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.