google search: synonyms for birthday.
jubilee /ˈdʒuːbɪliː/ a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity.
ok unless you consider living to be reigning, it doesn’t fit, but for the purpose of this post it will, because jubilee is a charming word and in my mind it is attached to the queen, and therefore it is majestic — perfect, as the just of this post is far from majestic. this post is about birthdays, more specifically mine.
for the most part, we are all on the same page with our birthdays. until about the age of 13, we are led to believe that this day is the most important day of the year. we all similarly bask in the glory of our birthday until this age, and then something happens; we seem to be divided into two separate categories of humans: those who love their birthday and those who do not. i guess i could get a little more specific, and say that there are three categories. 1) those of us who love our birthday…and expect everyone else to love our birthday as much, if not more, than us, 2) those of us who like our birthday, but don’t care to make a fuss about it, 3) those who just don’t give a what about the depressing death clock that we humans have thrust upon ourselves.
i know people from all three of those veins. we all do. we all have the high maintenance friend who waits around for people to plan a surprise birthday for them, then cries when she realizes the take-out pizza wasn’t just a clever ploy to get her over to your apartment, that there is actually no one hiding behind the couch; those small noises she mistook for giggles are just the rat family that lives in your cupboard, and the lights were just off because you live in a dingy apartment and you forgot to pay of your electric. we all know that one. we all know the other one, who is modest about the day they ruined their mother’s vagina (jk that’s a myth. three cheers for birth!), but who still like to create a group on facebook – invite only, obviously … no one wants ned, your best friend’s “quirky” cousin to come. maybe they make the facebook event profile pic one of them barfing while giving the thumbs up, and have a small party at their favourite restaurant. then there are the people who are bitter and don’t even like to talk about their special day. i will ignore those people for this post…because they’d want me to.
i guess with my birthday fast-approaching, i’ve started to think about what kind of birthday bunch i fall into. i’d always considered myself to be a little bit of a mix between the mom’s vagina (?) and the bitter bday kermudgeon. why do i even need to categorize myself, you might ask? too much time on my hands. looking back, i think i’ve always been weirdly proud that i was externally the modest/on-the-brink-of-grouchy-old-man birthday girl, because it was like, self reflective to not give a what about people celebrating me, you know? but this is where things get tricky, as all facades do.
**~~~~~~~t Im E WaR p ~***~~~~~~~~~
i’m 15 and even though i didn’t tell anyone my birthday is tomorrow, i’m mad that no one has called me and wished me a happy birthday. cue sulking.
i’m 16 and my parents think i don’t like my birthday, but like…it’s my 16th birthday. i’m finally fucking sweet. where is my surprise party? cue repeatedly asking my cat why me? through a mask of tears and snot.
i’m 17 and for the first time i actually feel older. yeah, i told you i didn’t want anything, but where the fuck are my diamond earrings, grandma? this is an internal milestone that i didn’t tell you or anyone else about.
i’m 19 and i have a politics paper due tonight, so i told all of you to not bring beer to my dorm room, but i’m waiting here with a party hat on and a pin that says “it’s my birthday, bitches”. oh, you all went to the bar anyway? cue screaming into cat-shaped pillow.
i’m 20 and i actually plan a party for the first time, because i’m mature now and i understand that if you want people to celebrate you, you need to make the arrangements…but then i cancel my party like a day before it happens? but you were all supposed to beg me not to cancel it? que falling into old habits and probably crying to a photo of my dead cat, blaming him for dying four years ago and leaving me alone on my birthday. cue therapy.
i’m 21 and i go to my little cousin’s hockey practice the morning of my birthday and then my uncle asks me why i’m so tired? “cause you were *partying* all night?” no, uncle. actually i was playing charades with my parents, made solar system cupcakes, and stayed up until 5am reading a graphic novel. cue smirk because i actually wasn’t sad about that one.
so as you can see, that timeline is less than majestic. instead of being truthful to myself, and to those whom i want to celebrate with, i have a tendency to give off the impression that i don’t give a shnitzle about my birthday, with the secret hopes that someone will step up and surprise me with the awesome birthday bash i’ve always wanted. likely to happen? not unless you’re that girl with the big smile/teeth, who wakes up and is 30 or whatever. i visualize my birthday party for like 3 months leading up to the actual day, so why don’t i plan it and save the secret, hidden disappointment? i want some giant messy-ass homemade birthday cake with glitter and weird animal figurines all over it; i want people to dance to a halloween playlist even though it’s february, and i most certainly want everyone to play some kind of game. want, want, want. turns out i’m also, like, really desperate to be jennifer garner on her 13th/30th bday??
narcissistically, i am writing this post to remind myself, and any of the closeted birthday fetishists out there who are like me, that we do love our birthdays, and we do want them to be special, and there is nothing wrong with that, as long as we’re not expecting other people to do the work. i want to remind myself that it’s totally up to me to buy a variety pack of small plastic animals from a children’s store, and to start thinking up a recipe; to create some theme and let people know in advance, and to not cancel for any reason. this year i am making it a resolution to have a birthday party. also, ned, if you’re reading this, you can come…i guess.