Dear Annie: I am the youngest of seven children and the only one who didn’t marry young. I am also the only one who attended college. I am graduating in May and mentioned to my parents that I hoped to have a small graduation party with family and close friends. One friend already offered to make my cake.
You can imagine my disappointment when my parents said it was silly to have a graduation party, and they’d rather spend money on a wedding whenever I get married. Annie, I wasn’t asking them to spend money. I just wanted to use the hospitality of their home because my college apartment is a few hours away. I’ve worked hard for my degree, and I’m hurt by their lack of excitement. I want to share my happiness. I don’t need gifts. Would it be against etiquette to throw myself a party? – Puzzled
Dear Puzzled: It is OK to give yourself a party, but please don’t mention your graduation until after your guests arrive. You don’t want to give the impression of, “I’m so fantastic and accomplished – bring presents.” Simply say you want to have a party. You can then tell them during the event that you are celebrating your degree. Another option is to get together with your classmates and have a group celebration, whereby you are essentially giving a graduation party for one another.