A Birthday Party Observation


My birthday was this past Friday. Yay, happy birthday to me. I had a party on Saturday, which was fun: lots of people over, drinks, food. We played with Frank’s new deep fryer and the Wii. Something I noticed, though, was that some time in the last few years, my collective friends went from being mostly singles with a few pairs to almost all couples with a few single people.

I guess in part it’s that right after college even if someone had a significant other, they wouldn’t necessarily bring them along to a party, but now it seems most people I know do most things with their partner. I remember I when Frank and I first started dating (four and a half years ago, for those of you keeping score at home) that my friends would make fun of me for hanging out with him so much. Now they’re all getting married and being even lamer than we are so ha ha. Joke’s on them.

I suppose it’s a natural consequence of getting older, having people pair off like that. But then I also think that maybe people naturally gravitate to other people who have the same relationship status as they do, so that you can meet other single people if you’re single but you won’t get dragged out to lame clubs or whatever if you’re not single. But it makes me sad to think that I’m less likely to make friends with someone because of whether they have a partner or not. Plus what if me and Frank break up—does that mean I’ll have to get all new friends? That would be doubly sad.

I know some people, usually married people, who are really really into the idea of couple friends, and actively seek out pairs of people that they feel mesh well with them. Which seems a little weird to me. I mean, I get the idea of it but in my experience if you have four people, two of them always get along better than the other two. So it’s like you and your boyfriend, your friend and his boyfriend or something. Trying to force it into two couples who are also two pairs of friends seems unnecessary.

I really don’t like the idea of being so defined by the person you date, or whether you date anyone at all, but I guess that’s the way things tend to go. Or I don’t know, maybe there will be a round of break ups/divorces in five or ten years and we’ll all be single again?

It’s weird, I was reading this old etiquette book I found in the office the other day, and they kept mentioning the problem of having “extra women” and having to go looking for “extra men.” I guess back in the day it was unthinkable for parties to be anything other than a collection of pairs. In some ways, party-wise, it’s kind of nice to have mostly couples because then if you invite someone who doesn’t know anyone else, they’ll at least have someone to talk to if they’re not up to mingling.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. I guess my birthday makes me extra sensitive to feeling too grown up too soon. Perhaps the Wii can help with that.