Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Birthday, Your Birthday: Adults Need Birthdays

Yesterday, I turned 35.

Many people stop caring about their birthdays after a certain age. They say, "Birthdays are stupid. I'm too old for this crap, and I don't want to be reminded that I'm getting older." They do not buy festive hats; they do not throw parties and they do not eat cake unless other people in their lives force them to do so.

I am not that person. I love my birthday. I like to wear ridiculous hats and have celebrations. I love cake. It all makes sense to the part of me that is a self-indulgent child.

So yesterday, I turned 35. My husband snuck out while I was in the shower and got me kolaches and donuts for breakfast. I went to work and my boss bought lunch and cupcakes, and they sang to me. I came home and did my Insanity workout (dig deep!) and then went to get fried chicken. When I returned, a group of my friends, including my sister-in-law, were at my place to surprise me. And I was surprised! It was a great birthday.

So I bring the discussion back to those who dislike their birthdays and don't like to celebrate them. Look... I'm not you. You don't know me, I don't know you. You can tell me to fuck off. Whatever. But I do NOT understand. Why don't you want this?? What's with you that you don't want people being nice to you and singing you songs and being happy you're alive? Why do you hate fun and cake?

I've heard the explanations, and I counter them:
  • I hate being the center of attention. Well, I also hate being the center of attention, and I hate being a burden on other people. I don't like it when all eyes are on me. I like talking to other people and finding out about them and interacting with them. I don't like a one-man show. But five minutes of singing and saying thank you is, to me, worth it. Birthday parties are joy. Birthdays with no recognition are sad after-school specials.
  • I don't like being reminded that I'm getting older. You're getting older no matter what you do. That next birthday is coming. Why not do something with it?
  • I want to go to the Clown Commando House of Horrors and Pie for my birthday, but my friends think it sounds stupid. You need better friends.
  • Birthday parties are for little kids. Fuck you. Go back to shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond and watching Murder, She Wrote.

I know people who don't like their birthdays and who don't care about them. They're nice, good people who deserve nice, good birthdays - but they don't want them. I know there are more of you out there.

Knock it off. Do something for your birthday. Adults have shitty, boring lives; birthdays add something.

"When it's time to party, we will party hard." --Andrew W.K.


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