Saturday, September 05, 2009


Meh. It looks as if another big family gathering is in the pipeline.

Why do people feel compelled to celebrate birthdays with a zero at the end of them by forcing everyone else to enjoy themselves?

Of course, it could all be a scaremongering tactic designed to put the fear of god into anyone who doesn't like family gatherings (i.e., most discerning people). Even if it amounts to nothing, there is a vague sense of impending DOOOOOOOM which is difficult to avoid. Well, er, I have a vague sense of DOOOOOOOOOM at any rate. You mean to say that not everybody
thinks like me?????

Having conversations with other people who are not your friends is vastly overrated and often quite harrowing for a social phobic like yours truly. The importance of families is vastly overrated. Combine the two at some kind of celebration and you have the ingredients for a gruesome evening full of awkward silences, pseudo panic attacks, embarrassment, boredom and indigestion.

So I'm going to throw the comments box open to you, dear reader (singular) and ask for your advice on the matter. What excuses have you used to get out of social events? Not that I'd use them myself of course, oh no. Or you could just tell me your *hilarious* awful family gathering stories and cheer me up. Who knows, the vague sense of DOOOOOOM might evaporate ...

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We don't really do birthdays in our family so I haven't got any awful family parties to tell you about. The most dreadful party I ever threw however, was enough to put me off them for years. I put out two dining tables, 12 round one and 10 round the other, and listened in horror to my sister, whose husband had died about three years earlier, regaling the table with drunken tales of how awful widowhood was. I later found from my mother in the next room that a friend had horrified that table of people with the story of how all their pigs had been slaughtered (on the farm, a team came in and shot them) because a farm a couple of miles away had swine fever the week before they were due out of quarantine, and they could no longer afford not to take the compensation. No hilarity, just awful.
A cousin showed up drunk and bleeding to our family reunion.

He then proceeded to chat me up.
My 'excuse' for not attending is neither funny (no surprise there) nor an excuse, but it works, and reduces the amount of invitations afterwards. It is remarkably simple.
Here it is:
"Don't wanna, ain't gunna".
I hope that this helps.
When you invite me to your birthday party, I will show you how to pronounce it.
My Uncles just end up getting drunk and fighting at reunions.

I'm convinced that I am the offspring of the milkman as I have absolutely nothing in common with my relatives, most of whom make the Royle family seem cultured.
Geographical distance is the greatest excuse ever. But you need to make the commitment to getting as far away from dodge as possible.
Funnily enough I've been wondering whether to have a party for mine in a few months or just hide behind the sofa.

Trouble is all my friends are mad in different ways and there would probably be blood shed as mad marxists clashed with pope-effigy burning catholics.
"Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die."
Good ole Oscar :)

If you feel it necessary to create an excuse alluding to a mysterious ailment which is baffling several local physicians is a decent ruse.

I like Scurra's bold directive but I actually enjoy those things...it's a hoot to get obscure rellies to get smashed and talk about themselves and how fabulous their _________ are.

On and on and on they prattle trying to convince themselves that they are not a waste of amino acids. The best part is the uber-schadenfreude you receive as you are comparing notes on the way home. GAWD that is sweet.
Poor you! get out, get away - say you are being taken somewhere you don't know as a surprise so you can't commit to anything - you just dont know - you could be away just for the evening or it may be a week!
My partner's family do things for zero number birthdays like show up at the airport with balloons and cheer to great you after 24 hours and customs... They do other things for the big 40/50/60/70 like hire Ompah bands at 7AM... then there was the horse drawn carriage for the parents 50 wedding anniversary - in suburbia... When my other 1/2 turns 50 we will be somewhere else (1500km away is not far enough for birthdays) - Seriously, we are almost decided on Iceland.
I moved to New Zealand to ensure I never had to attend another Christmas in Kent.

I have since discovered the simple beauty of 'big days' spent alone on the beach with a good book and a bottle of fizz.

Emigration: recommended.
Well, since you are woman, I'd say, how about using that "time of the month" to get out of it? Seriously, who's going to question you? Either that or you tell 'em you've got the flu--possibly swine flu.

I luv free food, so I always go to these gatherings for other people's birthdays. But I hate celebrating my own birthday, so I avoid people and don't answer the phone on my birthday.
Think of something wicked to do that will ensure you are NEVER INVITED AGAIN.

Go on. Dare you.
Z - blimey oh reilly. Sounds more like a group therapy evening than a party. Still, I suppose it was good that they got all that out in the open rather than bottling it up. Ahem.

MJ - men only hit on me when they're drunk and bleeding too :(

Vicus - exactly the response I would have given to anyone, before I had met my mother in law. Nothing/nobody STANDS IN HER WAY.

Garfer - most of my blood relatives are morose and taciturn, so I suppose I must have some family connection. However, all of Geoff's relatives are from SARFF LAAHNDAN so I'm a polar opposite to all of them.

Laura - at least it means that you've got an interesting group of friends! Mind you, cleaning up blood and broken glass is always a drag.
Ellie - probably best not to leave a forwarding address either!

Donn - problem is, I can't get through the discomfort barrier enough to stand back and observe all of the drunken behaviour, especially if somebody I've never met before starts an awkward conversation with loads of pregnant pauses and what have you. Ugh!

Anne - yeah, there does seem to be a tendency for people to outdo each other with statement birthday parties. Hiring the Royal Albert Hall, letting off a million pounds worth of fireworks, being serenaded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Where does it all end?

One Fine Weasel - sounds like a great idea but, as well as the social phobia, I hate the idea of long haul flights. Perhaps I should just hide in a cottage in Suffolk instead?

Boz - I will have to do a lot of thinking. I mean, even the fact that I've not had any grandchildren has not made Geoff's family fall out with me completely, although I'm sure THEY DO NOT APPROVE OF IT.
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