For the most part, going out to the bar for a birthday is a worldwide celebrated event that can end in a number of ways.
One interesting ending came as recently as last Saturday. I went with a group of friends to Big Al’s Country Club in Idaho. As we were leaving the club, my friend Rikki said in a somber voice, “Thanks for coming to my birthday guys.”
That evening we were celebrating Rikki’s birthday, as well as the birthday of her roommate Kayanna. Kay was dancing and having a great time. Rikki mostly sat at the table, sipping on her red margarita. One of the tables was filled with Kayana’s coworkers. The only people Rikki knew were me, her brother Sammy and our friend Sandi. Had I realized that Rikki was not having a good time, I would have done what I could to make sure Rikki had a better night.
Even though the bar is a place where all sorts of fun can happen, even the birthday boy or girl can be struck with a case of the blues as they are gulping their beer. Still, there are ways to help improve the morale of the birthday boy/girl.
1. Mingle, mingle, mingle – When it comes to a gathering, try to get everyone mingling with each other. If there are one or two people celebrating a birthday, try and get them to the center of the area where everyone can see them. This gives them a chance to interact with everyone. It also forces them to step out of their comfort zone.
2. Tell EVERYONE about the birthday – Now that you have helped your friend get to know the group, it is time to make sure everyone knows. Bartenders. Customers. The chef hiding in the back. Your friend will feel like the center of an alcohol-fueled universe. There might even be birthday specials happening.
3. Game time – Bars are full of games and activities for customers to play, such as pool, darts and arcade. If the birthday boy/girl appears to be bored, challenge them to a game. This may require some taunting, but eventually they will accept your challenge. Whether they win or lose is your call, just as long as they have fun.
4. Dancing and signing – Similar to games, bars will usually have dancing or karaoke. Some of the taunting may work to get the birthday boy/girl to sing or dance with you. If they are not keen to head to the dance floor, you could always entertain them yourself. Whether it is shaking your hips to the Garth Brooks, or singing to the tune of Neil Diamond, you will be sure to get some laughs from your friend.
5. Try to make it about them – With the world moving at such a breakneck pace, it is easy to get caught up with life, even at birthdays. Still, try to restrain yourself from checking your text messages, at least for a moment. If your friend is done with their drink, see if they want another one. if they are hungry, get them some food. If they are checking out that hot guy across the room, give them a nudge to talk to him – or bring them to your table. If the hot guy is trying to pursue your friend and they are not having it, make sure the situation is quickly defused without having to use pepper spray.