Adult Birthdays

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Baby-friendly Adult Birthday activity ideas

August 2011

Hi all, So I checked the archives for birthday ideas for my husband. He enjoys active birthdays. One year we rented the yellow go-carts in sf and rode around in them all day. He had a blast and said it was his best birthday. This year, I wanted to take him hot air ballooning. The only thing is we have a 5 month old daughter whom we can not take on board with us due to age obviously. I'm sure he would want our daughter with us to celebrate his birthday. Any ideas of Active, fun activities For adults that are baby-friendly? Thank you sooooooo much Pretty stumped

I guess bungee jumping is out. We had the best time ever on Maui with a baby cause she could enjoy the sand. If time and money is an issue, just going up to Stinson or Limantour, or a place in Inverness is dreamy. Can a baby go in a glider up in Napa? Reenie

I would take a few good close friends, one of whom could watch the baby for an hour, and head up to Wine Country. Do the balloon trip with your husband alone, for an hour or whatever, and spend the rest of the day, or weekend with the baby and friends. The balloon ride could be just the highlight of a wonderful weekend, WITH the baby. heidi


Adventure birthday - full day outing

April 2011

I am planning my first ADULT event in years. I would like an outing/adventure with friends mid May. Sailing to Angel Island can be cold that time of year. Rafting at over $100/person with group discount is a bit expensive. Do you have any other ideas? A night on the town where we can talk and interact would be good too, but don't want a typical restaurant/banquet room event. Also, don't want a club where we are lost among a crowd &/or can't talk. I want to spend time with my friends who I never get to see, but will only have a day/evening!! Thank you!! last of the 40's

How about a day at the races? We had a party at Golden Gate Fields, renting a large room off their Turf Club, last fall. There was fun activity, great views, and still enough room and time to drink and talk. And they're off!

Exploratorium, Cal Academy of Sciences, and Chabot Space/Science all have evening events for adults. These places are very different without a lot of kids around. Or Safari West up in Santa Rosa? Mrs. Dr. Science

Do your friends remember your birthday?

March 2009

I realize that in the big picture, this is trivial stuff. My husband thinks I have too high of expectations and am being sensitive, which is probably to some extent true. I consider myself a loyal and thoughtful friend. I have certainly forgotten a good friend's birthday here and there over the years, but generally, over the years I make a point of acknowledging my good friends' birthdays. Not my entire social network but about 10-15 friends who have made a difference in my life and I use the bday as a simple way of reminding them of this - I'm anti-consumerism and with the economy am not big on buying gifts, but for most it's merely a phone call and card in the mail. For those that I'm closer to, a little something...A few friends who I've known for 20 years have disappointed me over the last few years for always forgetting my actual birthday (don't they write it down somewhere?) - and calling usually a few days before or after to see how it was. Most recently, these same few friends forget my son's bday too. I try to acknowledge their kids' birthdays with a call or card. Anyway, I've decided to pull back with this particular few and not go out of my way to send cards and call on their actual birthdays (because after 20 years, yes, I have them in my contact list on my computer) and I do remember the actual day. I should mention that I do have some friends that do remember my bday with a call and/or card, so this is not all. Thoughts? too sensitive?

Please don't be offended; I think that there has been a cultural shift, partially because it's so much easier for all of us to keep in touch with each other now, so ''special'' dates like birthdays aren't necessarily given the attention they used to get. And some people (I'm not one of them) don't want to be reminded that they themselves are getting older by the continuous reference to birthdays. Maybe they don't want for you to mention theirs. I often forget the precise birthday of people outside my immediate family, too. There are only a few friends' birthdays that I remember precisely (and one of them is on St. Patrick's Day!). If it is important to you that your birthday be commemorated in some way, why not write a little e-mail to your best friends yourself on the day. Let them know that your birthday has come round once again and it reminds you of the great gifts you have had in their friendships with you. Maybe mention a treasure memory or two, and thank them for the years you have known them. Since it is clear that your birthday and its commemoration are meaningful to you, perhaps you could be the one to express that significance. Just a thought. I enjoy my own party

From my point of view (I'm just like one of your birthday-forgetting friends), you are being too sensitive. I've never expected anyone outside my immediate family to do anything at all about my birthday -- I'm surprised if someone even just says happy birthday. It's pretty much all I can do to send birthday cards and flowers to the grandparents (given my current level of organization). Alnother thing to remember is that, as we all get older, many people would just as soon forget their birthdays, so to some people, the sensitive thing to do is to NOT acknowledge them. Karen

