Adult birthday parties in any corner of the country can be pretty insufferable, but New Yorkers take them to a whole new level. Sure, a small gathering at an apartment or bar can be a fine way for a group of friends to commemorate the birth of one of their chums. Listen, everyone loves a good old-fashioned birthday extravaganza. And sure, birthday parties—when done right—can be a hoot and a half. But there is perhaps no experience more infuriating than responding to an invitation, only to find that the host has chosen an incredibly expensive restaurant.
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To survive in New York, you have to be careful with your money. Yet when oblivious friends declare that they’ll be hosting their birthday dinner at a pricey establishment, they’re effectively holding their friends hostage. It’s hard to even enjoy a dinner that will cost you a C-note or two at a restaurant that you didn’t choose. It’s also difficult to enjoy the company of someone who thinks it’s okay to drag friends to an expensive dinner at Aquavit or Buvette and then expects the group to pick up the celebrant’s portion of the bill. And it’s especially challenging to justify the dollar slices everyone is forced to eat for a week after dropping a sizable chunk of coin on “friendship.”
So, New Yorkers, stop hosting your birthday dinners at expensive restaurants. Instead, go to a bar, have everyone buy you a shot, and stumble into your postbirthday hangover having racked up nothing but goodwill. Not only will your friends still like you, but—no matter what you do—you’re all still going to end up eating dollar pizza slices anyway because the rent is too damn high. So you might as well start the next year of your life on a high note rather than a high bill.