Birthdays. I don’t like them.
It’s not about getting older or some traumatic childhood experience that has hardened me towards birthdays, no. I hate to be the center of attention. I’m not one to make a big deal out of my birthday. I don’t tell people it’s my birthday. My mom, however, makes sure everyone knows. She can’t understand why I don’t ever have plans for my birthday. It makes her sad.
I don’t even like the facebook-attention given to me on my birthday. I got smart last year… The day before my birthday, I disabled the display of my birthday so that no one will be “reminded” about it. Why? Because I don’t want to be inundated with obligatory birthday wishes from acquaintances/people I don’t care about. Further, this helps me to know who my real friends are–the ones who actually remember my birthday without having to login to facebook to find out.
Most of my birthday memories are from when I was a kid. Like any other little boy, I had my friends from school over to play outside, eat Doritos, drink caffeinated beverages, and giggle at each other’s bodily noises all night, pretending to be asleep whenever my mom or dad would check on us. Invariably, one kid will throw up and have their mom come and retrieve them at 2 in the morning.
My adulthood birthday memories merely consist of going out to dinner with a small group of friends. Or, a friend. I just don’t care about celebrating my birth.
This year I turned thirty. I had always had grandiose visions of skydiving on my 30th birthday, maybe because I always thought thirty seemed so far off. I told my fiance that she’d better not throw me a surprise party or do anything that might embarrass me. I would never forgive her. Thankfully, she understands my introvertedness and knows better than to do anything…stupid.
Without making me the center of attention, my fiance gave me the best birthday I’ve ever had. She took me to the Magic Castle in L.A. for dinner and…magic. The kind of birthday recognition received at the Castle was low-key and, dare I say, fun. Our party of four was given a tour by one of the members of the Castle; at the end of our tour, he did a little sleight of hand with a swizzle stick, which I got to keep since I was the birthday boy.
After dinner, our waiter nonchalantly brought out a birthday dessert for me and there was – thank God – no TGIFridays/Applebees/Chilis-like “happy, happy birthday, from all of us to you…” bullshit.
I can only hope all of the other introverts out there are not having to suffer through their own birthday celebrations. Ifif your friends and family know anything about you, they will respect your wishes and give you a birthday you won’t forget. A birthday with no hoopla or public embarrassment, because whether they like it or not, it is your birthday and you should be able to do anything you want to, or most importantly, do not want to.