Oh gosh, I'm sure you'll get an earful on this one. To answer your question: aside from family members, I have two friends that remember my birthday each year. We not only exchange cards, we got out and celebrate and often exchange presents as well. Beyond that, I don't hear from friends (other than on Facebook, where they get automatic reminders), and I don't keep track of other friends' birthdays. Even if I get invited to a birthday party one year, that doesn't prompt me to track the date from then on. I do know a few people like you who are very conscientious about tracking and recognizing birthdays--I am touched by their thoughtfulness and also realize they have a particular type of super-organized, cross-every-T personality. I think you should only do it if it makes you feel good. If you are starting to resent acknowledging the birthdays of people who don't acknowledge yours, then you should stop. I can assure you, most of the people you send cards to probably think you are very sweet to do so--but tracking birthdays and sending birthday cards is just not something they do.

You could try using Facebook! Then, everyone remembers your birthday. Although, to be honest, I've found it offputting that people ''remember'' my birthday through Facebook who definitely wouldn't otherwise. Grass is greener I guess! C

Um....Yeah, I think you're being a bit over sensitive and unfair. Some people just don't remember birthdays, or other dates, even if they know it's important to you. Do all these people KNOW how important it is for you? I remember some bd's and some not. Some that I remember I don't do anything about except think good wishes. Some of my friends/famly remember mine, some don't. No big deal to me. Give your friend's some slack for having busy lives, not being birthday rememberers, loving you even if they forgot your birthday. If you want evryone to send bd wishes, you should remind them a week before that this is important to you. Sorry, but...sheesh!!! wiser and older w/ out bd wishes

HI! I think that if you want people to remember your birthday, you should remind them. I also like birthdays, but when people get busy it can be hard to remember. An email the week before, or mention it casually in conversation. I don't think it is a test of their love of you - for some people, birthdays are not that big a deal. Also, if you get on Facebook and get your friends on Facebook, Facebook will remind everyone in your friend network. Dolores Garay

I am actually just like you and I remember birthdays (most of the time!) on the actual day and try to send a card or call or give a humble gift. Sometimes it bugs me that friends don't do the same, but then what I tell myself is that not everyone shows their love and affection the way I do. I show it by remembering birthdays, sharing recipes that I know someone will like and in many other specific ways that all add up to what makes me, me. My friends and dear husband aren't exactly like me and so they show their love in other ways that are not always the way I would show it, but they still show me that they love and care for me. Sometimes you have to ''look'' for that way that other people show their love and affection. Do they bring you little treasures from garage sales that they frequent? Do they always remember to tell you when something you love is on sale? Do they cut articles that they know you'll enjoy out of the paper and share them with you? Do they loan you their favorite books? People show their affection in such a wide variety of ways. So I have decided that I enjoy remembering people's birthdays with a card or call and I'll continue to do so as long as it feels good to me (and of course, friends enjoy it too) and not worry about whether they remember my birthday or not. anon

No, they don't always remember and I don't either. I'm chalking it up to busy busy lives, more challenges as we grow older, family trauma/drama, etc. I barely have time to get a moment for myself these days (DD14 and DS9). Sad but true. I know (and trust) we are thinking about each other. I remember my immediate family's significant dates and my DH is responsible for his immediate family. *not taking it personally*

I don't think you are too sensitive. And you are a gem of a friend, in my experience, to make the effort you do. Seems like fewer and fewer people do what you do these days. If it weren't for my 70-yr old mother, there would be no b-day cards in the mail at our house at all. (On the other hand, with facebook and linked-in I get more b-day ''wishes'' than I ever did, they're just electronic.

But I do agree that you would do well to try to adjust your expectations, just to spare your own feelings. It seems to me that people (maybe society as a whole, or maybe it's regional or generational) seem to be more casual in general. Birthdays, weddings, funerals, etc. I can't believe it's because people no longer care. I think we work too hard, are stretched too thin, are often separated from extended family, and I suspect we have allowed the hyper-casual, abbreviated communication that all our time-saving technologies have spawned (OMG LOL L8R! ) seep too far into our psyches, and change the way we actually behave in the world. I think we've lost the sense that some formality is important in our lives. (A curmudgeon might say we're all just going to hell in a hand basket. End of rant, here's my advice: keep doing what you're doing. People like you make this world nicer to be in. Can you maybe tell your close friends that birthdays are important to you? That might be all it takes. Sensitive too, but also busy and forgetful

