After you turn 18, your birthdays become miserable. It's no longer fun and exciting. You don't get to have Chuckie Cheese parties with all your friends and family. There's no longer the excitement of receiving a truckload of toys that you get to unwrap and play with. You're no longer given special attention at school where you get to bring in donuts to share with the whole class as they would sing to you.
Once you become an adult, birthdays are just a reminder that time is running out. It's just depressing to celebrate a day that marks another year older. We don't need a day to memorialize our youth.
You always get asked, "What do you want for your birthday?" The real answer is money and socks, but of course, you can't say that without sounding like a brat. I don't need expensive, fancy items. I just need money to pay for tuition, gas, textbooks, food, and clothes. How do I tell people I will take cash or a gift card without sounding rude?
When it is your birthday, typically family members and friends like to wish you a "happy birthday." The awkward part is when you have family and friends that don't say it. Maybe they just forgot or don't care. Am I supposed to remind them that it is my birthday or will that make them feel bad?
Should I feel offended that someone forgot one day that is meant to celebrate another year of being alive? Should I be upset by this and ignore them because they didn't say two meaningless words to me? This is unnecessary stress that could be avoided since birthdays are overrated.
What's just as stressful is when people you don't know or don't like tell you "happy birthday." You know they don't mean it. They don't care, but there must be a universal code out there that states that when you hear it is someone's birthday, you must wish them well. That sounds nice, until someone you do not like reminds you of your birthday and you feel uncomfortable. Once again, added stress that could be avoided.
The peak of awkwardness on your special day is when it's time for cake and blowing out the candles. Everyone around you starts singing "Happy Birthday." What do you do? Do you look at everyone awkwardly as they sing to you? Do you stare at the cake and wait out the song? Maybe you join in on the singing to make it less uncomfortable.
Nope. There is nothing you can do in that situation that makes a bunch of people singing about your birth less awkward. The only thing you can do is hope they sing fast and leave out the "cha-cha-cha" section.
If someone gives you a gift, does that mean you have to buy them a gift for their birthday? Is there some sort of law out there that says if someone gets you something, you must return the favor? What about when I give someone else a gift for their birthday and they don't give me a gift? Is the contract broken?
Giving someone a present is no longer about showing your appreciation for someone. People only give gifts so you will buy them something for their birthday. It's all about putting on a show and pretending you care.
My favorite is when people ask, "So, how do you feel now that you are one year older?" I feel exactly the same. I feel no different than the day before or the day before that. I'm not going to magically feel any different today. If I found out my date of birth was wrong, I would feel no different. It wouldn't change a thing.
The best is when you get asked, "Do you feel old yet?" Yes, yes, I do, so thank you so much for reminding me by celebrating this day with me.
I've come to the conclusion that there is no getting out of the awkwardness and the stress of birthdays, so it's best to just let the 24 hours go by and try not to cry.