Birthdays are Weird

My birthday is in August, but don’t worry, I’m not going to write a post about everything I’ve learned or done in the past year. This is because a) I don’t remember what I did 10 minutes ago b) I write about enough crap on here c) I forgot the third reason.

See? I think I just proved my first point.

Anyway, even though I like celebrating everyone else’s birthday, I don’t like my birthday. It’s not because I hate getting older as much as I just don’t really like the hype or expectations.


But when you overthink about it, birthdays are weird. People celebrate you for doing nothing more than pushing your way out of your mom’s lady parts after causing her heartburn and morning sickness for nine months.

That’s it.

You took a trip down the ol’ birth canal and voila! Every year from that point on, instead of honoring the woman whose loins you were ripped from, people buy you gifts and stand around baked goods covered in flames and sing to you awkwardly off key.

But with that said, my mom has always been awesome about making me feel special on my birthday.

Because it fell in the summer, my birthday served as an excuse to throw many large parties with copious amounts of friends, my large family and food. The crowds and hoopla gradually stopped as everyone grew up and away—or got tired of me—but the bits and pieces of birthdays gone by will always remain in my mind.

However, there were a few that were a little less than stellar.

Strike One

There was a Fiesta themed party complete with stereotypical sombreros and music, Mexican food and a piñata. While a piñata was good in theory, that theory flew out the window right about the time the piñata stick accidentally flew through the air and directly towards an inattentive neighbor lady.

Smarties and plastic jewelry did not fall out of the cut on her head. Our disappointment was profound.

Strike Two

Nothing fell out of the cut on my head a few years later when my presents were hid throughout our large backyard and I was blindfolded and forced to hunt for them on my hands and knees. A Frisbee was thrown from a great distance and managed to hit me square in the head. Being blindfolded and covered in grass burns, this was literally a blow to what dignity I had left.

We had cake. I forgave.

Strike Three

Then there was a year that the stars aligned and the Tigers were playing the California Angels at home on my birthday. I was convinced I was going to marry their first baseman—JT Snow. This was obviously a sign of our destined eternal bliss.

We drove the three hours to the game, where after a couple innings he came up to bat and hit a foul ball directly towards my dad. A great ending to this story would be that he made an effort, caught the ball and concluded the perfect birthday of his 10-year-old daughter.

Didn’t happen. We had cake. I had resentment.

But despite the few (literal) hits and misses, I have to say that I’ve had it pretty good. I don’t expect a marriage proposal or physical and emotional scarring this year, but I do expect applause when I enter the room and a tiara to wear.

In other words, treat it just like any other day.

What have been some of your birthday hits and misses?

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29 responses to “Birthdays are Weird

  1. Bahahaha smarties and plastic jewelry did not fall out of the cut on her head. Our disappointment was profound. Happy birthday early! My biggest hit was 9th birthday – my party was backstage at the circus and my gifts were fake eyelashes and fishnet stockings. Win!

  2. There was one year when my friends totally forgot to plan something and so they took me to the farmer’s market. I don’t cook.
    They did, however, buy me a pound of havarti cheese, so I was fine with it.

  3. Yes, I just want to be treated like the princess of a small country on my bday. A SMALL country. And a princess, not even a queen! I think I’m really reasonable.

  4. I loved this! It really tickled my funny bone! A huge birthday miss was when all of my friends cancelled coming to the cinema with me on my birthday, so I ended up going with my Mum instead. It’s safe to say I did not feel like a cool 15 year old that day!

  5. My middle daughter turns 11 on august 30 so as she would say if y’all hung out *fistbump* Augusters rule.

    Mine is September 10th, cash in lieu of gifts please. I have bad birthdays and I prefer to just be ignored and whine about it on the internet. It’s the best way.

  6. My kid actually whacked another kid over the head with the pinata stick. At her own party. Sorta sucked…

  7. My birthday is around Thanksgiving, so every year I had the same conversation with my mom:
    Her: “What would you like for your birthday dinner?”
    Me: “Well…”
    Her: “Turkey? Great! We’re combining your birthday celebration with Thanksgiving.”
    Yes, it’s true that the date of Thanksgiving moves around. No, my mom didn’t seem to care. Thanksgiving = kid’s birthday celebration because everyone’s already coming over anyway.

  8. The inattentive lady piñata is still making me laugh. Great visual and twist!! You are such a great writer. Well, there was my party when I was in first grade and I was sent to my room for wanting too much attention. This is a fun story my parents still laugh at and tell complete strangers. Good times.

