Happy Birthday To...
Wednesday was my birthday. Don’t worry if you forgot. I’m very forgiving. You can make it up to me by going over to Smashwords and purchasing Reaping the Harvest. Go ahead. Click on over and do it now. I’ll wait.
*Whistling the Mayberry theme song*
Back? Good. Thank you.
Now, as I was saying, Wednesday was my birthday. Some friends came over that night and we had cake and ice cream. The kids that still haven’t ran away to far away cities were also in attendance. It was a quiet, relaxing evening with some of the people that mean the most to me. The girls tried to sneak the little gathering upon me, but alas, it didn’t work. I’m pretty smart with things like that. Of course, I allowed them to believe it was working all the way up until Nathan and Christina walked in the door. Then I told them how I figured it out. They just shook their heads and handed me some cake. And ice cream. You can’t have birthday cake without ice cream. The two are meant to be enjoyed together.
When it comes to birthdays, I’ve noticed that people fall into four categories when it comes to their feelings about it and what they expect. The first group makes a big deal out of it. It’s almost as big of a celebration as Christmas and you begin hearing about their birthday a month before it even arrives. Hints about gift suggestions are not subtle. They have no problem giving out lists of things they want or even assigning who should purchase which gift. They don’t even mind planning their own party and would much prefer to do it themselves than have it done halfway. Birthdays are very important to them and you better participate or you’ll be getting a cold shoulder that would cause the abominable snowman to shiver.
The second group of people is the polar opposite. They not only don’t want ot celebrate their birthday, they don’t even want to be reminded that it’s arrived. They don’t hate their birthday as much as despise it. They don’t want gifts, a cake, or even cheerful birthday wishes. They just want to pretend as if their birthday was just another normal day in the course of a year. They don’t want to be reminded that it’s somewhat special because they were born.
I’ve never understood why people would hate their birthdays so much. Do they really despise having ever been born? Are these the same people who hate their mothers? Or could it be that they feel that if they ignore it, they can avoid growing older? This would explain why there are so many adults behaving as adolescents. They simply refuse to grow up.
I realize there are people who hate any type of attention. I, of course, am not one of those people. They may be shy and being in the spotlight even for a day makes them uncomfortable. However, I’m not referring to people who downplay their special day. No, I’m referring to those who throw tantrums if it’s brought up even slightly. Of course, if they refuse to grow up, then a tantrum is exactly what should be expected from the childish.
Our third group lands right in the middle. They are the ones who don’t care one way or another. Say “Happy Birthday” or not. It doesn’t matter to them. It’s a special day, but every day is special to them. These people will enjoy a party with cake and presents, but they won’t pout if they don’t get it. They’re easy going, just enjoying the day as it comes. This group doesn’t get angry if you forget and are appreciative when you remember. These are my favorite people.
Now, you would think that those three groups would cover the entire populace when it comes to birthdays and their reactions to it, but they don’t. There is one more group, the most dangerous of all the birthday groups. You see, this group will tell you they don’t care about their birthday. They never want a party or to do anything special. They don’t want cakes or gifts or to be embarrassed at a popular restaurant as the entire staff claps and sings some witty rendition of Happy Birthday with their company name in the song. They don’t want any attention given to them or any fuss made.
However, trust me, you better make a fuss. They don’t mean a word of their protest and if you take them at their word, you will be in the dog house for months. It’s all a lie. They want - they expect - you to go all out for their birthday. It’s all for show, their desire not to have people go out of their way for them on their special day. They want to deny that it means anything to them, because, for whatever reason, they think it makes them appear pious or noble. If you do forget, they will pout and sulk, moping about without ever being able to admit that the reason they’re upset is because everyone listened to them and ignored their birthday.
I’m not sure which category you fall into. Personally, I’m in the first. I want things to celebrate, even if it means admitting I’m not twenty-five anymore. A birthday party interrupts the mundane and negative and gives people a break from the monotony of life. Don’t deny the people around you from honoring you and celebrating your life. Besides, you deserve it. You’ve made it one more year.
And here’s to many, many more.
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