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eeekkk! Was I rude?


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#1 pratique

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

I received a text a week ago from a friend inviting me and others out to dinner for her birthday.

There were 6 of us in attendance, I didn't know anyone else.

Now in my friendship group usually this means we pay our own way and don't do presents. The fact that the meal has been paid for is usually the present. Mostly we all pay a bit extra and cover the birthday girl.

When I got there everyone but me had a gift. A nice big one! It was quite obvious I was the only one that didn't have anything. I felt royally cheap when she opened them all in front of us.

So EB what is the expectation? Would you expect a gift at a casual dinner where people pay their own way anyway? Or do you only do gifts at a proper catered event?

(can we exclude close friends and family here as I always purchase them gifts anyway)


#2 Quirk

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

I'm not sure how enjoying a nice meal out could be seen as a birthday gift, aren't you the only person that benefits from that?  unsure.gif

#3 Old Grey Mare

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

QUOTE (Quirk @ 17/02/2013, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not sure how enjoying a nice meal out could be seen as a birthday gift, aren't you the only person that benefits from that?  unsure.gif



The guests paid for the birthday girls' dinner I believe. If the group usually don't do gifts I don't think you have been rude at all.

#4 Pinkfairies

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I would still buy a gift regardless of having to pay for my own meal. Otherwise, how is it different from any other time you go out for dinner? I go out to dinner with my friends regularly so this would be no different going for their birthday if we didnt get them a gift....

If you all chipped in for the birthday girls dinner then that is nice, but there are still 6 of you, so I wouldn't imagine it would cost all that much anyway, which is why I would still buy a gift, especially if they are a close friend...

Edited by Ifonlyyouknew..., 17 February 2013 - 02:46 PM.


#5 HezzaB

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

I would have made the same 'mistake' OP

If we go out for dinner/drinks I will buy the birthday girl/guy a drink or two. I don't expect gifts from my friends these days (although one or two sweet ones still do it)

#6 B.3

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

PP, I would have thought the same as you. In my circle grown ups don't receive or expect gifts. Going out as a group is the norm.

#7 Giltine

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

I never expect gifts from anyone, but I usually give them. Even if it's something small, or even a card.

I've had a few birthday dinners, and never received anything, whether the meal is paid for or not. I've also been the only one to bring a gift a few times.

I wouldn't have a clue what the "done" thing is.

#8 pratique

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

QUOTE (Quirk @ 17/02/2013, 02:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not sure how enjoying a nice meal out could be seen as a birthday gift, aren't you the only person that benefits from that?  unsure.gif


Yes but usually we pay for the birthday persons meal. To be honest at my age I don't really expect a present, I'm just happy to have a catch up with friends.


#9 envs

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

For me, and the way I was brought up, you treat invitations out as if you were inviting people to your home;

If you are doing the inviting for your own occasion, you pay for everyone...usually people bring gifts if it's your birthday. If it's a group of friends getting together for your birthday and you don't do the inviting/initiation, everyone pays for themselves, and they also usually bring a gift, as well as have the meal paid for.

Otherwise, as some pp'er said, it's not really a celebration if the birthday person doesn't get a gift...that's just going out for dinner.

Btw we don't ever actually expect presents, but I'm coming from the perspective that I socialize a lot with extended family rather than non-relatives

Edited by envs, 17 February 2013 - 02:56 PM.


#10 BrookeAry

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:50 PM

I usually go flowers if I'm not sure! I would never expect gift from friends at a b'day dinner.

#11 Quirk

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:52 PM

I get what you're saying regarding paying for your friends dinner, but that between 6 would only be $10 tops.

Maybe as you don't know the other friends that were there, that this is just something they do in their circle, so I wouldn't think of you as rude, as you obviously weren't aware.

#12 katniss

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

I'm sure gifts weren't expected but some people still like to buy gifts anyway. I'm sure the birthday girl hasn't thought anything of it.

I generally expect to pay my own way to a dinner invite so no, I wouldn't think that is the gift.

