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To not make a big deal of her 30th?

(47 Posts)
HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 15-May-17 18:13:31

I have a friend, formally a very good one, who is about to turn 30.

I say formally because over the last year she has dropped further and further off the grid. Will bail on planned nights out, not text back for days or weeks, has deleted social media (not that important to me but has cut off another avenue to keep in touch) she massively pissed me off a few weeks ago as she got in touch and was quite excited that a band we both love were due to play- so suggested we get a ticket online that weekend. She seemed really positive about it so I got mine, but it has since emerged that she never did get her ticket after all (but didn't tell me until I mentioned travel arrangements for it) so I'd be going on my own as it's now sold out.

I am in a relationship and she's met my partner multiple times and they got on, but I've made a big effort to suggest we do things together so it's not like he tags along. We have a mutual group of friends and shes flaky with them too, doesn't turn up to drinks etc, it really isn't just me. But she never used to be like this. I did think she may have something going on health wise or was financially struggling so couldn't afford to go out and I suggested going to visit her and staying in or invited her over to mine- still evasive, if she does text back at all.

It's been a year so naturally there's been events and occurrences happening in that time that we've not chatted about or caught up on, I feel like she's an acquaintance now more than a friend.

Anyway our mutual friend has suggested planning some kind of surprise for her 30th next month. It's quite a low key thing but needs to be booked in advance and it won't come cheap- it's a gin tasting followed by a meal. She also wants us all to chip in for a piece of jewellery at £25 each. So looking at over a £100, prob £130 ish.

And that's if the friend even turns up confused seems crazy to shell out that for someone who doesn't even answer text messages, but we were once really good friends, she made an effort to come out for my 30th, although nothing about it cost her loads, was just bat drinks. I'm going to risk looking like a total cow on the group chat with the person arranging all this- not said anything so far.

AIBU to think this is nuts and hold on to my (in no way plentiful) cash? I feel guilty if everyone else does it and I'm obviously absent!

ScarletForYa Mon 15-May-17 18:16:31


Astro55 Mon 15-May-17 18:20:08

Just say you can't afford it - no need to drag everyone else into the problem

singme Mon 15-May-17 18:20:13

Do you want to go?

She sounds like a rubbish friend and that's a lot of money to spend. I think birthdays can get a bit silly. I would step back and if something gets organised decide whether you want to go or not, but if you are getting her a gift you can always get her something much smaller! Likewise if she has been a good friend in the past and you want to still keep something going, you can take her for a coffee for her birthday or something. Seems a bit extreme to spend loads when she has effectively checked out sad

Whack Mon 15-May-17 18:23:26

Say you can't afford the gin tasting but would love to go along for the meal and say you're sorry but you're going to do your own gift as you're a bit strapped. That way you don't look like a cow and you don't have to spend loads. If the friend doesn't turn up you won't have wasted any money on her either!


Kokusai Mon 15-May-17 18:23:40

That is a quit a lot, just say "love to but the budget is a bit toppy for me this month. I'll just meet you for drinks afterwards"

HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 15-May-17 18:25:40

Well no one has said anything yet in response to this plan so maybe I should wait it out...if it goes ahead and everyone else stumps up the cash (I think it makes it more expensive the less people do it) I will have to say something. Prob just that I can't afford it grin

Which isn't strictly true but I don't have heaps to spend every month. I guess I also resent it as I think she's been a bit shit but seems so churlish to think that way!

Sniv Mon 15-May-17 18:41:09

£130 is loads to spend on a family birthday, never mind one of a friend who lets you down a lot.

The last 30th I went to cost me £8 for some boating and the birthday girl had bought a load of prosecco for us to share.

For most of the 30th's I've been to, either the birthday person or their partner paid for the party, including my own.

Notmyrealname85 Mon 15-May-17 18:51:01

That's too much money to spend

Secondly, your friend is definitely definitely going through something right now. Would bet £50 on it. Maybe it's hard for her to hang out with people who'd be seen as having achieved more, being more settled? I don't know how I'd cheer her up but wouldn't write her off

HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 15-May-17 18:57:36

I trying not to write her off but it's hard not to feel stone-walled...a year is a long time to have someone fob you off and seemingly make no effort. I have tried ringing, calling, emailing, suggesting visits, backing off and letting her contact me, casual 'how was your weekend'? Texts, the lot. She isn't in a relationship whereas everyone wise in the group is, some engaged or married, but is way ahead of us in other ways, owns her own flat and we all just rent, and she has a good job. So don't think it's a not measuring up thing.