This is a subject I feel strongly about - If you want people to remember birthday, remind them. Otherwise, it sounds as though you are using your birthday as a means of testing the loyalty of the people around you. You do have a choice: Remind the people around you, or get mad at them because they failed your test. Which is the best approach to friendships? You need to decide for yourself. anon

No, not really, unless I organize my own party and invite them. Some people are into b-day's, and others are not. If you like these people, don't lose the friendship over this! Don't knock yourself out doing things on their birthday because obviously they don't care. If you are on Facebook (lots of real grown-ups are these days) it will remind your friends of your birthday. anon

You are extraordinarily thoughtful. I only have 3 or 4 friends whose bdays I remember and vice versa, and since we had kids we're not even too good with that. This year I forgot my mother in law's birthday, sister in laws, and brother in laws. Yep I pretty much have total mommy brain. As for remembering my friends' kids' birthdays or vice versa... it would never have occured to me. You sound very kind but please don't take it personally if everyone doesn't recipricate... they are probably just frazzled like me. Bad friend

I have many dear friends who have told me their birthday, but I have a terrible memory! I don't mind if they skip my birthday, but I really don't want them to be offended if I forget theirs. It's just not one of my abilities (like some people can't do calculus or play a musical instrument). Please be more forgiving of your friends. You are unusual in that you have such a good memory. I actually write down everyone's birthdays in my calendar, but then I forget to check it... forgetful

Nope, most of my friends don't and, yes, you're being a bit overly sensitive. I remember (and acknowledge) every birthday of every person in my (HUGE) family, my husband's family (including cousins, their kids, etc.), most of my friends (new, old, far flung, and close by) and their kids as well. Most people (including some of my sibs) don't remember mine, though some do. I enjoy acknowledging everyone's birthdays and they seem to enjoy the fact that I remember theirs. I don't do it in hopes they'll remember mine. I do it because it makes them (and me) feel good. Drop some from your list and see how you feel. If you feel okay, it's okay. They may miss the thought, but whatever.

Birthdays are just not as important to some people - get over it! I had a friend who once told me that if I ever forgot her birthday that would be the end of our friendship. Guess what? She's not my friend anymore. Life is too short to have a friend who is that high maintenance. And expecting others to remember your son's birthday?! It's your job to remind them by inviting them to his birthday party. And if they are not close enough to be invited to his party, then you shouldn't expect them to remember his birthday. 'Nuf said.

I think should let it go. It's nice when people remember, but to cut off friendship with those that forget is a bit harsh. Some people don't make a big deal over birthdays while other do. You can't control how they treat that. I guess if you believe them not remembering is worth cutting off a relationship, that is your choice. I have a dear friend that remembers birthdays, anniversaries, kids' birthdays. It's delightful that she does. But, I'm not so good at it. She made a stink, so I try and remember hers but I'm just pretty bad at it. Yet, if she called me today and asked me for money, needed help, whatever, I'd do it in a heartbeat and she knows that. Love your friends for who they are. anonamom

I hear you! Heck, I have close relatives that don't always remember or acknowlege my birthday. I think (or at least this is just what I tell myself) that many people just aren't organized enough to get the birthday thing. I'm like you -- I write down everyone's birthday in my calendar, and for my closer friends and relatives, I send a card, email, and/or call them. But I think some people just don't have this kind of ''system'' and rely on their memory. I try not to take it personally, but it does hurt to be forgotten after all of my birthday greetings to them. I continue to send birthday wishes, though for those who aren't good reciprocators, I've scaled back to just a simple email. I'm sensitive too

I don't know if you're too sensitive or not, but I can say that I'm one of those ''bad friends''. I LOVE my close friends and think about them all the time. But, I don't look at my birthday calendar every day and I often miss birthdays (much to my chagrin). I'm also not the best at keeping in regular touch with friends who are far away. But, none of this - for me - means that I care for my good friends any less.

