myself.

I don’t get it.

Okay, let’s say I got a promotion at work. I’m totally stoked about it, and I want to throw a bash at my house to celebrate, invite all my friends, etc. I’m providing all the booze, food, and so forth, out of my own newly-enrichened pockets.

Is this throwing a party in my own honor? Or is it sharing my happiness with my buddies?

Also, what about housewarming parties? That’s a gift-giving party that people traditionally throw for themselves, yes?

I dunno. I don’t tend to think of parties as “honoring” someone specifically so much as X (birthday, anniversary, etc.) being the excuse for throwing the party.

I’ve thrown myself birthday parties in the past, and it’s mostly because the friends I have that would throw me a birthday party aren’t in the same geographic area as I am. There’s also a bigger trend among local friends to go out to dinner and/or some other activity to celebrate instead of having a house party. Either way, birthday parties and the like are generally hosted by the people who are being celebrated in my experience and in my social circle. Maybe it’s verboten elsewhere, but it’s the norm for my generation, friends and family.

I’m 27 and when I got married last year, I didn’t have anyone local who could afford to throw me a wedding shower. If I become pregnant while being local to this area, I have a feeling that my MIL is going to be the only person who’ll care enough to even consider it, even though it’s “against the rules”. Sometimes circumstances make it so that your only option is to do it yourself or not have a celebration.

No issue for me. I wouldn’t, but I see nothing wrong with someone else doing so for themselves.

See, and to me it would feel very arrogant and self-important to expect someone else to arrange a party for me. But then, I’ll throw a party at the drop of a hat - any ol’ excuse will do.

Exactly. You’re basically honoring yourself. It’s like hosting an awards ceremony and presenting yourself with a trophy. But I agree that there’s a whole lot of grey area. For example, throwing a party to celebrate your promotion is way up there on the gauche chart while a going away party is not, since it can be viewed as a way to get everyone together. A birthday party is somewhere in the middle.