My big dilema ISN'T about whether me turning 30 is the end of the earth (broken down into the following sub-sections of: where am I on the scale of life achievements, what exactly happened to the last ten years, and how many fertile eggs do I have left).
No, my main back-and-forth, sleepless-night-inducing, friend-bothering conundrum of the moment is this; do I want to celebrate this (horrific) milestone, and if so, how?
I’ll be straight with you; this isn’t the first year I’ve got my knickers in a twist over my birthday plans *shocker*. In fact, I manage to work myself up into a frenzy of indecision most years. As you may know (from my previous I hate parties rant) – I, er, hate parties.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of my party misgivings again, but the basic overview is this; I don’t hate all parties, just most parties, and yes, this even extends, to some extent, to my own birthday parties.
Obviously I don’t hate my own parties in quite the same way I hate other people's.
For a start there isn’t the problem of getting trapped in conversations with dishwater dull friends of friends, or pesky issues with public transport (because obviously on your birthday you’re allowed to cab it there and back). Yes, all those nasty niggles are negated when the party is yours.
However, being the host comes with its own set of dramas. Obviously. To start there’s the social assault course that is the guestlist. Where do I even begin with the nightmare that is working out who to invite? Do you invite people you don’t really want to and hope they say no, or do you not invite them and hope they don’t see your party pics on Facebook and get upset (and worst case, confront you *gulp*)?
Do you allow partners – even if you barely know them, do you throw the floodgates open and have a guestlist free for all, or do you insist on an up-your-own-arse invite only policy? If you make it through that minefield in one piece then you’re rewarded with the loathsome task of sorting out what to do with the motley crew of friends and “friends” you’ve accumulated.
This is particularly tricky if, like me, the only parties you really truly enjoy are house parties, yet you are without a house. The cruel injustice of it.
Should I see my 20s out with a bang and rave-it-up (unlikely), or should I embrace my newly acquired old age and have a dinner (far more likely)? For reference my default setting is sushi and karaoke then a club, but I’ve done that for the last two years now, and even I’m starting to bore of that holy trinity of fun times.
And as if these questions aren’t of almost insurmountable complexities alone, we haven’t even broached the nightmare that is the fact that my birthday is in the arse-end of the year, the meanest of all the months, February – a month when the greyness of the sky and harshness of the weather is at its most vicious.
Case in point: last year it snowed so much that half the guests couldn’t make it, the other half got snowed in at the venue, and I had to walk from Shoreditch to Hackney Central in my brand new pony hair leopard print boots. Even with hindsight it’s only vaguely amusing.
[Actually, here Siam, I disagree with you. Being ONE WHOLE DAY older than you, I've always found that people are quite keen to get out of the house in the first weekend of February - after all, it's the first payday after Christmas, and most people's self-inflicted January detoxes are over. However, I'll admit, last year was a bit...dicey. I smugly got the last taxi in the world that was heading back to South London, but I was all geared up to walk home from Clerkenwell in a pair of slightly holey ballet pumps. Erm anyway...carry on. --Rebecca]
Having spewed out all of that, the flipside is this: You only get one birthday a year. Only one day where you’re officially allowed to steal candy from babies, go to the pub dressed like you’re at the Oscars, and out-diva Mariah. If you throw that day away skulking round the house, clicking refresh on Facebook, and composing self-pitying tweets then more fool you.
You see – as much as I don’t want a party, don’t know what I’d do, who I’d invite, or where I’d go, the thought of not having any celebration this year, no official gathering of friends, no preordained date for fun and general Siam worshipping, is an awful, depressing, sad sad thought.
So, xoJane readers, I ask you this – what should I do? Should I stop being a wuss, just get on with it and celebrate? And if so – where, when, and how? Or have you found that sulking is actually an acceptable and even enjoyable way to see in a birthday?
Please share your wise words with me, and also follow me on twitter @MissSisiG as an early birthday present... because regardless of whether or not I throw a party I will, of course, still be expecting gifts!