Thursday, August 25, 2005

You say it's your birthday...

So, now I'm 31. Yesterday was my birthday.

I didn't make a big deal of it because, frankly, it isn't a big deal. I also wanted to see how many of my friends remembered.

Everyone I count as a 'close friend' forgot or ignored. Close family remembered. Even a couple of acquaintances remembered. Friends of my sister remembered. It's the close friends forgetting that I'm bummed about, of course. I don't even know why it gnaws at me...it's just a effing birthday, right?

The problem is that when you're a kid (most people anyway, you weirdos who didn't celebrate birthdays need not apply) everyone makes a big deal of your "special day". You get used to people treating you special on your birthday. As you get older, you hit certain milestones that get celebrated wildly -- 18 and 21, for example tend to be great birthdays. 25 was even a good one. You might even get a good party out of some friends for a non-significant year.

I have an extra twist to my birthday: my sister was born on my 3rd birthday. That's right, it's 'her birthday too.' When we were kids, this was a nightmare for my parents. Imagine trying to hold birthday parties and try to make it special for each one. I sympathize with parents who have twins and have to deal with this issue. It was also sometimes torture for us. I can't tell you how many times we were cheated with a gift that was to *both* of us. What about my goddamn special day?? And she was thinking the same thing...

Now we're older and we handle the whole birthday thing much better. In fact, we embrace it. We buy ourselves cake, take a trip, whatever. It was really nice for a group of her friends who have adopted me too to share OUR birthday with us. Still, I was sad that MY friends were MIA.

I always feel bad mentioning it's my birthday too, like I'm soliciting for birthday wishes. The person you've told feels obligated to say 'happy birthday' and you feel crappy that you had to tell someone. Except when free food is involved. But then, I don't want a crowd of wait staff singing to me in another language while a large sombrero is placed on my head. Not my idea of fun, really.

So, don't feel obligated to wish me happy birthday. I'm only mentioning it because yesterday is on my mind and I needed to spew about it so I can get on with my day.

Today is someone else's birthday, somewhere. If you know anyone who has a birthday, even if you haven't talked to them in years, wish them happy birthday. They'll be glad you did and you'll feel better too.

You don't know if anyone else has taken the time to do it. And you could make that day special for them again.

11 comments:

TN_Dreamer said...

I think it means more when you're older & someone you love forgets. when you're young, you or your parents can constantly remind them & not feel timid about it. when you're older, it's almost like you're not supposed to care, but you still really do.

So HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

& next year, be like a kid, & remind everyone in the real world a week in advance. just tell them not to forget your sister's birthday!

Guyot said...

I remembered...

did you like the stripping cop I sent you?

Shawna said...

I thought that traffic stop yesterday was weird. I wasn't even in my car and I was arrested for "being beautiful".

The Moviequill said...

I did feel a Leo vibe from you, cool (and here I thought I just had the fan on too high)

Ken said...

Next year throw yourself a party!

Two parties that I've enjoyed recently were self-thrown b-day bashes.

No pity involved, just adults celebrating life with their friends.

moses said...

Got the Leo vibe too. And I can sympathize, to this day my Dad occasionally thinks my birthday is on March 27th, it's not. Love him to death though.

Shawna said...

I'm a Virgo by a day.

The Moviequill said...

My apologies sweetie (can I be so informal and call you that?)so how are things going anyway?

Bill Cunningham said...

I'm a Pisces and 42, so I tend to go with the flow on birthdays. I also think that for women birthdays have more importance emotionally. I like to take my friends out and treat them on my birhtday. I get treated well throughout the rest of the year so it's the least I can do.

moses said...

So my Leo vibe was.. almost right. Seems that may be my headstone, "nice guy... almost right." For what it's worth, probably not much, Virgo sounds better rolling off the tongue, unique.

Grubber said...

Very simply, happy birthday Shawna.

cheers
Dave.