I think the 'logic' behind this extravagant plan is that we all know she won't arrange anything herself, and no partner to arrange anything for her, so we should plan it and sort of spring it on her. Which would be fine if she'd been in any way reliable over the last year... although I agree it is way too much to spend, apparently 'low key' doesn't mean affordable!

Lexilooo Mon 15-May-17 18:58:33

I would at least say to the organiser that you don't think a surprise do is a good idea. It could really upset her if she has got stuff going on (which it sounds as though she probably does)

HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 15-May-17 19:00:01

I think I have to say something as it's being whipped up a bit excitedly now on the chat and I stil haven't said anything.

jay55 Mon 15-May-17 19:18:34

It doesn't sound like a party for your (ex) friend but your friends want an excuse .to do the tasting.
If she's battling depression/anxiety/just feeling crap she won't want it anyway.

emmyrose2000 Tue 16-May-17 07:41:19


I wouldn't take part.

The chances are she won't even turn up anyway.

Kittencatkins123 Tue 16-May-17 09:53:43

Sounds like she might be depressed sad
Landmark birthdays can bring aspects of your life into sharp relief.
For the birthday thing, I don't think the present idea is too much (the £25 each for the jewellery) so I would say you'll chip in for that and maybe just go to the meal? Is the meal somewhere reasonable? But agree, not sure the surprise element is a good one if there's a chance she might be depressed etc. You can still do nice surprise things (e.g. I made a bday newsletter with lots of stories/memories/anecdotes and pics for my friend).

Fabellini Tue 16-May-17 10:01:36

Is this group all friends of yours as well as her? And you can afford the night out?
If yes, then in your shoes I'd be going....just because it sounds like a good night, a chance to catch up with some of the other friends, taste some gin, and have a nice dinner!
On the other hand, if you genuinely don't fancy it, and don't particularly want to socialise with this group, then just say you can't make it, or as others have suggested, you can't afford it.

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 16-May-17 10:06:02

They are all my friends too- we met when we all worked for the same company. I agree the present doesn't sound like too much although obviously it'd be good if she was actually present to give something to her, and getting her to come anywhere is a mission in itself. She might agree but usually bails at the last minute.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 16-May-17 10:13:58

it's a gin tasting followed by a meal. She also wants us all to chip in for a piece of jewellery at £25 each. So looking at over a £100, prob £130 ish

It's the same problem as with hen's nights: people go OTT.

It's unrealistic to expect people to stump up £130+ to celebrate a friend's birthday, IMO. People start to feel mildly resentful, and then end up not enjoying it.

Dinner in a mid-range restaurant (without the gin-tasting or group present) would be better.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Tue 16-May-17 10:20:12

Send her the band ticket in a card and move on. .
She won't even see you yet you are considering spending ££££on her birthday!!!

AtlantaGinandTonic Tue 16-May-17 10:20:45

YANBU. That's too much money, I think. It's far more than I spent on my DH for his 40th but that's more because I'm tight we're careful with our money.

TheStoic Tue 16-May-17 10:22:40

She sounds like the single last person on the planet who would enjoy a surprise party.

Lampshadelegs Tue 16-May-17 10:27:09

She sounds depressed and in a rut. Maybe just drop your expectations of her and forgive her for her flakyness. Also there's no shame in telling her you can't afford the present and would rather get her a little 'something'

SwimmingInLemonade Tue 16-May-17 10:32:19

The plan your mutual friend has come up with is INSANE. Agree with the previous poster who said it sounds like she just wants to do this gin tasting etc and is using your flaky friend's birthday as an excuse. (And is there anything more irritating than the person who decides on an expensive present and then expects everyone else to chip in?)

If it's getting whipped up in a group chat could maybe say something like "I don't mean to be a wet blanket but are we sure this is something friend would enjoy?" You could gently point out that not everyone likes surprises and she's been difficult to pin down for social stuff. If others have found the same hopefully they will chime in and agree and if anything is planned it could be just drinks in a pub - a much safer bet for someone who may or may not turn up. If the big plans go ahead I'd find an urgent appointment to go to on that day!

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 16-May-17 10:33:44

She's dropped off the grid over the last year, deleted her social media presence and doesn't mind dropping you in it regarding the gig.

No, I wouldn't be bothered about her 30th.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 16-May-17 10:35:33

Perhaps she doesn't want to be close mates with your circle anymore?

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