I would think that, if you can, you should try to not equate friendship with remembering birthdays, but rather with the quality of your interactions when you do have them. Are your friends there for you when you need them? Do you enjoy your conversations with them? Do they add value to your life? If not, then what difference does phoning you on the actual day of your birthday matter? If they are valuable friends, then I would forgive them this very small foible and appreciate what they *can* give you. Flaky Friend

In my experience freely giving from the heart does not leave me wanting, needing or expecting anything in return. The act is complete unto itself. Giving to others and then expecting something in return is some form of covert manipulation. It is covert because you are expecting someone else to do something without your saying so or your asking for it or getting their agreement to participate in the exchange. In my experience when I have done this, it always leads to some kind of upset or disappointment. Trying to manipulate the ones we love never gives us what we really want. Do what you do because you love to do what you do, expecting nothing in return or be honest and tell people that you are doing what you are doing expecting them to reciprocate. Ask them to reciprocate if it is that important to you. For what it is worth, I do not view my birthday as a special day to be remembered by others. As you can imagine, if I view my own this way, I would not view yours as special either. anon

I think you are being ridiculous. If you are going to acknowledge friends' birthdays because it is important to you, then great. But it sounds like you are doing so in order to elicit the same action on your behalf, so no wonder why you feel resentful! Personally, I think you should only do this for the sake of doing so, with no expectations of reciprocity. It seems like this birthday business has become some sort of litmus test for your friends, and I think making this an issue is only going to damage your relationship with people who genuinely care about you. Is it really worth it?

Most of my friends do not remember my birthday or my kids' birrthdays. Actually, most of my family members regularly forget my birthday and my kids' birthdays! Honestly, I could care less. People show their love in different ways, year-round. I try to appreciate what each person brings to my life, and not focus on what they don't. Accept that people have different ideas about how to celebrate or acknowledge birthdays, accept that people are busy or forgetful or disorganized, accept that people can value you and your family and still fall short of your expectations, and your life will be way richer. Zen about birthdays

One of my friends once said something to the effect of - when you receive a gift, remember it; when you give a gift, forget it.

You are a thoughtful friend and it's sweet of you to remember your friends' birthdays with a call and/or card. I don't think this has anything to do with your birthday. Perhaps your friends express their affection for you in different ways - inviting you to dinner, offering to babysit, writing you a note - throughout the year.

One of my friends gets really hurt if I forget her birthday (which happened exactly one time). She let me know that her birthday was very important to her, and I now make it a point to call and send a card. You could try that with your friends. But I think it will be easier on your friends and your friendships if you just let it go. I actually get a little stressed about remembering my friend's birthday and a small part of me resents that I *have to* do something rather than it just coming from me. Give & Forget

I have about 6 long term friends and we often remember each others' birthdays. However, when one of us forgets, we forgive. We all have our lives, kids, jobs, some of us are single parents, widows, many of us are now parenting our own parents! Our lives are so busy, and who knows what might be going on with some of these folks (personal struggles for example) that might be affecting their ability to 'get it together' enough to send a card or call on that day. Know you are cared for and loved by many. Forgive them and try to let it go. anon

Yes, generally I do expect close friends to remember my birthday and acknowledge it in a small way. If they lived nearby and it is someone I see frequently, maybe it would be celebrated with a drink, dinner, movie or gift. That's how I usually approach things with my friends and I do a good job of remembering their birthday or other significant dates. These small things do make a difference!

It's gotten easier with friends who are on Facebook as there is a birthday section on my home page to remind me what birthdays are coming up. Once in a while I slip up and forget someone's birthday. In that case, I would acknowledge the slip-up and still do whatever it was I wanted to do, be it a phone call, card, gift or outing.

One thing I've learned though is that most people aren't as good at keeping track of dates as I am. So I try not to focus on one issue or shortcoming and look at the bigger picture. Are they people you wish to continue to have in your life? If so, accept that shortcoming and value their other strengths. If not, maybe pulling away from that friend is the right decision. Good friends have forgotten my bday too (and it hurt)!

Dear Birthday Queen - Your attentiveness to your friends' birthdays is to be admired and lauded. However, as someone who loves my friends deeply but can't seem to keep the birthdays of my own kids straight, you may want to think differently about birthday greetings. If you like to remember birthdays and you feel good about what you do for friends and their kids, then keep doing it! If you feel that you *need* the reciprocity, you may want to consider scaling back to just the people who do so. As someone who doesnt send cards, and often forgets to call on birthdays, I am always surprised and thankful for cards, emails and calls on my birthday. I try to send other kinds of cards and notes to my friends, that aren't tied to their birthdays so that they know I love them and care about them. Long way of saying - do it if you want, but don't get mad at friends who don't reciprocate. not a card sender

Yes, you are being too sensitive. You are an adult! Birthdays don't really matter any more. I don't remember my friends' birthday and barely/usually remember my family members' birthdays. I try to remember my friends' kids' birthdays, but I would expect a reminder, and I don't expect anyone to remember my childrens' birthdays (even my close family) unless I remind them. In fact, I hate it when anyone remembers my birthday because then I feel guilty because I know I'll forget theirs. -have too much going on to keep track of these things

