When I turned 50, my husband took me to dinner and an overnight stay at the Inn at Little Washington, in Washington, Virginia. It was a wonderful experience–personalized menu, doting wait staff, private tea in the garden, and an over the top room with yards of lush floral fabric everywhere. (My birthday was during the week in October so the restaurant was busy, but not ovewhelmed by people clamouring for food or attention.)
When my husband turned 50, I made reservations a year in advance at the Inn at Little Washington. He has one of those party day birthdays like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day. His birthday also fell on a Saturday that year. There was no personalized menu, the staff was attentive but hurried and harried, no one had the time to explain the intricacies of the menu. The food was still excellent and our room was still lovely, but the personal touches from our previous visit were just not possible when the venue was that crowded and busy.
That was when we decided to celebrate Not Your Birthday so that he could enjoy the same level of personal attention that most of us expect on our birthday.
Why celebrate Not Your Birthday:
1) Your special day is celebrated the way you would like it. There is no obligation to make a reservation so that your special someone can also enjoy the party holiday.
2) If you tell the restaurant or resort that it is your birthday on a day they are less rushed, they are more likely to give you a special dessert, maybe a complimentary glass of champagne to celebrate, or can comply with a request for a special table or wait staff.
3) You can chose the date or time of the year in which to celebrate Not Your Birthday. If you like summer vacations, but are born in in the winter, celebrate Not Your Birthday when it is warm and you can enjoy the type of meal or actvity that you really want.
Caution: Don’t do this multiple times a year. You become the stereotype of someone trying to game the system. Businesses want to gain your repeat business, but they do not want to be stiffed. If they do something nice to help you celebrate, appreciate but do not do it again three months later.