It’s official. As of yesterday at around 9:30 p.m., I’ve been bumming around this planet for a solid quarter of a century.
For some the passage from age 24 to 25, wouldn’t require much fanfare. These less-enthusiastic birthday boys or girls would greet the day just as they would any other. They’d be happy with a smattering of cards and a stale piece of birthday cake. They would politely accept birthday wishes but shrug their shoulders and assure well-wishers their birthday wasn’t really a big deal. They’d selflessly convince their friends and family that there was really no need for a fuss.
I am not this sort of birthday girl.
I’m big on birthdays. I like them. I like celebrating them (especially when they’re mine).
Now some might regard my affinity for birthday hoopla as selfish and juvenile and well, those people might be right. But because I’m me, and I always think I’m right, I view my love of birthdays a little differently.
Obviously there are a lot of reasons to love birthdays. There are presents. You get mail that is not bills. There might even be cake at work, at work, where there is always a noticeable absence of cake. You are allowed to pick the restaurant and everyone just has to suck it up and deal with it even if they don’t like Mexican food and even if they’re on some strange diet that only allows them to eat pureed eggplant. You get to be just a little bit more of a jerk than usual and nobody can say boo because you’re on a one day birthday bad behavior pass. Restaurants give you free dessert. People might even buy you drinks, and not just that creepy man eyeing you from the dark corner of the bar who looks like he’s a regular on “How to Catch a Predator,” but normal people.
Now all of these things are undeniably awesome, obviously. But better than all of these things (even the cake, which is tough to beat), is the fact that on your birthday your friends and family are obligated to hang out with you. It is required. There are no excuses. So they had other plans, so they wanted to have a date night with their significant other, so they finally got a date with that guy they have been mercilessly flirting with at work. It does not matter. They will reschedule. They will rearrange. They will make some gosh darn allowances because this day, one day a year, is your’s.
I will not lie to you, being the center of attention is phenomenal, it is fantastic, it is probably one of the best things in the world, (closely followed by cake of course). But even better than being universally adored for a mere 24 hours, is the sheer fact that you have a birthday. I mean, think about what a birthday means on its most basic level: it means you got to live another whole year!
Now ordinarily people who are constantly yakking on and on about how grateful they are for everything, get on my nerves. (Be honest, they get on your nerves too). Yes, having an upbeat, positive personality is a something to be admired but at some point when you’re babbling on and on about how great your life is you just kind of seem like your bragging and people want to punch you.
So as for me, I try to hold in my sappy, “OH MY GOSH, EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL!” feelings most of the time so I don’t annoy the bejesus out of everyone. But one time of year, on my birthday, I go all out, because if you can’t celebrate being given another year to live (and awesome people to live it with) what can you celebrate?
Also, seriously, did I mention there’s cake?