Posted by: hemlock1981 | 01/08/2011

Why I hate my birthday

Now that it has been quite a while since my birthday (yes, I am that paranoid when it comes to it) I can safely write about why I do not like it, in fact, why I hate it.  You can use the words dislike, distaste, apathy, or annoyance, but none of them would describe the utter hatred I have for celebrating my birthday.

 This is not an “I’m depressed, I hate myself, I want to die” rant.  I just hate celebrating my birthday.

 My last birthday party was at the age of 13.  It was the last time I had people over for cake and ice cream.  I have been striving ever since to keep that date under wraps.  In fact, the only people who probably have the chance to remember the date are those who have been my friends since before I was 13.  When I get asked what day my birthday is, I respond kindly with the year, “1981.”

 Now, do not get me wrong.  I am happy to be alive and have lived through and experienced a great number of things, but I do not enjoy celebrating my birthday.  There is a caveat to this which I allow for a small number of people to acknowledge the fact that it is my birthday, but that is a small few.  That list includes, my Wife and Family (parents, sibling, and extended included), and some close Friends.

 Now to the ‘why’ of the “Why I hate my birthday.” 

 When people tell me they want to know because they want to celebrate my birthday, I sarcastically respond with, “Were you there?”   It is a simple question, yet, I believe that it holds a pretty good weight.  If you were not there, then why do you care what day I was born?  My Mother pushed out a 10 pound, 13 ounce baby.  I think she is entitled to acknowledge it.  My Father was there, my Brother and other relatives shortly followed within the next few days, weeks, and months…they too have a pretty good investment in my beginnings.  But where does anyone else?  The answer is no where.

 For the people who do know and want to make a big deal of it by having a party or acknowledging it other than privately saying, “Happy birthday,” I respond in a forward, yet civil manner, “Well if it is my special day and the day is about me, then my wishes should be honored.  And I wish that we shut up about the fact it is my birthday.” (again place in these parentheses the previous caveat)

 I have done nothing special for which I should be singled out and celebrated.  It is not humility, or false humility.  It is actually selfish to not want to celebrate.  It is just the day I was born.  And so I think I am entitled to not celebrate.  I just do not like to be singled out for any reason.

 I also think that if you are my friend, then you should be so 365 days a year.  Being extra nice, or giving me something, or treating me any different than you do any other day of the year is just plain stupid, to me.  And yes, I place saying, “happy birthday,” giving me gifts, ‘going out’ and having a get together in the category of treating me different.

 You could say that if we do those things throughout the year, then why is it different on birthdays.  Well, for the same reason I mentioned above; I have done nothing special that we make a “National Holiday” of the day I was born.

 My life is the reason I, not a day, should be “celebrated.”  My Wife, Family, and closest Friends can keep the day to themselves.  I want to be “celebrated” today for being a friend, a good person.  And then tomorrow, treat me the same.

 Now, I am not against birthdays, nor am I against celebrating birthdays…as long as they are not mine.  If you enjoy having a party, getting different gifts, going out to eat, or having a little get-together, then I will be right there.  Why?  It is because that is what you want, and as your friend, I enjoy accommodating your wishes.

 So, like I said.  I am glad to be alive.  I just want to be treated the same everyday of the year.

 I will catch you on the flip side.

 —Mac

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Responses

  1. I am a little funny about birthdays, too. I am a bit of a numbers freak, and my birthday happens to be a very cool date, which always pleases me (particularly when my age happens to fall in the pattern of the birthday numbers, and yes, I do understand that this makes me sound slightly over the edge of loony). I enjoy my birthday, and I always celebrate it – ideally by being by myself all day long. :D

    I call in favors from relatives or hire a babysitter, take the day off, and spend it downtown doing my favorite things – buying a book, reading it over a VERY long lunch, going for a walk in the park, having my toenails painted fire engine red. I’m not one for a big party though, and fortunately everyone in my family knows better than to do a surprise party. (What an awful thing to do to someone when they think they’re just coming home for a quiet evening with a cup of tea and a book!)

    That said … I like other people’s birthdays. Not so much to throw parties and make a lot of noise, but because they remind me to appreciate that person. Yes, I appreciate them other days too, and I try to be a good friend all year round, but when Facebook tells me it’s my college buddy Shauna’s birthday, I think, “Yes! I remember Shauna! I remember one time when she really encouraged me on a day that I needed it, and this would be a good time to go tell her that.” So it’s more of a way to make sure that at least one day in the year, my increasingly slippery memory is inspired to not only appreciate each person in my life, but to actually go and TELL them that I appreciate them.

    So, late happy birthday, I like your blog! ;)

    • Loony? Well, we all have our quirks, and that is what makes us unique. I do say that the uniqueness in each of us, brings it out in each other. So continue to work those numbers.

      Then enjoy away! It is good that you make something of your birthday. I always like celebrating with those that desire to do so. It is a great time.

      Fire engine red, eh? Well, if you say so… :-)

      Indeed, those relationships which mean the most in each of our lives are the ones that last the lifetime. I am glad you get the opportunity (even if it is with help being remembered) to let your loved ones know you love them.

      Thanks for stopping by, come on back now, ya hear?

  2. Before I got married I used to celebrate my birthday by myself. It was great man. Now it is different. I have to go along with it. How I hate it.

    • Well, birthdays themselves are not bad in themselves. They are great reminders of time, but celebrating mine just is not my “cup of tea.” But yes, when it comes to my Wife celebrating it, I too have to go along with it.

  3. You make a good point Mac. Why do we celebrate an event at which most people at the celebration were not present or, if they were, have no memory of. And friends should be friendly 365 days a year. I agree.

    I try to do something special for my birthday every year. But not a party. I try to be on holidays somewhere that I want to be and to have a special day with my wife. Or to go hiking or something like that. I really like it if someone remembers my birthday and sends me a text message or card. For me it,s kinda like they care enough to bother remembering a random date in the year that has no significance to them but that means something to me. But I also am not into big celebrations about my birthday.

    • Thanks Herby. I am right there with you, not a big celebration kind of guy. It is always good when people remember us. As an example, in week, my wife is putting on a party for me for a reason I will explain in a later post, but I really am uncomfortable having it. Even though it is a group of our closest friends, I am still uncomfortable. But I realized it was important to her and to my friends that they have this party, and so I willingly helped plan the event and am using it as a learning tool to help me accept recognition.

  4. I just looove your rants Mac!

    • Thanks. Every now and then it is good to let out a nice rant. :-)

  5. Great post! I also hate my birthday, although I haven’t
    thought too much about the “why” so my reasons are more along the
    lines of disliking the attention. I really enjoyed your
    perspective. My last birthday was at sixteen and a surprise. I
    didn’t talk to my parents for two weeks after that!

    • Thanks! I am not much of the “liking attention type” either. Over the course of a few of those early years I developed my reasons.


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