I have many precious friends whose birthdays I remember GENERALLY (and the same goes for their interactions with me). That is, I might not get the exact day right, but I call them and/or send a gift or a card within a week or so of their birthday. The same applies in my family (five kids, many cousins). I have never, ever felt hurt that someone didn't call me on the exact day of my birthday. I sort of feel that if I can stretch out my birthday over a couple of weeks, then I get to prolong the celebration. In this culture, there is so much going on, so many things to remember, that (without wanting to be critical)I really think it's your loss if you consciously distance friends because they don't get the date right, but otherwise remember you and celebrate your life. Those who make any effort at all are marking you as important to them. Elizabeth

Some of my friends do always remember my birthday, and I feel a bit guilty bcs I invariably fail to send a card for their birthdays. It has nothing to do with how much I love them or think about them-- I am just somewhat disorganized by nature and get easily overwhelmed by kid responsibilities, etc... And, I have to say, birthdays just are not that important to me, so I assume, perhaps wrongly, that they are not that important to other adults who are close to me. What I am though is intensely loyal and very present when a friend really needs help (eg. new baby, family crisis, etc)-- honestly, to me, birthday cards are nice, but really not the true measure of a real friend. Maybe your friends are just really busy and sort of disorganized like me-- a friend indeed, albeit disorganized....

Yes, too sensitive. And this is coming from someone who is usually pretty sensitive. I'm the person who forgets birthdays around 50% of the time. I have four siblings and a mother to remember, along with three good friends. Not so many people, right?

But lady, life is busy, I'm usually stressed out and overwhelmed with my many obligations. I certainly mean well, and do love all these people. I try to remember but I don't always make it. Please try to understand that some of us are just not as good at it as you are - it has zero reflection on how much we care about you. Please try to accept and love us all the same. All of us on this world have different strengths and we each bring something to the table, even if we cannot be good at everything. I'm amazed and congratulate you for remembering so many people in your life.

Hi, I read your post and was so surprised that there are some one out there who feels the same way like I do (I used to think that I am some kind of weirdo for feeling bad that people/friends don't remember any of the important dates of my life). Whenever I talked about this to my husband, he always told me that I was being super sensitive.

But I totally understand what you go through. I, like you, always make it a point to either email or call friends and relatives on all of their important dates in life. But, to my surprise, I was really disappointed when almost none of them called me to wish my daughter on her 2nd birthday. I mean, it's not so hard to remember, specially in today's world, where you can just simply add the event to your calendar and that's all. But still, I guess people don't do that.

Anyway, I have thought a few times that may be I am abnormal -- not remembering all (or any of the ) dates is seen as normal as everybody is so busy with their lives. Or, maybe I have got too much spare time on my hands. Sometimes I feel that I should stop wishing people but then again, that's just not me. I guess we just have to do our part and not expect anything in return. Like the saying goes, expectations leads to disappointment -- the more we expect, more disappointed we will be. Hang in there. Hopefully, someone, somewhere, someday will remember. In the same boat as yours

I'm sorry you're feeling disappointed that some of your friends do not treat birthdays with the importance that you do. I have some friends and family members for whom birthdays are a very big deal, they remember everyone's birthdays, anniversaries, have cards at the ready for every occasion. And there are others who sometimes do and sometimes don't. I tend to fall into the latter category, and perhaps it would help if you heard from one of us. I tend to feel that caring for a friend or family member is best expressed through word and deed, not through Hallmark cards or gifts on certain days of the year.

I think it's far more important to consider whether you have friends, be they two or twenty, whom you can count on to be there for you in time of need, to offer counsel, sympathy, humor, or support. Birthday presents and cards are lovely but really they are frosting on the cake. Is there a cake, or better yet, bread, something that sustains you in these friendships?

If you are one of those who delights in remembering birthday and sending cards, then continue to do so, if it gives you pleasure to express your love in that way. But if you are doing so with the expectation that they must reciprocate in kind, and judge them accordingly, then don't. Please don't gauge a friend's affection for you or your son by whether their love is expressed in a very particular way on a very particular day. Some people really don't think that birthdays are such a big deal in adulthood. Focusing on you for special birthdays, say #40, #50, etc., now that is I think a reasonable expectation...if you are inviting them to a party. But pouting because they didn't send you a card on your 38th or 46th birthday? That does seem a bit silly, dear. Your friends love you. Just not more on one day than another... =No fan of Hallmark Occasions=