Birthdays are a strange thing. Despite the fact that they should really only be celebrated when you’re growing up, we continue to the tradition throughout our lives even when we’re down to three cards and one gift, if we’re lucky. As a child, birthdays are one great big OMG-I’m-a-Year-Older excuse for gifts and parties but, as an adult, they’re simply an annual reminder of just how long ago those days were. No, I’m not six-years-old any more… I’m three decades away from that, in fact. Getting older is not a problem in itself as I’m happy to trade a tiny bit more wisdom for a drop in skin elasticity, but every year as a kid birthday parties were an exciting social whirl which was rather delightful. After 21, it’s nothing but “sorry, I’m busy that evening”. I guess we all have other things on our minds these days.
I’m probably just grumpy because an early January birthday means that many people forget mine, and even fewer want to spend money on socialising. As a kid, it was perfectly acceptable to complain when people forgot your birthday, but now I have to just pretend I don’t really care. Perhaps I shouldn’t care? Perhaps I should designate a day other than 6th January as my birthday? Perhaps I should request that people celebrate it in some un-traditional way? Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Instead of a card, how about some fan art? It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as Bill Mudron’s fantastic depiction of Amy Pond (although that’d be nice), because a cameraphone photo of you with a Post-It stuck to your face that says ‘Happy Birthday Lori’ would make me smile just as much.
It’s a bit late to worry about all that this year, so I shall plan something for 2012. Instead… talk to me! What do you like about birthdays and what do you hate? Were you born on Christmas or New Year’s Day so everyone forgets it? Do you celebrate? What would be your ideal alternative celebration? I shall compose my next blog post entirely about the person whose comment I like the most.
As you know, I am a fellow sufferer of being an early-January baby. It has totally sucked hairy balls over the years. And I know my story is probably no different from anyone else born from Christmas Eve onwards.
I have had best friends drop out of my 18th birthday night on the town at the very last minute! I have had joint Christmas and Birthday presents. My mother still wraps my birthday present in Christmas wrapping paper.
But I think the saddest year was when no-one, literally no-one turned up to my 8th birthday party. I had even gone out with my Mum to buy all the party decorations, we had blown up ballloons, hung streamers and I had made up 10 partybags for my 'friends'. After half an hour of no-shows my Mum started frantically calling everyone she knew with kids to try and drag them out. In the end, a couple of kids down the street came by and we played about with balloons. But the scar still runs deep…
However, I refuse to ignore that it is the day of my birth even if everyone else does. In my ideal world I would get a bouncy castle like all my siblings did, because 28 or not, I can still find pleasure in jumping on a giant inflatable castle!
You know, I tend to feel a little bit like you – that I *shouldn't* mind if folk forget, since I'm a grown-up and all, but, well, I do. I've never exchanged presents with friends, though – just good wishes and general happiness – so birthdays are a partners-and-family sort of affair and usually quite low key
My birthday is Valentine's Day, though, so ever since my teens I've known that any sort of big celebratory bash, or even quiet drinks with friends, ain't going to happen as everyone is generally off Being Romantic Because The Calendar Says To. It bothered me a bit when I was single, I have to confess!
Now, though, as it's our anniversary as well Alan and I have established a bit of a tradition of going out and doing something fun during the day and grabbing lunch somewhere nice rather than braving a restaurant in the evening on the day. It feels celebratory but cosy, which suits me 🙂
And thankfully he never says 'well, we can just have your birthday next week', which was what I heard from my friend/housemate when being left on my lonesome in my Uni house for my birthday weekend one year!
I have a midsummer birthday, which is OK now but childhood parties were generally marred by people heading off on holiday. Like Cat above, my birthday nowadays is more about partner/family gifts & time spent together – I do occasionally have drinks with friends but I'm happy with text messages from them to be honest!
I've been slightly scarred by having a very last-minute idea to have a party for my 20th – only a couple of people turned up, which was probably due to the extremely short notice but has definitely put me off hosting a party again…
I'm a january baby (10th) and for the last 6 or 7 years I have – like the queen – an official birthday. So I usually go out for a meal or quiet drinks on the 10th, but then arrange a killer party in Feb or March.
Basically, in January, most people are worn out, broke, over-fed and off the booze so it's not a great time to party.
I am insanely jealous of summer babies though. I'd love a birthday picnic in the sun.
I'm a pre-Christmas baby, which basically means that everyone's too busy/drunk/hungover to celebrate my birthday, if they can remember.
So I now actively rebel against celebrating it – my social network profiles all report a different birthday just to ensure I don't get any pesky reminders.
Happy birthday! Surprisingly I have no post it notes… 😮
I understand. My birthday is on December 22nd and I get people giving me a combined birthday and christmas gift which is essentially just one gift… the person is just cheap. I also hate birthday gifts wrapped in Christmas paper. And yes, no one can socialise :*( I may have to start having a half birthday in the summer which sounds much better!
I should have been born on Boxing Day. Obviously the downsides of having being born so close to Christmas (or even worse, that lull between Christmas and New Year when everyone is poverty-stricken and staying indoors eating Quality Street, which is when my partner's birthday is)must have reached me even in utero, and I was having none of it.
Yes, being born six weeks early might have meant I had to be on life support for the first few weeks of my life, but at least my late-November birthday is just about convenient for most folk. With the most memorable being my 18th, when my friends surprised me with a stripper who looked suspiciously Chico. IT'S CHICO TIME!
A very Happy Birthday to you! You can't see it – but I have adorned a post it in your honour!
I am mid December and suffer the “oh-i'm-so-sorry-but-what-with-christmas-i-forgot” bullshine. Does my noggin in! Also – gifts in christmas paper is a big no no – or a ps) Happy Birthday for the 13th! on the bottom of a christmas card. Those people arn't friends. They are poo's. Fact.
I used to love birthdays – but now people have other things on their mind – it also pretend I don't mind. But I know I do. Because somewhere inside me is the 6 year old who still wants to be excited!
ps) That link to Bill Mudron? Has just added to the presents for my other halfs 40th birthday presents! THANK YOU!!!
pss) that sentence makes NO sense. I am going away now.