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Imagine receiving an invitation to attend a birthday party for a friend at a swanky restaurant only to find out as you read the fine print that you'll need to pay $50.54 to be a guest! Yep ... true story.

Charging guests to attend birthday parties has gained steam in recent years, despite how unpopular the trend is. In fact, a Google search about the subject yields over 230 million results. Clearly it's a topic that people have a lot to say about.

Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary is so fed up with the trend that she's staging her own protest! In a piece published in January titled "Stop charging me to attend your celebrations — #guestsdontpay," she declared she would decline all invitations that require guests pay to attend. Perhaps we should join her protest!

Even Miss Manners herself, the queen of all things etiquette, said in a column that was published in 1999, guests are not charged to attend parties." Her comment was made in response to someone who wanted to know if it was wrong to charge guests $25.00 to attend a retirement party.

In this episode of Forever 39, we take on the #guestsdontpay debate. Our opinion — if you can't afford to buy for all invited guests, don't have a party or find a cheaper venue. Do not charge your guests!

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — At what age should you leave your child home alone? PLUS: Why it's impossible to leave New Jersey behind. Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode. Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about coping skills in today's kids, being a therapist to your friend, and adulting.

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