  9. I’m the same. My birthday is something I no longer make a huge fuss over (or any kind of fuss, to be honest).

    As for any memorable ones I’ve had, only one really comes to mind. I even wrote a post about this one. Back in kindergarten, the nuns threw a small birthday bash for me & two other kids. The idea was for each of us to get a turn blowing out the candles but the guy on my left kept getting excited & blowing them out every time the nuns re-lit them. Then came the time for the picture. That was just all kinds of awkward that I won’t go into.

    I believe this is just one of the many reasons I don’t make a big deal about my birthday anymore.

  10. I know many people who follow the “you’ve done nothing for this celebration” thought… and I totally get that. it is a pretty lazy thing to celebrate, you really didn’t have much to do with it.

    I, however, love a party. believe it or not, I am not one who thrives in the spotlight, but I always have friends who throw me massive parties. I like a celebration, and for me it is about another year unscathed (or just a little bit scathed…), and bringing loved ones together. I like having everyone in one place with me – so many really different people have become friends because I am a connector.

    okay, I am rambling. I promise I don’t like the spotlight. at least not TOO much. happy almost birthday! XXO

    • I’m not cynical about birthdays at all, but I’m just not big on the whole hoopla for them when it comes to my own. Now you? I would SO be down for that party 🙂

  11. This is exactly, exactly how I think about birthdays too. The only difference is that my explanation in my blogpost failed and this is just brilliant.

  12. On my 79th birthday, my family & I went to a restaurant to celebrate. They gave me what I always wanted–a standing ovation!!

  13. It’s my sole duty to speed up every awkward singing of Happy Birthday to an appropriately peppy tempo. Everyone does it so slowly and drably. Not at any party I’m attending! Funny thing about forced public singalongs – people are lemmings and will quickly follow the loudest person in the room.

  14. I have twin older sisters. We were all born within 5 days. Try fitting 3 very long names on one small cake. I think eventually they went with K, J, A Happy Birthday. Yeah nothing says you mean a lot like a bday shared 3 ways.

  15. The space shuttle Challenger blew up on my 9th birthday. The Columbus or whatever it was blew up on the day of my birthday party. Every year, my oh-so-tactful older brother sends me pictures or videos of one of these events and ponders whether he should notify NASA about the connection between my bday and exploding space shuttles. Siiiigh.

  16. They made you hunt for your presents in the backyard while blindfolded?! It’s both awesome and horrifying at the same time. What was the point of the frisbee throwing? Was it kind of like a marco/polo thing?

    Either way, I’m sorry you didn’t get to marry JT Snow. It’s probably for the best as I’m sure he’s washed up by now….which is hopefully what you did to those cuts.

    Might I suggest a helmet for this year’s birthday?

  17. Sneakily trying to read this blog post at the office and trying not to laugh out loud – to no avail – I got a lot of weird looks.

    This post truly made me smile and if you’ve ever seen the program ‘New Girl’ there is an episode on Jess’ extreme expectations for her birthday which I found quite funny, and awkwardly true to myself.

  18. Putting a blindfold on someone and forcing them to find hidden stuff in the backyard seems like a present for someone else.

  19. Happy Birthday…just a bit early! My daughter will be 12 on August 7th. I’m taking her to her first concert in October for a gift. One Direction. Try to contain your envy. I can feel it from here.

  20. My mom wouldn’t allow us to have birthday parties after 4th grade. I am still not exactly sure why. In 4th grade we both got to have sleepover parties, and that was the only year we got to have them and it was the big finale to our birthday partying days. Except… I am remembering something here… she let my brother have a sleepover IN A HOTEL when he was in sixth grade! And she promised I could have one the next year, but it never happened. I HAVE RESENTMENt!!!

    • But on an positive note, your house was probably MUCH less germy than a janky hotel room. However, no pool or room service either 😉

  21. My birthday is also in August – today actually – wearing my tiara to roaring applause in the office…!

  22. My favourite birthday is probably the one where someone sent me a card with my new age on and I spent the whole day thinking about how old I was getting, then the next day my partner said “What’s the matter with you?” so I told her and then she slapped me because that wasn’t my age at all (Notice all actual ages have been deleted.) Perhaps I was hung over or something, anyway, I spent the whole day moping because I thought I was 45 (for instance) and realised I was only 44 (for instance) so then it was like a reprieve, like a sort of pardon and being let out of jail. Anyway, it was such a nice feeling being a year younger than I thought I was!
    Nice blog by the way!

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