30th birthday. Married couple, no close friends. Want to hit the town.
August 6, 2010 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Mr. DeludingMyself is turning 30 in September, and isn't entirely pleased with the idea. I know I can't stop him from being upset about the big 3-0, but I want to come up with something to make the day itself awesome.

We're very close as a couple, and very introverted - INTP with a healthy splash of social anxiety. Getting involved with each other so young has been awesome for our marriage (strange but true), but probably detrimental to the development of an actual social life, or real, sustained friendships. Lately, this has been bothering him, but not enough to actually act on it.

I can't fix our social scene in a month, but I do want to do something great for his birthday. We like going out and being around people (great restaurants, bars, concerts, museums, events) even if it's just the two of us. So, to Atlanta and non-local MeFites alike: what can I plan for his birthday that will fill the need for uninhibited (ok, less inhibited), semi-social drunken celebration?

Alcohol should be involved. Good beer is crucial (but fwiw, we frequent the Brick Store a lot already). I've considered bar-hopping across the city, and nixed strip clubs (the idea makes him uncomfortable). But thoughts and suggestions of all sorts are welcome!
posted by deludingmyself to Human Relations (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Why not a trip?
posted by k8t at 2:42 PM on August 6, 2010

Yeah, go on a trip. My girlfriend organised hiring a boat on a lake with a few friends. I'm 36 now and seem to have survived and that boat trip is a great memory. OMG, I'm 36??????
posted by Elmore at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2010

Oh, and to be fair, I was dreading the 3-0 at the time too.
posted by Elmore at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2010

For my 30th in March, my partner took me to a show and a late dinner at my favorite restaurant. It was very comforting and just what I needed to turn a scary age with.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:45 PM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: I'm always up for a trip, and haven't discounted it - but with the birthday on a Monday, and the fact that we burned all our vacation days on a belated honeymoon earlier this year (which was awesome!), it could be tricky.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:53 PM on August 6, 2010

Once I hit 30 the pressure of getting everything done in my 20s went away. Now I can happily just live the rest of my life with no arbitrary timelines in place. It's a much happier place, and I hope Mr. Deluding Himself will feel the same in time.
posted by fantasticninety at 3:12 PM on August 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

I flew cross-country to attend a surprise party for one of my closest friends when he turned 30. He was pretty unhappy about hitting 30 and it was a real treat to see how happy he was when two of his closest friends and his brother were waiting for him when he got home from work. His then-girlfriend (now wife) organized the whole thing for him and very successfully kept it a secret. So if he has any close friends now out of town you might consider that.
posted by pombe at 3:18 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: I'm dreading it too, but fortunately, the Matador 21st Birthday party is in Vegas that week, so I'm going to that. When my wife turned 30, we were in Grand Teton National Park.

So yeah, take him on a nice trip.

Also, remind him that the only way we don't get older is if we're dead. I tell this myself quite often, and it works like a charm.
posted by elder18 at 3:32 PM on August 6, 2010

Just had mine last week. Had I not been pregnant, I would have wanted a nice relaxed BBQ with some good food and then a campfire / bonfire with much drinking, singing and burning of things. Like you guys, my husband and I have very few friends and keep to ourselves. But surely you have enough time between now and September to round up colleagues and acquaintances and relatives. If he longs to build a social circle, this could really make his day, and could even lead to real friendships.
posted by kitcat at 3:48 PM on August 6, 2010

I offered my husband a party at the local bouncie house place for his 40th birthday. Mysteriously, he turned me down. . . but it might be something for you to consider?
posted by KathrynT at 3:49 PM on August 6, 2010

Why not getting him and yourself a gift certificate for one of them dance studios, where you can learn things like salsa, ballroom, swing, etc. dancing? These places often also have a day of the week where it's open night and everyone dances with everyone else? It will give something new to do to both of you, and since in many of these places you get to change partners, you will get to know other people. This should put you in a position to at least try and develop some new friendships.
posted by adahn at 3:53 PM on August 6, 2010

What about something like a skydive or some sort of boat trip and then dinner and drinks to celebrate your adventurousness?
posted by cestmoi15 at 4:50 PM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: Hmm, I'm not sure whether he'd consider skydiving or ballroom dancing the worse torture. Reading back over my post, I'd like to think we're not quite as sad as we sound - but maybe we are? We really don't have any friends who could fly in - just internet acquaintances who already do a yearly meet-up as a larger social group. And his office is tiny, so inviting work people would be weird - especially if they were the only ones there.

Every time the 30 thing comes up, he seems to want to drink himself silly, so if nothing else, I can accommodate that.
posted by deludingmyself at 5:01 PM on August 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Other ideas that involve alcohol and being around people:

Comedy show
Dinner theatre
Piano bar
posted by kitcat at 5:16 PM on August 6, 2010

Amusement park? Sneak some liquor into opaque water bottles. Go out for dinner and good quality beer afterwards.
posted by kitcat at 5:18 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Had mine two years ago, and haven't been happier since. I am also quite similar in temperament to you and your SO, like I want a crowd around but I don't necessarily want to interact with the crowd. Here's what I would want:

First: mix some booze with some juice/soda, whatever makes it inconspicuous, and take it to a place where nature will knock your socks off. Water, mountains, a cool sunset spot, I don't know anything about Atlanta but I trust there are some random natural wonders in the area. Go to one or more of them, and chill, just the two of you.

Second: go home, make whatever adjustments you need to, and then go out to, well, I don't know. I've never been to Atlanta. Jazz club, bar that has couches, somewhere that proves to him that just because he's one day older than 29, he doesn't have to lay on his own couch all night sobbing. Somewhere that adults congregate - NOT a dance club that plays Ke$ha all night.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 6:13 PM on August 6, 2010

*actually, I should have said I HAVE been much happier since. It's a good thing!*
posted by deep thought sunstar at 6:14 PM on August 6, 2010

As a 51 year old I wish I was 30 again. I would make it about the two of you. Yeah, I remember the big 3-0. From hindsight it wasn't so bad.

I didn't have a significant other like yourself at the time. So he's ahead of the game.

My opinion is to make the night about the two of you. First, a dinner at his favorite restaurant. His favorite food. And drinks. Low light is good. Candles on the table, that kind of thing. I'd suggest Italian.

After dinner bring him (once lubricated by alcohol) to a club. Invite friends to meet you there. There will be the birthday surprise. Maybe he thought that it was only going to be the two of you. But wherever you end up friends (10 or 3 or whatever) are there. So he has a full stomach, a mild buzz. And you brought his peeps there. Then presents that you had purchased earlier. A cake? Or cupcakes?

More alcohol. Kisses and hugs! Go home eventually. Make sure someone gets pictures.
posted by Splunge at 6:36 PM on August 6, 2010

Um, I meant of the early parts of the evening. Pics of the denouement are up to you. :-)
posted by Splunge at 6:39 PM on August 6, 2010

Vegas baby! It's perfect for this and you'd really only have to miss one day of work.
posted by bananafish at 9:33 PM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Yeah, spend it somewhere totally out of your normal routine. I was living in Hawaii at the time and booked a long weekend trip to Alaska of all places, hoping that freezing my ass off would be a distraction from turning 30. Turned out to be almost record highs for that time of year (70 degrees) but that didn't matter since the distraction of being somewhere totally new was enough for me!
posted by thorny at 9:55 PM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: Ok, I'm convinced. If possible, a surprise trip thing shall occur. Let the colluding with (and bribing with baked goods) his work people commence.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:30 AM on August 9, 2010

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