The birthday invitations are all finished and going out tomorrow, unless I saw you at church today. And if I did see you and didn’t give you one, don’t be hurt. I’m just too cheap and pressed for time to make more. You go on ahead and come to the party anyway! Unfortunately, at the last minute, I realized I had forgotten to write “no gifts, please” on the inside. I thought about putting a little slip in, like when you register for a wedding shower, except the anti-registry, but I thought that seemed tacky and a bit “methinks thou dost protest too much.”
Here’s the thing: The reason I have a party is because I’m an attention whore. I love attention! Who doesn’t? And don’t tell me you don’t because then you’ll be a liar and I don’t like liars. Unless you’re lying that you have to work on a certain holiday when in reality you don’t and you secretly surprise me by not setting the alarm clock for the next day and we get to sleep in together. In that case, lying is encouraged. But not too much. Attention or lying. But then when people see it’s your birthday they start thinking “Ugh, now I have to get a gift!” or “I have just the thing in mind!” or nothing at all. Which is what I would prefer people think. That third one, not the first two. It’s not like I’m five and looking for my own personal Christmas in the middle of the year. I really just want your time. That’s something we all have precious little of, which makes it all the more meaningful when you come and spend a day with me.
So… what am I supposed to say when someone asks what I want? What I really want is for you to be there. If you can’t, then give me a rain check. Take me to lunch sometime, or just invite me and we can go dutch (does anybody know what that means anymore?). Don’t get me wrong. I love presents just as much as the next person, but I would hate for you to feel obligated or that I’m trolling for one by inviting you to my party. If you’re like me and have OCD about bringing something with you, then I guess just go the gift card route. Movies, garden stuff, iTunes, whatever you have to do so I don’t have to chuck it in the Goodwill box as soon as you leave makes you happy will make me happy.