My birthday is in April. I usually end up doing lunch, maybe dinner, too, with my parents. I don't like doing much: stay in, watch a movie, read a lot. It's my favorite times.
So I hear my mom going 'I want to have a big party, but we don't have to say it's for her!'
And I'm thinking huh, that's weird. So I yell downstairs, 'who are you having a party for?'
My mom answers that it's for her when she gets better, but this is after a long pause and some hushed whispers between her and my sister.
'I don't want a party.'
'It'll be small. Just family and friends. We won't tell them it's for you!'
'But I want to watch movies and read on my birthday! Really, that'll make me happy!'
'No, no, this party will be great.'
So.... I'm having a party this year, for the first time in years. I'm dreading it, but not telling my mom because this is for her, really. And seeing her happy will be my gift, I guess! I'm going to do a lot of self-care and just relax beforehand and afterwards; that much of that many people will exhaust me. I'm very good in social situations, in general, but I'm also an introvert. I just want people to leave me the hell alone so I can read!
I could emphatically tell her no. But why? She's bored right now due to the illness, and really wants to do something for me. She enjoys the company and thinks I'm too lonely. I do enjoy company, but I need long periods of time alone, too. Readercon is okay because I'm not talking to people all day - and I can escape to the consuit, sit and read in the hallways, or read in the back of a panel if I really need a break. It's also full of so many like minded people that I don't mind a slight amount of exhaustion, or even social anxiety, for what I get from Readercon.
My party, however, will be full of people who want to talk about things that are not, say, books or movies or comics. So it will exhaust me much more quickly.