#13 ~Mo+Moosh~

Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:55 PM

I sometimes might do a present but it certainly isn't a given. If in the days leading up to the dinner I happen to come across the perfect something for the birthday person then I'd probably get it but I'm unlikely to go out of my way to do so. I really love giving presents when there is no expectation.

I know my friends would not be disappointed if they didn't get a present from me, they really just enjoy coming together for good food and a laugh. The birthday is often just a good excuse to bring together a group of busy people.



#14 Peevish

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

I don't think you were rude. Obviously in her circle of friends it is the norm to take a gift. Awkward for you but I can't see this as an issue among friends.
Personally, I don't judge rudeness on whether or not someone gives me a present on my birthday (husband excluded!). And I would much rather a person made time to spend with me on my birthday than give me a present.

#15 BadCat

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:07 PM

Not rude.

I wouldn't have taken a gift either.  We tend to count the get together as the gift.

#16 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:07 PM

We always buy gifts for the birthday person and pay our own way when we have group birthday dinners.

#17 JustBeige

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE (Peevish @ 17/02/2013, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think you were rude. Obviously in her circle of friends it is the norm to take a gift. Awkward for you but I can't see this as an issue among friends.
Personally, I don't judge rudeness on whether or not someone gives me a present on my birthday (husband excluded!). And I would much rather a person made time to spend with me on my birthday than give me a present.

Yep exactly this.



#18 againagain

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

I don't think it's rude, I would have had the same thing happen. We (group of friends and myself) often go out to dinner for birthdays, whoever is having the birthday generally texts people to say come along. We have a few wines, nice meal and maybe a card. No presents.

I don't get people saying that your share of the birthday girls dinner is only $10 therefore it wouldn't count or is stingey?? What's your price then?

I kind of hate getting presents as an adult, usually people give you candles or something that clutters up the house. I'd rather jus the dinner and drinks thanks.

ETA to make more sense! (Hopefully...)

Edited by againagain, 17 February 2013 - 03:10 PM.


#19 epl0822

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:08 PM

It's lame to keep note of who gave and who didn't. I'd like to think my friends and I are at an age where nobody cares if somebody or everybody doesn't bring a gift.

#20 ms flib

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

I would give something small but there shouldn't be an expectation - especially when you account for the cost of dinner.

#21 meggs1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

In my circle we don't normally do gifts unless its a big birthday (30/40) or a catered/home event.  Sometimes something small if you see the perfect thing or someone's been having a hard time.

#22 tazcan

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

I think it's really weird to give a gift to an adult friend for their birthday - I wouldn't expect one for myself and wouldn't think of giving one to someone else (apart from my parents and maybe my siblings). I think an adult expecting a gift from a friend is quite childish and self-indulgent so I don't think your friend would have expected one. I would however love to use of the excuse of my birthday to catch up for dinner with some good friends.

#23 -Emissary-

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:42 PM


I don't think you were rude. I've done the same in the past depending on how close I am with the birthday person.

If I was extremely close to the birthday person, I would have bought a gift as well as paid for dinner.

#24 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

I don't know anyone over the age of 21 who routinely gives, receives or expects birthday presents. (Apart from one's significant other.).  So I don't think you we're rude.  



#25 MissingInAction

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:46 PM

YOu weren't rude.  You were doing what your group of friends normally does... except this time you got caught out cos the rules changed without you knowing sad.gif

In that situation, I would've told a white lie and said that you left the present at home as you didn't want her to have to lug it around in town and will give it to her later.... and then quickly go and buy a gift and have it ready to give her next time you see her.

ETA:  unless you're under 21 or it's a big birthday party 30, 40, etc it's rude to EXPECT gifts.
They're nice though.  But it would be weird to expect them.  Hmm... so maybe don't get a gift and don't worry about it.  Unless it was her 30th or something. Ahh im no good at this.

Edited by MissingInAction, 17 February 2013 - 03:48 PM.





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